Preparing Students to Grow a New Agriculture: Experimental Curricula at the University of Minnesota

Thu, Apr 25, 8:30 am
Location: 
101 Roberts Hall MSU
Speaker Name: 
Dr. Nicholas (Nick) Jordon
University of Minnesota
Department of Agronomy & Plant Genetics

Dr Nick Jordan is a faculty member in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.  He teaches and leads research on sustainable agriculture, aiming to help develop an agriculture that meets societal needs for food, bioenergy, and industrial feedstocks while sustaining the biosphere. 

New innovation systems are needed to help agriculture meet its ‘grand challenges’.  These systems must integrate the major streams of discovery in agricultural bioscience (biotechnologies and agroecotechnologies) and engage this and other research with private enterprise, civil society and government sectors.  The goal is to develop new agricultural systems that meet high standards for performance in economic, social and environmental terms.  Many young people hope to find their life’s work in such a new agriculture, but how can we help them learn skills, understandings and inclinations that they will need to be innovators?  Currently, higher education emphasizes mastery of a discipline; we must also enable our students to participate skillfully in situations—such as the new innovation systems—where transdisciplinary thought and action are of the essence.  I will describe several experimental curricula at the University of Minnesota that aim to meet these needs for both graduate and undergraduate students.   

This seminar is sponsored by the MSU Sustainable Food & Bioenergy Systems degree program.

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