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ESPM 117 - Fall 2008

Page history last edited by Nathan 12 years, 4 months ago


Urban Agriculture

environmental science, policy & management 117


Fall 2007 & Fall 2008


Course Schedule/Readings

Lab Schedule

Download ESPM 117 Fall 08 Syllabus (UPDATED)

Fall 07 Syllabus




Nathan McClintock, Geography

Albie Miles, ESPM

Dr. Clara Nicholls, ESPM/PACS (2008)

Prof. Miguel Altieri, ESPM (2007)


contact info & office hours



Tuesdays, 4-7 PM

180 Tan


CCN 29349, 4 units



Fridays @ the Student Organic Garden (corner of Virginia & Walnut streets)

Sec. 1 (CCN 29352) 8-10 AM

Sec. 2 (CCN 29355) 10-12 AM

Sec. 3 (CCN 29358) 1-3 PM


Course Summary:


ESPM 117 (formerly called "Urban Garden Ecosystems") revolves around a fundamental question: How do we mend the ecological and social rift between city dwellers and the food they consume?  Over the semester, we take a socio-ecosystemic approach to the study of urban food production (with a particular emphasis on organic gardening) and discuss the ways in which urban agriculture can aid in the reintegration of food, soil, and city.  The course is interactive and hands-on, integrating theory & practice.


The classroom component consists of lectures, guest speakers, discussion of readings, and student presentations.  Topics covered include:


  • "metabolic rift," local food systems, and the political ecology of urban agriculture

  • urban agroecosystems in both US and developing world contexts

  • urban agriculture & community development (includes field trips)

  • fundamentals of horticulture, soil science, insect & soil ecology

  • organic/sustainable production techniques


In weekly lab sessions, we learn how to grow food.  We will cover:


  • horticultural techniques (plant propagation, direct-seeding, transplanting)

  • soil quality & fertility management

  • irrigation & water conservation

  • pest/disease/weed management

  • compost production

  • beneficial insect habitat

  • fruit tree management


Each student will be responsible for a final project and community garden hours.




Quizzes (25%)

  •     Short answer questions/activities on each major topic

Midterm (25%)

  •     One take-home exam

Final Project    (25%)

  • Groups of 5 or 6 focusing on one element of UA in the local food system   

Participation (25%)

  • Lab attendance
  • Classroom participation
  • Garden responsibilities
  • Community garden hours

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