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Agroecology and Agroforestry Practicum Summer 2012 Syllabus Dates and location: May 23 – June 5, 2012 (Nicaragua) Instructors

: Chris Shanks, Katie Goodall Contact information: Chris Shanks: Katie Goodall: Background of Instructors Chris Shanks has worked in tropical and temperate agro-forestry systems for 10 years. Primarily focused on research, agro-forestry systems trials, and ecological enhancement work. Chris has designed and built a 46 acre site dedicated to tropical organic agro-forestry in southwestern Nicaragua. Internationally, Chris has worked in agro-forestry and related fields in countries such as: The Bahamas, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, the USVI, Panama, Thailand, the United States, the south Pacific, and Spain. In addition to running Project Bona Fide and developing programs in the local community, Chris also designs and installs agroforestry projects all over western Nicaragua. Chris has now acted as the primary instructor for this course for 3 years. Currently he is planning a second curriculum for winter 2012 as well. Katie Goodall Katie Goodall is a doctorate student in the Plant and Soil Science Department at UVM. She is currently investigating how smallholder coffee farmers in northern Nicaragua influence to landscape-level distribution of birds. Katie has studied and worked in Chile, Kenya, Hawaii, Mexico, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. She speaks Spanish, at times with a Chilean accent. Katie has taught for University of Michigan, the Michigan Biological Station, and UVM. After graduating, Katie aims to contribute to breaking the age old dichotomy of the academy and the farm by starting an agroecology education center for the integration of classroom and on-farm learning. Course Overview: Students will travel to Nicaragua for 14 days of study in the practice, application and design of agro-forestry systems. Focus will be on the agro-forestry systems that are being managed on the Island of Ometepe by organic coffee growers and the experimental agro-forests of Project Bona Fide. Students will also visit agro-forestry sites managed by the forestry service of Nicaragua as well as the fruit markets of Grenada, and many beautiful sites of geologic and anthropologic importance. Special focus will include: Focus will include: home and commercial food systems, indigenous forestry practices, medicinal plants, ethno-botany, silvo-pastoral, microclimate development, buffers, fuel and fiber crops as well as Permaculture and its role in multi-strata agroecosystems.
View photos & explore the farm, research, and teaching center:

Course goals: At the end of the course students will apply their observations, practice, and learning through the design and planting of a small agro-forest trial at Project Bona Fide. Learning Objectives and Outcomes 1. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of competition and co-operation between agricultural crops and tree crops well enough to design a functionally effective agro-forestry system. 2. Understand and recognize the breadth of spatial and temporal relationships in agro-forestry systems from tropical to temperate regions. 3. Expose students to both quantitative and qualitative methods for evaluating the productivity of agro-forestry systems. 4. Expose students to the cultural and socio-economic realities of implementing and maintaining agro-forestry systems as well as their ecological potential for agro-ecosystem restoration and habitat enhancement. 5. Gain an understanding of agroforestry techniques and survey systems worldwide 6. Gain hands on experience with local, low land tropical agro-forestry systems. Attendance policies and expectations: Due to the short and intense nature of the course students will be required to attend all classroom sessions. Students will also be required to participate in all hands on activities related to course material, be present and attentive on all site tours and field trips as well as attend all presentations and films offered during the course. Student Evaluation/Assessment: Evaluation/Grading System The following items will be evaluated and used as a basis for assigning course grades. Requirement Percent of Course Grade 1. Participation in all components of class 25% 2. Plant Research Project 25% 3. Agroforestry Design and presentation 25% 4. Journal – Reflection questions 25%

Description of class assignments: 1. Students will be evaluated individually for their active participation in discussions, field trips, site walks, hands on activities. 2. Individually students will be responsible for researching 2 individual plant species and presenting their findings to the class. Leaf (and flower if possible) collectings will be made by each student from plants existing at Bona Fide. The plants will randomly be assigned by the instructors will consist of an individual from each of the following groups: Nitrogren fixer; Food producer; Fiber/Fuel producer; Medicinal/Other. Students will press the leave sample at Finca Bona Fide. In addition to correctly identifying and collecting a sample, students will be responsible for compiling a brief summary of the plant including but not limited too: 1. Latin Name 2. Common/Local names 3. Plant family 4. Description 5. Distribution 6. Needs/Tolerances 7. Uses in an Agroforestry System 3. Students will compile and share their 2 individual plant collections to the group. Utilizing this collective knowledge, students will organize into two groups and will plan and design an agro-forestry system for a small lot on Bona Fide based on these species. Students will present their design to the class (including drawings in plan view and cross-section) and then the design groups will aid one another in planting the very systems that they designed. 4. During the two-week course students will be assigned a total of 5 questions for which they will responsible for producing a journal entry into the books provided. Students will be graded based on their capacity to comprehend the material and think critically about its application both in the tropics, temperate regions, and around the world. These five journal entries will be reviewed by the instructors as an additional component of your course grade. Note: Journal entries may include drawings, diagrams, and text. Academic Honesty & Professionalism: All students are required to be familiar with and adhere to the “Academic Honesty Policy Procedures” delineated in the most recent edition of “The Cat’s Tale”. ( Accommodations: In order to diversify our experiences we will be staying at various sites. Students will generally live in dormitory like rooms or in double occupancy rooms in the local village, Balgue. Students will also sleep at Finca Bona Fide, our pilot demonstration farm. Several nights will also be spent at Finca Magdelena, a cooperative organic coffee and eco-tourist facility. We will also stay in Grenada for a night as well as a final stop on the Pacific Coast to explore coastal ecosystems.

Required Readings may include: Barrance, A.J., Flores, L., Padilla, E., Gordon, J.E., Schreckenberg, K., 2003. Trees and farming in the dry zone of southern Honduras I: campesino tree husbandry practices. Agroforestry Systems 59, 97-106. Beer, J., Muschler, R., Kass, D., Somarriba, E., 1998. Shade management in coffee and cacao plantations. Agroforestry Systems 38, 139-164. Buck, L., Lassoie, J.P., Fernandes, E.C.M. (Eds.), 1999. Agroforestry in sustainable agricultural systems. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Fl. Collins, W.W., Qualset, C.O. (Eds.), 1999. Biodiversity in agroecosystems. CRC Press, Boca Raton. Gliessman, S.R., 2006. Agroecology: the ecology of sustainable food systems. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. Gliessman, S.R., 2007. Field and laboratory investigations in agroecology. Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, FL, USA. Gordon, J.E., Hawthorne, W.D., Sandoval, G., Barrance, A.J., 2003. Trees and farming in the dry zone of southern Honduras II: the potential for tree diversity conservation. Agroforestry Systems 59, 107-117. Huxley, P., 1999. Tropical agroforestry. Blackwell Science, Oxford, UK. Nair, P.K.R., 1993. An introduction to agroforestry. Kluwer Academic Press/ICRAF, Dordrecht, The Netherlands. Nair, P.K.R., 1998. Directions in tropical agroforestry research: past, present, and future. Agroforestry Systems 38, 223-245. Nair, P.K.R., 2007. The coming of age of agroforestry. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 87, 1613-1619. Nair, P.K.R., Rao, M.R., Buck, L.E. (Eds.), 2004. New vistas in agroforestry: a compendium for the 1st World Congress of Agroforestry, 2004. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht/Boston/New York. Vandermeer, J., 2003. Tropical agroecosystems. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. Young, A., 1997. Agroforestry for soil management. CAB International/ICRAF, Wallingford, UK /Nairobi, Kenya. Students may also be assigned readings from the following texts: Tree Crops: A Permanent Agriculture J. Russel Smith The Introduction to Permaculture Bill Mollison Agroecology: The Science of Sustainable Agriculture Miguel Altieri The Open Veins of Latin America Eduardo Galeano Temperate Agro-Forestry Systems Andrew M. Gordon

Itinerary 2011:

May 23 – June 5

May 23: Students travel to Nicaragua from their cities of origin. Students will be received at the airport by Chris Shanks and a group of taximan. Ideally we try to stack the arrivals so that they are close to one another. Regardless Chris will be there to receive ALL students. Students are then driven from the Managua airport to the colonial city of Granada where they will spend their first night at the Oasis Hostel. Contact no# 011 505 2552 8006 May24: Students awake early to ensure fresh fruits and veggies for a tour through a traditional outdoor market. Students are exposed to the sights and smells of daily market life, we purchase many fruit species unknown to students as well as fresh hot tortillas, avocadoes and all fixings for guacamole. As a group we prepare the fruits and guacamole as a team building exercise and then we eat. Relax, pack bags, change money, call parents or loved ones, last emails etcetera. Travel to Ometepe island in a private 12 passenger shuttle. Arrive on Isla Ometepe and take lodgings at Mi Tierra Hostel in our home town of Balgüe. Mi Tierra #011 (505) 8924-9059. Students will dine at the Hostel which we rent in its entirety. It is locally owned. May 25: Students will be met at the Hostel and walk 20 minutes through the forest and farm fields up to Project Bona Fide’s demonstration farm, Finca Bona Fide. Students will receive an orientation to the site, walk the 46 acre farm site and be introduced to the topics of agroforestry and agroecology in the field from direct ecperience. Classes also begin this day. May 26: Class day, two morning sessions, one afternoon, hands on work in late afternoon as well. May 27: Class day, two morning sessions, one afternoon, hands on work in late afternoon as well. May 28: Field trip in town to see tropical home gardens and shade grown coffee systems, also home scale medicinal plants. May 29: Two morning classes at BF. Afternoon walk to Cloud forest village, see Cocoa plantations and mature home scale agro-forests. May 30: Receive plant projects, begin research topics in the morning. Afternoon off: options for adventure, hike, kayak, or horseback ride on the beach. May 31: Class day, two morning sessions, one afternoon, hands on work in late afternoon as well. June 1: Work on class assigned projects, site walk and apply techniques learned in class. June 2: Present plant projects, class design project in morning. Carry out class design project in the afternoon. June 3: Travel off island to the coast of Nicaragua where we will spend one night and two days studying pacific neo-tropical coastal rainforest and mangroves.

June 4: 2nd day on coast, travel back to Granada, buy souvenirs, finalize travel plans and stay last night at the Oasis hostel before flights leave the following day. June 5: Travel day back to USA. Students accompanied by Chris or TA to Airport.