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Free Online Course on Food Security and Sustainability

Wageningen University is offering free online course on Food Security and Sustainability: Systems thinking and environmental sustainability. This environmental studies course enables participants to apply the principles of a systems approach to food production systems with a focus on environmental sustainability.

In this six-week course, applicants will learn how to apply systems thinking to improve the environmental sustainability of food production systems. The course will start on February 28, 2017.

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Course At A Glance

Length: 6 weeks
Effort: 8-10 hours per week
Subject: Environmental Studies
Institution: Wageningen University and edX
Price: Free
Certificate Available: Yes. Add a Verified Certificate for $49
Session: Course starts on February 28, 2017

Providers’ Details

The rapidly increasing demand for nutritious food and its future consequences for the environment call for a much greater understanding of the global food system. WageningenX, by mobilizing a large and international community, addresses these needs effectively by offering different massive online open courses (MOOCs) within its domain.

About This Course

Understanding and working with the complexity of sustainable food production systems requires training in different disciplines and an approach that can address this complexity at the system level. This environmental studies course enables participants to apply the principles of a systems approach to food production systems with a focus on environmental sustainability. University will analyze production systems at both ends of the spectrum: highly productive systems with relatively high inputs and emissions to the environment, and low productive systems with low input use and depletion of soil fertility. Crop-livestock interaction is a focal point.

Why Take This Course?

In this course, applicants will learn how to apply systems thinking to improve the environmental sustainability of food production systems.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the complexity and diversity of food production systems
  • Use a systems approach in the context of food production systems
  • Understand the principles of system analysis and how it can be applied in the context of food production systems
  • Understand evaluation methods for environmental impact of food production systems in different agro-ecological and socio-economic contexts and at different levels (e.g. farm, regional and global)
  • Evaluate strong and weak points of different food production systems in terms of environmental sustainability

Instructors

Dr. I.J.M. de Boer

Professor Imke de Boer holds a Ph.D. in Animal Sciences from Wageningen University. Since 2011, she leads the Animal Production Systems (APS) group at Wageningen University.

Carolien Kroeze

Professor Carolien Kroeze is the personal professor in the Environmental Systems Analysis Group at Wageningen University, specialized in pollution management. She has also been the professor at the Open University of the Netherlands.

Gerrie van de Ven

Gerrie van de Ven holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Science from Wageningen University. She is employed at the Plant Production Systems Group.

Dr. Eddie Bokkers

Eddie Bokkers holds a Ph.D. in Animal Sciences from Wageningen University. He is an associate professor at the Animal Production Systems group of Professor Imke de Boer.

Martin van Ittersum

Martin van Ittersum holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Environmental Science from Wageningen University. He is a professor at the Plant Production Systems group of the same university.

Requirements

None

How To Join This Course

  • Go to the course website link
  • Create an edX account to SignUp
  • Choose “Register Now” to get started.
  • EdX offers honor code certificates of achievement, verified certificates of achievement, and XSeries certificates of achievement. Currently, verified certificates are only available in some courses.
  • Once applicant sign up for a course and activate their account, click on the Log In button on the edx.org homepage and type in their email address and edX password. This will take them to the dashboard, with access to each of their active courses. (Before a course begins, it will be listed on their dashboard but will not yet have a “view course” option.)

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