Student-Originated Studies: Food and Agriculture

Summer 2018 (Full Session)
Class Size: 20
Credits per quarter

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Taught by

David Muehleisen
sustainable agriculture, entomology
Feminist Theory, Cultural Studies

Do you have a project that engages interdisciplinary and applied education for just and sustainable food systems or agricultural practices? This Student-Originated Studies (SOS) will support students to pursue individual or small-group projects through on-farm internships, food-related apprenticeships, field studies, research, or community-based service learning projects. Whether on campus, downtown, across the country, or around the world, students should expect to link theory with practice, activism with reflection, and critical thinking with hands-on experience.

Students will document their projects, using WordPress to create pages that correspond with learning objectives, activities, and outcomes, including a weekly post of activities with image and text; a log of weekly and cumulative hours; a map of location(s); a bibliography of resources; and multi-media options for videos, podcasts, audio files, slide shows, and photo galleries. All students will work with a field supervisor, subcontractor, or mentor with expertise regarding their particular project. For students on or near campus, 4-8 credits may be earned through common work designed to build an intentional learning community, which may include a weekly check-in, lecture or film, a reading-based seminar, and events in collaboration with the Practice of Organic Farming program. All students will be required to create mid-quarter and final self-evaluations as well as a final presentation. Appropriate alternatives for the final presentation requirement will be negotiated with students who are off-campus or overseas.

This SOS is ideal for self-motivated students who have an interest in food and agriculture, and a passion for transformative education, combining research with experiential learning or political action with community-based service learning. This program also is ideal for students who have completed a food- or agriculture-related program and want more real-world, hands-on experience or who want to pursue a food-related passion (e.g., nutrition, animal-crop interaction, permaculture, food sovereignty). In addition to worldwide opportunities through organizations such as Willing Workers on Organic Farms and Slow Food International, national and regional conferences such as EcoFarm, Permaculture Convergence, Heirloom Expo, Biodynamic Meetings, Cascadia Grain Gatherings, and Organic Seed Alliance, many farms in the Olympia area and on-campus organizations provide opportunities for food, public health, and agriculture-related internships, apprenticeships, field studies, research, or community-based service learning projects.

This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:

farm and garden management; working with nonprofit organizations focusing on food, land use, and agriculture; state and county extension offices; and state and federal regulatory agencies; K-12 and adult education; culinary professions


Credits per quarter


One year of Evergreen’s foundation food and agriculture programs (Ecological Agriculture; Food, Health, and Sustainability; or Practice of Organic Farming) or the equivalent.

Online learning:
  • Hybrid Online Learning - This offering delivers < 25% of its instruction online, rather than via face-to-face contact between you and your instructors.

Upper division science credit:

Upper division science credit if available when appropriate and negotiated with faculty sponsor at the beginning of the quarter.

Internship Opportunities:

Students will be encouraged and supported to locate internships and apprenticeships with food and agriculture related organizations.

Class Standing: Sophomore–Senior
Class Size: 20

Scheduled for: Day

Final schedule and room assignments:

Advertised schedule:

Thurs: 9-4

Located in: Olympia