Why Agroecology?

Identifying the most viable and sustainable ways to improve our agrifood system remains one of the most important challenges of our time. While there are no magic bullets, the field of Agroecology is a demonstrated, holistic approach that addresses the social, ecological and production challenges of current agrifood systems.

Why now?

The field of agroecology is gaining influence in a diversity of academic, political and advocacy spaces worldwide. In 2014, for the first time in its history, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) held an International Symposium on Agroecology for Food Security and Nutrition. Agroecology has also received endorsement from La Via Campesina, and the Journal of Sustainable Agriculture was recently renamed as Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (Gliessman)—demonstrating that groups of peasant farmers, scientists, and international policy makers are each convinced of agroecology’s value and potential. This increased attention has brought with it a call for empirical research about the performance of agroecological practices and a demand for training in agroecological principles. In response to these demands, we have developed a rigorous and practical option that offers a foundation in agroecology, opportunities for research, and a design that makes it accessible to students, international audiences, and mid-career professionals.

Do I have to take these courses in a specific order?

To promote the Community of Practice and cohort model that we are striving for, it is highly recommended that students enroll in these five courses sequentially starting with PSS 311 in May. However, these courses can be taken out of order if a student’s schedule cannot accommodate the sequential order.

How much does the Certificate of Graduate Study in Agroecology cost?

For questions and concerns on tuition and financial aid, please contact Student Financial Services.

Can I take the CGSA as a complement to a Graduate Program I am currently enrolled in at the University of Vermont?

Yes! Students who are currently enrolled in UVM’s Graduate Program in Food Systems and Master’s in Leadership for Sustainability have the opportunity to take the Certificate of Graduate Study in Agroecology (CGSA) as a complement to their ongoing studies. If you are enrolled in another Graduate Program and have questions about the feasibility of also taking the CGSA, please contact us so we can discuss your options.

I am from California, therefore I am on Pacific Coast Time (UTC). How will I be able to tune into online lectures?

Aside from the weeklong residential portion in PSS 311, the CGSA is an asynchronous learning opportunity. Course content is available via Blackboard online to facilitate information sharing outside the constraints of time and place among the cohort of students. This method of teaching design makes it accessible to students, international audiences, and mid-career professionals.

We hope you find this information helpful. If you can’t find the answer you are looking for, do not hesitate to contact the Agroecology and Livelihoods Collaborative Team at agroecol@uvm.edu.