PSS 311: Introduction to Agroecology provides an in-depth overview of research and applications in the field of agroecology, with a focus on conceptual and analytical content. 

Course Structure:

Module 1: Agroecological Foundations

Learning Goals:

  • Understand the origins and evolution of agroecology, and why it is now perceived as a science, movement and practice.
  • Compare agroecological perspectives, also known as agroecologies and identify key examples.
  • Identify the challenges and opportunities of applying agroecology as a transdisciplinary, participatory and action-oriented approach.


Module 2: Principles-based Approaches in Agroecology

Learning Goals:

  • Understand the history of the application of principles in agroecology.
  • Gain knowledge of the different agroecological principles frameworks that are currently being used globally.
  • Learn from a case study ‘in progress’, which is applying a principles-based approach to agroecology.


Module 3: Co-creation of Knowledge in Agroecology

Learning Goals:

  • Understand the concept of co-creation of knowledge in agroecology.
  • Learn about international examples of knowledge co-creation in agroecology.
  • Co-learn with guest lecturers working on international knowledge co-creation in agroecology.


Module 4: Context matters – from theory to practice

Learning Goals:

  • Connect previous theoretical conversations with relevance to decision-making in our own lives and local food systems.
  • Explore agroecology in practice on three Vermont farms.
  • Engage in active peer to peer learning with classmates and farmers.
  • Consider the viability of agroecology for food systems transformation in the Vermont context and in your context.