AECL 1000 and AECLL 1000

Instructor: Dr. Micah Humphreys

Office: FAB 60E

Office hours: F 1-3:00 PM, or by appointment

Phone: 307-754-6465


Course Information:

Lecture Hours: MWF 9:00 – 9:50 AM FAB 25

Lab Hours: M 1-2:40pm or TH 1:00 – 2:40 PM FAB 55/Greenhouse

Credit Hours: 4

Text: Agroecology, Ecological Processes in Sustainable Agriculture. Stephen R. Gliessman (optional)

Web Page:

Catalog Course Description: Students acquire introductory understanding of the interactions that affect agricultural systems. Comparisons are made between developed and developing countries. Students explore challenges and opportunities facing food production and our global society.


  1. Learn to communicate, orally and in writing, agriculture issues – Compare and contrast developed and underdeveloped countries agricultural systems through research and oral presentations.
  2. Understand the importance of ecology in agriculture systems. Be able to define and understand ecological terms, and apply these terms to agriculture.
  3. Demonstrate ability to recognize problems and provide solutions in agriculture. Use knowledge of developed and under developed countries, as well as the basics behind ecology and sustainable agriculture.

Course Format: MWF will be interactive lectures over theory and principles of agroecosystems. Labs will be conducted in the greenhouse and will be a variety of greenhouse, laboratory and field trips. Be ready to go to the field when you come to lab each week!

Grading: Labs 140 points (14 labs @ 10 pts each)

25 points (Semester Garden Report)

60 points (Plant Mount Quizzes)

Report & Presentation 125 points (100 points for paper, 25 for presentation)

Quizzes & Homework 45 points

Exams (3 + Final) 400 points (4 tests)

Total Points 795 (approx)

Grading Scale:

A = 90% or above, B = 80 – 89%, C = 70 – 79%, D = 60 – 69%, F = 59% or below

Make-up Policy: Papers and homework must be turned in on the due date. Late work will not be accepted without an excused absence. There will be no make up quizzes or tests. If a student will not be in class on the day of a scheduled exam, prior arrangements must be made and the exam must be taken at an agreed time with the instructor.

Class Calendar:

Sept. 26 Exam 1

Oct. 31 Exam 2

Nov. 16 Report Summary Due

28 Exam 3

Dec. 7 Report Due

17 Final Exam, 9:30-11:30am, FAB 25

Lecture Topics:

Sustainable Food Systems and the Current Problems in Agriculture

Agroecosystem Concepts

Plant Nutrition

Plant Interaction with the Environment

The Light Environment

The Temperature Environment

The Water Environement

The Wind Environment

The Soil Environment

Soil Water

Fire Processes

Case Studies in Agroecology

Differing Sustainability Views (Wendell Berry and Norman Borlaug)

Report: Each student will research an area of agriculture (crops, rangelands, forestry, livestock industry, etc.) in the U.S. and an underdeveloped country. The report should be at least 5 pages, typed in 12 point font and double spaced. Make sure to compare and contrast the two countries’ agriculture production methods in the specified area, economics, and problems. Also, provide sound solutions to the problems presented. Include a reference page with at least four sources.

Presentation: Each student will prepare a short (5 minute) presentation to inform classmates on your report topic. This will also provide and opportunity for interaction with that topic from the class regarding differing practices.

Lab: Lab grades will be based on attendance, participation, reports and plant mount quizzes.

Attendance Policy: You should be aware that there are college policies regarding attendance (see current College Catalog).After four unexcused absences, grades may be lowered one letter grade for each additional unexcused absence. While this may seem extreme, it is meant to encourage you to be in class. Absences for college activities will be considered excused if I am notified before the absence.

Expectations of Students

Students are expected to conduct themselves in a respectful manner and to follow expectations presented by Northwest College (see current College Catalog). Disruptive, inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated.

Students with special needs

Northwest College is dedicated to removing barriers and opening access for students with disabilities in compliance with ADAAA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. It is the student’s responsibility to make an appointment with the Disability Support Services (DSS) Coordinator to provide documentation of a disability (whether it is psychiatric, learning, mobility, health related, or sensory) and to inquire about accommodations for courses each semester. To contact the DSS Coordinator, call 754-6135 or stop by the Student Success Center located in the lower level of Colter Hall. (For an electronic copy of the ADA statement, see Disability Support )

Academic Integrity

The college policy on academic dishonesty is stated in the current College Catalog. “Northwest College is committed to creating and maintaining an environment of academic honesty.” Strict adherence to the highest standards of academic integrity will be expected throughout this course.

Project Succeed

If you are a first generation student (neither of your parents has a bachelor’s degree), if you have low income, or if you have a documented disability, you may be eligible to be a participant in Project Succeed. Project Succeed is 100% grant-funded by the U.S. Department of Education to help 160 students in these three populations each year stay in college in good academic standing until they graduate or transfer. Project Succeed staff help students plan their education and their careers and provide help with learning and time management strategies as well as transferring to the next college. You can visit further with Project Succeed staff in the Student Success Center, located in the basement of Colter Hall (down the ramp).

How to Drop or Withdraw from a Class

If you find that you no longer wish to remain in this class, you should officially drop or withdraw from it. Only you, the student can initiate this process, and you are strongly encouraged to consult first with your academic advisor with regard to the effect on your program of study, financial aid status, etc. In order to drop or withdraw from class, you must meet certain deadlines and follow specific procedures:

To drop: you can do this during the first two weeks of class and no record will appear on your transcript. You can drop a class by logging onto WebAdvisor through your student portal, or your academic advisor can do it for you as well. You can also go to the Registration and Records Office and complete the appropriate form. Consult the current academic calendar (found at http:// for the deadline to drop a full-term class.

To withdraw: after the “drop” deadline, your remaining option is to “withdraw” from this course. A mark of “W” will appear on your transcript, but it will not affect your GPA. Follow the same procedure as above. The withdrawal deadline typically occurs about four weeks after mid-terms. Consult the current academic calendar (found at for the deadline to withdraw from a full-term class.

Deadlines for half-semester courses differ for both the “drop” and “withdrawal” options and can be obtained by contacting the Admissions Office at 307-754-6101.

If you merely stop attending or do not log onto a class, but do not officially remove yourself from class, then you will almost certainly receive a grade of “F.”


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