Sustainable teaching in agroecology

Project A1-12

Improved communication and cooperation between farmers, agronomists, biologists, government officials and lay people is crucial if Switzerland is to deepen and broaden its policies to promote sustainable development. With this objective in mind, the interdisciplinary "Bachelor in Biology and Social Anthropology", offered by the University of Neuchâtel, will develop an intensive training module that offers hands-on experience designed to prepare our students for the challenges posed by working across disciplines and professional cultures.
Agroecology is the study of agricultural ecosystems as integrated wholes. We define the agricultural ecosystem to include farm crops and livestock, the natural ecosystems surrounding farms (soil, non-domesticated plants and animals), farmers and other social actors who affect the biological ecosystem, along with relevant social, economic and legal institutions. Our project aims to teach a new generation of biologists, namely biologist-anthropologists, to consider agroecological problems in a holistic perspective by studying their impact on the entire spectrum of actors concerned: farmers, of course, but also regulators, institutions of higher learning and lay people. A key aspect of sustainability is knowledge transmission to future generations. The ability to popularize scientific knowledge without distorting it and to transfer knowledge both from experts to lay people and in the opposite direction are central to this project. Thus, we aim to show that a bottom-up approach to agroecology is fundamental to sustainable agriculture.

Project leader
Dr. Alexandre Aebi
University of Neuchatel
Biology and Anthropology Institutes

Involved universities
University of Neuchatel

01.06.2013 - 31.12.2016


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