GEOG 2146 - Food Security

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2014

The course will examine the geographical components of agricultural development globally in the historic, modern and post-modern eras. Case studies will be drawn from Australian and international contexts to examine humanity's changing relationship with production, supply chain, ecological, economic and socio-cultural systems fundamental to the provision of food. The roles of food and agriculture in the context of societal development will also be discussed. The types of issues that will be introduced include: pre-modern or traditional agriculture; the origin and development of agricultural biodiversity; the relationship between food supply and cultural identity; the agrarian transition/Green revolution; modernisation and the creation of marginalisation; environmental management; new technological development and application; famine; the political-ecologies of agriculture; the emerging alternative roles of agriculture to food production; and the future roles of alternative systems based on diversity and location. Students will be guided through the development of an in-depth critique of the historical process of agricultural development in a region of their choice. The outcomes of these investigations will be presented in written form as an essay and in oral form as a presentation to their peers. A final examination will allow students to present on their understanding of the course's major themes.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code GEOG 2146
    Course Food Security
    Coordinating Unit Geography, Environment and Population
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of undergraduate study
    Incompatible GEST 2046
    Assumed Knowledge A general knowledge of environmental systems and social geography theory
    Course Description The course will examine the geographical components of agricultural development globally in the historic, modern and post-modern eras. Case studies will be drawn from Australian and international contexts to examine humanity's changing relationship with production, supply chain, ecological, economic and socio-cultural systems fundamental to the provision of food. The roles of food and agriculture in the context of societal development will also be discussed. The types of issues that will be introduced include: pre-modern or traditional agriculture; the origin and development of agricultural biodiversity; the relationship between food supply and cultural identity; the agrarian transition/Green revolution; modernisation and the creation of marginalisation; environmental management; new technological development and application; famine; the political-ecologies of agriculture; the emerging alternative roles of agriculture to food production; and the future roles of alternative systems based on diversity and location.

    Students will be guided through the development of an in-depth critique of the historical process of agricultural development in a region of their choice. The outcomes of these investigations will be presented in written form as an essay and in oral form as a presentation to their peers. A final examination will allow students to present on their understanding of the course's major themes.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Douglas Bardsley

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    Students should gain from the course the following:
    1. An understanding of food security and agricultural issues in Australia and internationally.
    2. The ability to analyse the relationship between food and agricultural activities and society and the environment.
    3. The capacity to translate generic concepts and methods into reviews of contemporary, real-world food production, exchange and policy using a variety of methods of conceptualisation and critical analysis.
    4. The capacity to critically assess theoretical and conceptual issues relating to the emerging risks both to food and agricultural systems.
    5. The ability to present synthesised and critically evaluated information in oral and written forms.
    6. The ability to work effectively to create outputs of professional quality, both independently and within team environments.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1-4
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 2-6
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 3-6
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 4-6
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 5-6
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 3, 5-6
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 6
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1-4
  • Learning Resources
    Recommended Resources
    Although there is no prescribed text for this course, if you do not have any background in geography, or agricultural issues, you might want to have a look through the following introductory text:

    Robinson, G. M. (2004) Geographies of agriculture: globalisation, restructuring and sustainability, Harlow, Pearson/Prentice Hall.

    Fortnightly reading materials are provided for Food Security (GEOG 2146). These articles, book chapters, websites and reports can be accessed via MyUni in the “Course Material” folder and should be used to supplement lecture and workshop activities.

    Beyond these, numerous references will be provided during lectures and workshops. It is also highly recommended that you use the library databases such as Scopus, Web of Science or Google Scholar to access academic publications relevant to the weekly topic or your assignments (see http://www.adelaide.edu.au/library/).
    Online Learning
    The course guide and additional course-related material will be made available through
    MyUni. These materials include amongst other information:
    · Announcements
    · Powerpoint slides from the lectures and workshops. These are detailed and will be posted after the lectures and workshops.
    · Links to Reading materials (see the Course Material folder)

    Please note that lectures for this subject will also be recorded.

    You are advised to regularly visit the MyUni website for the course to receive course announcements and reminders. You will need the following to access MyUni:
    · a computer with an Internet connection;
    · a PC running Windows 95 or higher or a Mac running Mac OS 8.6 or higher;
    · a JavaScript enabled web browser (Netscape Navigator 4.7 or higher Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher);
    · the Adobe Reader software
    (download from http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html);
    · your University of Adelaide username and password.
    To reach the MyUni website for the course follow the links from the University of Adelaide's Homepage http://www.adelaide.edu.au/ to Login to MyUni https://myuni.adelaide.edu.au/webapps/login. When you open the course website you will find material related to the course.

    You will need to enter a username and password to enter the MyUni website. If you have difficulty accessing MyUni contact the Help Desk at 830 33335 or send an e-mail to myuni.help@adelaide.edu.au.

    · There are also numerous internet sites specialising and linking into food and agricultural themes. Make sure you don’t depend too heavily on these internet sites when searching for literature on a particular topic for a presentation or essay – but they can help support your discussion or provide interesting examples.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    There are a number of teaching and learning modes in this course.

    · The course lectures provide factual information and the presentation of concepts about food and agricultural issues, following a framework that includes the state of food and agriculture, the important issues that are emerging, and the current and likely responses to those challenges. Thus, the lectures move from an explanation of the physical, historical & socio-economic experiences, to an examination of risks to food security and agroecosystems, to a review of the development opportunities for global agriculture.

    · The workshops are again framed by the state/issues/response conceptualisation of issues. The fortnightly workshops run over two hours and provide a forum for students to learn about techniques to critically analyse current issues of food supply and demand and agricultural development approaches. The workshops will also provide an opportunity for students to raise questions or points of interest during discussions and students will be asked to present their analyses of commodities, systems or places during debates and oral presentations to other students.

    · The report assignments and the presentation provide opportunities for students to undertake an extended research project that will allow them to articulate in both oral and written form, their appraisal of contemporary food and agricultural issues, practices and policies.

    · Finally, the exam will assess the extent to which students have developed their understanding throughout the course.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements. On average a student should be undertaking:

    · Structured learning (lectures and workshops): 3 hours per week equivalent

    · Background reading and reading for specific workshops: 2 hours per week

    · Report research and presentation preparation: 5 hours per week

    · Exam revision: 2 hours per week
    Learning Activities Summary
    Schedule
    Week 1
    Lectures
    1. Introduction to the course
    2. The physical geography of agriculture
     
    Workshops
    Course introduction: framing the research report
    Week 2 3. PUBLIC HOLIDAY
    4. A history of agriculture
    No workshop
    Week 3 5. The Green Revolution
    6. Current Food Supply
    Discussing agricultural history
    Week 4 7. Risk and global food supply
    8. Agroecological risks
    No workshop
    Week 5 9. Risk and water
    10. Urbanisation
    Discussing future risk to food supplies
    Week 6 11. SA Food & Agriculture
    12. Food security policy in Developing Countries
    No workshop
    Week 7 13. Climate change and food security
    14. Agriculture, climate change adaptation & mitigation
    Discussing food and agricultural politics
    Week 8 15. Future famine?
    16. Global Agriculture I
    No workshop
    Week 9 17. Global Agriculture II
    18. Responding to risk with food policy
    Discussing innovative futures
    Week 10 19. GMOs & agrobiodiversity
    20. Diversity & European agriculture
    No workshop
    Week 11 21. SA product differentiation
    22. A multifunctionality for SA agriculture?
    Report presentations
    Week 12 23. Supporting innovative futures
    24. Summary
    No workshop



     
    Specific Course Requirements
    There are no course requirements additional to those above and below.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    % of total grade Learning objectives
    Workshop Attendance 5 1-6
    Assignment 1: Report outline 10 1, 2, 5, 6
    Assignment 2: History & socioecological issues 20 1-6
    Assignment 3: Politics & opportunities 30 1-6
    Assignment 4: Oral presentation 5 36
    Exam: Final 30 1-6
    Assessment Related Requirements
    There are no assessment requirements additional to those above and below.
    Assessment Detail
    Attendance at workshops

    Workshop attendance is compulsory and will be assessed as part of this course. You will be required to sign-off at each workshop and must attend at least 5 of the 6 x 2 hour workshops to receive the full 5% allocation for this part of the course. For each workshop you are absent below the attendance threshold of 5 of the 6 you will lose 1% of your total mark, down to the maximum of 5% lost.

    You should contact the course convenor to explain why you have missed a workshop and to have a valid excuse you will need to have written evidence such as a medical certificate, if you do not wish to be recorded as absent.
    Students should be well prepared for each workshop and participate in the discussion. Take notes from the lectures and your readings, so that you are able to raise issues in the workshop seminars. The subject is especially set up to have 2 hour workshops to enable good discussion, so your personal preparation for these sessions is particularly important in this case.
     

    Assignments 1, 2 and 3: A food or agricultural commodity, system OR place of your choice
    The course is arranged around a series of assignments that ask you to develop a research project on a particular food or agricultural commodity, system OR place of your choice. Assignments 1, 2 & 3 will together guide that report writing process (10% + 20% + 30% = 60% of Final Grade).
    You must continue with the same commodity, system OR place throughout the Assignments 1, 2 & 3.

    Assignment 1: Report Outline for a food commodity, system OR place

    Words: 500 +/- 10%, excluding references and appendices
    10% of Final Grade
     
    Report topic - A food or agricultural commodity, system OR place of your choice. For Assignment 1 you will need to submit the report outline which:
    · describes a food or agricultural commodity, system or place that you will investigate for Assignment 2 (200 words);
    · details why it is an important topic to understand in the context of both future risks and future opportunities for global food and agriculture (200 words); and,
    · provide a short reference list with at least 10 appropriate sources (equivalent of 100 words).

    Assignment 2: The history and socioecological issues for a food/agricultural commodity, system OR place

    Words: 1500 +/- 10%, excluding references and appendices
    20% of Final Grade
     
    Report topic - A research report on the history or and key environmental and social issues relevant to a food or agricultural commodity, system OR place of your choice. For Assignment 2 two sections must be covered:
    · History: paleao- &/or historical issues (750 words)
    · Environmental management &/or social issues (750 words)
    · provide a reference list with at least 15 appropriate sources
    Present as: Introduction; Main Body (with the two sections clearly outlined); Conclusion & References.

    Assignment 3: The politics and opportunities for a food/agricultural commodity, system OR place

    Words: 2000 +/- 10%, excluding references and appendices

    30% of Final Grade
     
    Report topic - A research report on the history or and key environmental and social issues relevant to a food or agricultural commodity, system OR place of your choice. For Assignment 3, three sections must be covered:
    · A background that includes the characteristics of the commodity, system or place (500 words)
    · Agro-politics of food supply chain, production system &/or the place (750 words)
    · Future for this commodity/system/place, including a proposal for a future development approach & associated policies (750 words)

    Reports will be presented in report format with different sections including: Introduction; Background; Main Body (with the two sections clearly outlined); Conclusion; References; & Appendices (if needed).

    Assignment 4: Oral Presentation = 5% of Final Grade

    Briefly present the major findings from your Report in Assignment 2 to your workshop class in week 11.

    Final Exam: Final 2 hour exam during Semester 1 exam period = 30% of Final grade
    Submission
    Assignments 2, 3 and 4 will need to be submitted electronically via both the ICC and Turn-it-in sites. The links for submission of assignments using the ICC and Turn-it-in sites have been created for you in the corresponding folder under the Assignment page in the MyUni site for the subject. You can upload your assignments directly by following the prompts.

    You will need to upload a Word version of your essay to Turnitin and a PDF version to ICC. for assistance in converting your assignment file to PDF, please see: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/myuni/tutorials/content/ICC_Printed_Assignment_PDF_creation.html).

    For guidance on how to submit your assignment electronically via MyUni, go to http://www.adelaide.edu.au/myuni/tutorials/ and click on the “Submit an Assignment” tutorial.

    For more assistance on submitting your assignment file to MyUni, please telephone the Service Desk on 831 33000, 8 am – 6 pm, Monday to Friday or email servicedesk@adelaide.edu.au

    Assignments 2, 3 & 4 must be lodged in electronic form by the given due date and time to avoid penalty. A penalty of 5% will be deducted per day for any assignment that is submitted late.

    Assignments will be printed out and marked in hard copy form and made available to be picked up by students at the end of the semester. If you wish to have the marked, final work sent to you, you MUST supply Dr Bardsley with a stamped, self-addressed envelope when submitting the final piece of work. Only one A3 envelope is necessary per assignment.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

    If you are concerned with an aspect of your assessment then you should, in the first instance, consult the course co-ordinator to discuss your concern.
  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

    The course is designed as a review of the important emerging issues for food and agriculture, in South Australia, Australia and the globe. It aims to guide students’ critical interests in particular topics or areas of study. For that reason, there is significant opportunity for students to investigate particular issues relevant to food and agriculture that interest them.

    SELTS results from previous years suggest that some students find this independence to be one of the more challenging aspects of the course. The workshops are designed to guide you through the development of your report. Also, instead of one large report, the report has been broken up into three sections (Assignments 2, 3 & 4), which will be marked separately.

    It is suggested that students begin to think of a major issue to examine for their report early on in the semester and discuss it with Dr Bardsley. Another key to getting the most out of the subject is to use the workshops to raise particular issues with your lecturer and peers.
  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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