2019-2020 Course Catalog

Accelerated Master of Food Studies EARTH (MA)

This program is designed for students who have taken sufficient relevant credits at a high enough level, in their bachelors and previous education, to complete a masters of Food Studies in one year with the minimum requirement of 31 credits. The program includes core course requirements (10 credits) in food systems, food access and research methods. Each student will complete a minimum of six classes (18 credits) demonstrating knowledge and experience in food studies in a focused area of expertise. Area of expertise include but is not limited to: food politics, food market and marketing, sustainable agriculture, and food writing and communication. Finally each student will undertake a summer internship (3 credits) working with a US-based organization, including businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and government. Most opportunities will be in the Southwestern Pennsylvania area. Students in the program will obtain an understanding of how food is grown, treated, harvested, sold, purchased, consumed, shared, and disposed of. As well as an understanding of the impact it has on its suppliers, consumers, and environment.

Admission Requirements

The following are requirements of admission to the Master of Food Studies program:

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university
  • Overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale. Applicants with less than a 3.0 who show extreme promise through other achievements may be granted conditional admission.
  • Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts
  • 2 letters of recommendation preferably from an academic source
  • Curriculum vitae or resume
  • Personal statement -- both stating your experiences and interests in food, sustainability and/or agriculture and your reasons for pursuing a graduate degree
  • Additional writing sample submission encouraged but optional
  • Completed Application Form, which can be found at http://apply.chatham.edu.

Admission Deadlines

  • Priority Deadline for Fall - February 1 (all application materials must be received by this date for first consideration of fellowships/assistantships)
  • Regular Application Deadline for Fall - June 15
  • Regular Application Deadline for Spring - November 1

Learning Outcomes

Interdisciplinary breadth: Graduates will have the ability to articulate and integrate knowledge and skills across and within a variety of disciplines, particularly as these skills relate to the historical and contemporary organization of food provision and consumption.

Systems knowledge: Graduates will have a command of food systems as a conceptual and practical tool for understanding the connections between agriculture and food production, social configurations, cultural meanings, and environmental conditions. This goal includes understanding and applying various research methods to real-world problems.

Experiential learning: Graduates will form a direct relationship with the subject matter – the production of food – by participating in a wide variety of practical and applied situations. Mastery of technique, while significant in its own right, will connected back to intellectual growth by evaluating its benefit to specific communities and by incorporating the experience into project outcomes.

Community building: Graduates will work as liaisons and collaborators in community-based projects, both in directed coursework and in internship and field experiences. Emphasis will be on task negotiation, network development, social interaction, and cultural acumen.

Communicative competence: Graduates will demonstrate ability to use history, ethics, culture, and empirical data to document and evaluate food systems through oral, written, and multi-modal means of representation.

Methodological depth: Graduates will design and carry out research projects after evaluating the effectiveness and applicability of various social scientific methods. By implementation, students will articulate research questions, assess the strengths and weaknesses of different research design and collection methods. Includes the ability to address cultural and ethical issues, evaluate existing studies and

Applied scientific literacy: Graduates will grasp basic scientific principles, empirical methods, and evaluative criteria in the biological and physical sciences. The goal is for students to analyze and evaluate empirical research for context-specific applications and communicate that data for a variety of audiences.

Technical competence in food production: Students will gain basic experience in growing, producing, and cooking food. From soil testing to knife skills, graduates will grasp the specific material competencies related to agriculture and cooking.

Comprehensive awareness of sustainability: Graduates will be versed in the complexities of defining and enacting sustainable practices related to food production and consumption. Using a systems analysis, they will be able to map the relationships between environment, social life, and sustenance.

Curriculum

+Major Requirements

10 credits including tutorial

FST508 Food Systems

Examines philosophical, sociological, economic, and cultural issues related to the production and consumption of food. From Agrarianism to the Green Revolution, explores the transformations of industrialization, technology, and migration. Provides foundation in food systems and commodity chains as concepts and methodological tools for uncovering the relationship between communities, agriculture, markets, and consumers.

3
FST509 Food Access

If food is a basic human right, how do societies create universal access to food? What is the moral ethical basis for making citizens food secure in an age of global inequality? To what extent does providing food access need to consider culturally appropriateness, nutrition, and sustainability, and justice?

3
FST620 Research in Food and Agriculture

This course assists students developing a research, educational, public policy, or advocacy project in sustainable farming. Participants study a practical and current sustainable food and/or farming problem, review the literature related to the problem, develop management tactics and strategies to address the problem, and communicate their conclusions. Goal is to develop a research plan and project outcomes for a Masters thesis or project.

2
FST510 Food, Culture, History

Provides an overview of food and diet in transnational history, emphasizing cultural impact of modernity of food gathering, farming, plant biology, the body and consumption, health, taste, and cuisine. Topics include the development of agriculture, the causes of famine, the disruptions of colonialism, global exchange, industrialization, migration, and commercial economic dominance of the food system.

3

+Electives

Six electives (18 credits)

FST513 Integrated Seminar in Applied and Environmental Microbiology

This course will provide a forum for interdisciplinary learning and discussion in the core areas of applied and environmental microbiology. Students will analyze case studies based on real-world issues, use evidence-based practice to devise solutions to applied problems, and develop communication skills to convey disciplinary knowledge to different audiences.

3
FST605 Food and Climate Change

This course considers the relationship between Earth's changing climate and the human production and consumption of food. With attention to current theories and case studies, students will develop a comprehensive understanding of food systems in relation to global environmental change, with a specific focus on livelihoods, adaptation, sustainability, and justice.

3
SUS580 Sustainable Behavior Change

This hybrid course combines classroom and online instruction with real-world application. Students learn the latest science concerning sources of environmental degradation. In teams, students apply motivational theory, collect secondary and primary data, and develop an action plan for increasing pro-environmental behaviors (PEB) in a specific context.

3
SUS605 Leadership for Transitions to Sustainability

This class builds a foundation for sustainability management through exploration of Transition Management, a methodology for sustainable innovation. Students study innovation management, learn steps in managing a transition through analyzing systemic socio-technical problems, learn to develop potential solutions, and understand the organizational and societal structures necessary to support long-term change.

3
SUS516 Sustainable Decision Analysis

The class contributes to a foundation for sustainability management by exploring different quantitative approaches to sustainable decision-making including: Life Cycle Analysis, Ecosystem Services Valuation, Carbon and Water Foot printing, and DPSIR (Drivers, Pressures, States, Impacts and Responses) Society-Environment interaction framework. Finally, the class explores how quantitative decision-making is shaped by various stakeholders.

3
SUS521 Ecotoxicology and Environmental Health

Human health is intimately connected to environmental conditions and ecosystem integrity. Introducing concepts and measures of ecosystem and human health, this course will cover the principles and practice of contributing fields including ecotoxicology, epidemiology, environmental health and risk assessment. Students will be led from inquiry to action for key issues.

3
SUS640 Sustainable Community Development

This course explores how people can engage in creating more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable communities at multiple scales, from the local to the regional. The reading and assignments emphasize sustainable planning theory and practice as well as sustainable food systems perspectives. Students will engage in practice-based research and community projects.

3
SUS622 Engaging Animals

This course considers human-other animal engagements and how these affect sustainability. We first make sense of what "engaging animals" means, focusing on human-animal relations at different scales and levels cross-culturally, and then consider the impact on sustainability. We end with a student-led symposium on a specific human-animal relationship in relation to sustainability.

3
FST520 Basic Agroecology

Through working on Chatham's Eden Hall Campus farm as well as neighboring farms, students will integrate best practices for sustainable agriculture with theory encountered in class. Topics will include basic principles of soil fertility, biodiversity, agriculture history, effects of both conventional and organic agriculture, and the politics surrounding the issues.

3
FST575 Field Ecology

The goal of this course is to introduce the students to the principles of ecology in urban and rural environments. Initially there will be a series of lectures to study ecological concepts, with extensive reading and discussion from the primary literature. The students will gain the understanding of how the physical environment, global cycles and climate influence the biogeographical distribution of global and regional ecosystems and local microhabitats. Lectures will focus on the physical environment, plant and animal adaptations, population ecology and community dynamics. One-half of the classes will consist of field trips to observe flora and fauna, practice plant and animal data collection techniques using standard field methods, and to study human ecology and the impacts of population growth and resource consumption.

3
FST505 Food and Representations

Food is elemental to survival, culture, home, and subjectivity - to rituals of love, loss, and celebration. Focusing on representations of food and eating in spiritual narratives, epic texts, myth, novels, and film, this class examines the cultural work food performs along with the varying meanings assigned to food and eating.

3
FST512 Practical Nutrition

Course provides an overview of nutrition as an evidence-based research field, focusing on groups and communities where research is conducted and then applied. Topics include science and politics of food categories; supplements and functional foods; weight and disordered eating, commercial, local, organic, and conventional foods; cuisine, culture, and diet.

3
FST513 Integrated Seminar in Applied and Environmental Microbiology

This course will provide a forum for interdisciplinary learning and discussion in the core areas of applied and environmental microbiology. Students will analyze case studies based on real-world issues, use evidence-based practice to devise solutions to applied problems, and develop communication skills to convey disciplinary knowledge to different audiences.

3
FST605 Food and Climate Change

This course considers the relationship between Earth's changing climate and the human production and consumption of food. With attention to current theories and case studies, students will develop a comprehensive understanding of food systems in relation to global environmental change, with a specific focus on livelihoods, adaptation, sustainability, and justice.

3
FST609 Dairy: From Pasture to Plate

This multi-disciplinary graduate course examines a range of agro-ecological, philosophical, socio-economic, health, and political issues related to dairy production in the US. Key course themes include: dairy history; sustainable and conventional production; raw milk and consumption debates; livestock care; milking; cheese-making; dairy policy; international issues; and popular representation of dairy.

3
FST615 Food, Labor, and Inequality

In this course, we will focus on theoretical and applied frameworks for thinking about the labor of growing food, transporting it, transforming it into comestibles, and finally, serving and cleaning related to food consumption. The course considers how global labor shapes the availability and appropriateness of food for different populations and therefore includes a substantial analysis of gender, race, and social class. Readings and discussion will touch on migrant labor, domestic cooking, waiting and serving, agriculture, cooks and chefs, and food professionals.

3
FST625 U.S. Agricultural Policy

This graduate multi-disciplinary course examines a range of philosophical, socio-economic, health and political issues related to agricultural policy in the US. It provides a foundation and introduction to U.S. farm policy as a means of exploring how political dynamics and choices impact the nature of food, agriculture, and communities at local, national and global scales.

3
FST524 Greenhouse Production

Students will explore alternative season extension practices used in cold season production and compare the opportunities available to local farmers who choose to adopt season extension practices. Through class lectures and assignments students will learn the essentials of healthy soil, pest and disease identification, planting, harvesting and marketing opportunities available to sustainable farmers. Through working on Chatham's Eden Hall Farm as well as neighboring farms, students will integrate best practices for sustainable greenhouse growing with theory presented in class.

3
FST608 Culture and Culinary Grains

Culture and Culinary Grains

3
FST518 Business of Food and Agriculture

In this class the student will learn both history and current practices related to food and agriculture as economic enterprises in the United States and the world. Skills include ability to understand strategic management principles including identifying target markets, niche marketing, SWOT analysis and diffusion of innovation theory. Students will be able to develop a business plan including understanding barriers of entry, compiling demographic data, developing feasibility studies, long and short term business goals, define and calculate a breakeven point, and budget formulation.

3
FST532 Sustainable Meat Production

As part of sustainable agriculture and culinary knowledge, understanding meat production outside the conventional large scale processing facilities is a critical skill for students who will work with restaurants, farm markets, and other distribution venues.

3
FST603 Food Journeys

Food Journeys

3
FST607 Sustainable Consumption

Eating "sustainably" considers environmental health, local economies and social justice issues. The course explores 3 viewpoints: consumers', including eating behaviors, access and marketing; growers' and producers', including supply chain concerns and food safety; and the institutions' or food business' challenges of incorporating regionally and sustainably sourced food in their operations.

3
FST611 Religion, Community, and Food

This course explains the ways in which sustainability and communal religious life have Intersected in the U.S. from the 17th century to the present. Using lecture readings, film, and independent research, we will study ethical farming practices, food sustainability, and moral food choices through the lens of American religious communities.

3
SUS580 Sustainable Behavior Change

This hybrid course combines classroom and online instruction with real-world application. Students learn the latest science concerning sources of environmental degradation. In teams, students apply motivational theory, collect secondary and primary data, and develop an action plan for increasing pro-environmental behaviors (PEB) in a specific context.

3
SUS605 Leadership for Transitions to Sustainability

This class builds a foundation for sustainability management through exploration of Transition Management, a methodology for sustainable innovation. Students study innovation management, learn steps in managing a transition through analyzing systemic socio-technical problems, learn to develop potential solutions, and understand the organizational and societal structures necessary to support long-term change.

3
SUS516 Sustainable Decision Analysis

The class contributes to a foundation for sustainability management by exploring different quantitative approaches to sustainable decision-making including: Life Cycle Analysis, Ecosystem Services Valuation, Carbon and Water Foot printing, and DPSIR (Drivers, Pressures, States, Impacts and Responses) Society-Environment interaction framework. Finally, the class explores how quantitative decision-making is shaped by various stakeholders.

3
BUS570 Global Business

This course introduces students to international business and management by studying cultural influences, government, and business structures in our global economy. Students also learn about trade relations, international finance and legal and labor agreements. Also covered, are topics on information needs, production systems, marketing and promotion, and career planning.

3
BUS641 Sustainable Supply Chain Management

This course provides students with an understanding of how supply chain works, how and where along the supply chain sustainability questions should be addressed/considered, and the impacts of those decisions on stakeholders further down the chain. Topics include: packaging, transportation, energy use, and waste.

3
FST518 Business of Food and Agriculture

In this class the student will learn both history and current practices related to food and agriculture as economic enterprises in the United States and the world. Skills include ability to understand strategic management principles including identifying target markets, niche marketing, SWOT analysis and diffusion of innovation theory. Students will be able to develop a business plan including understanding barriers of entry, compiling demographic data, developing feasibility studies, long and short term business goals, define and calculate a breakeven point, and budget formulation.

3
SUS562 Economics of the Environment

This course is designed to introduce you to how economists think about the environment. The theory of externalities and market failure provide the basis for applying microeconomic concepts to the study of environmental issues. Analytical tools, particularly cost-benefit analysis, are explained and applied to problems with environmental dimensions.

3

+Internship

3 credits

Each student is expected to complete a three credit internship, in the region, in the summer after their two semesters of course work.

Contact

Mailing Address

Chatham University  Master of Arts in Food Studies  Woodland Road  Pittsburgh, PA 15232  (412) 365-1100

Admissions

Trish Golla Assistant Director of Graduate Admission Falk School of Sustainability & Environment Chatham University Woodland Road Pittsburgh PA, 15232

Email: pgolla@chatham.edu Phone: 412-365-1386