Experiential and Project-based Education

Urban Agriculture and Food Justice

At UC Berkeley, I have facilitated engaged, experiential, and project-based learning for 6 semesters and 3 summer terms through Urban Agriculture and Food Justice (ESPM 117). It is multidisciplinary in the sense of spanning the natural and social sciences through its focus on urban farms and gardens. It is comparative in that students learn about the urban agriculture case studies globally through the assigned reading while at the same time collaborating with urban agriculture projects in the East Bay. Urban Agriculture and Food Justice is also integrative by drawing on multiple learning modalities, and by emphasizing teamwork skills that are essential to making changes in food systems.

Experiential Learning through Engagement in Food Systems

I also teach the Food Systems minor capstone course, Experiential Learning Through Engagement in Food Systems. The course offers undergraduates the opportunity to design projects related to food systems with community partners. By participating in reflection, action, and engaged scholarship, students in the capstone course gain insight into the problems with our current food system, the challenges faced by those who attempt to change it, and the opportunities to overcome these challenges. Students publish their project reflections as blog posts.

UC Berkeley Food Systems minor website


Marisa Ahmed, a student in the Food Systems minor capstone course in the Spring 2018 semester, documented the garden-based projects of fellow students in four short videos:

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