Experiential Learning Opportunities for Graduate and Undergraduate Students

2004 Annual Report for LNC03-229

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2003: $60,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2007
Region: North Central
State: Minnesota
Project Coordinator:
Dr. Helene Murray
University of Minnesota

Experiential Learning Opportunities for Graduate and Undergraduate Students


Student internships in sustainable agriculture provide educational opportunities for experimental learning that deepen students’ appreciation for the complexity of sustainability challenges and the need for broad-based solutions. Each student that completes an internship also contributes to the “What’s Up in Sustainable Agriculture” weekly seminar series which broadens the exposure to more students, faculty and staff as well as others for the variety of experiences and innovations that are going on within the realm of sustainable agriculture.

Objectives/Performance Targets

1. Twelve students will work with faculty advisors and community-based internship hosts on collaborative learning opportunities over three years.
2. Students will present their internship experiences in the weekly meetings of a campus-based learning community consisting of students, faculty, and staff (average 30 participants/ week). The seminar series is known as, “What’s Up in Sustainable Agriculture”.
3. The steering community will take part in developing evaluation and reflection tools for internships and WUSA seminars.


Internships Funded

Melissa Driscoll
Spring 2004
Grazing Plans
Natural Resources Conservation Service

Marjorie Ross
Spring 2004
Organizing the Food & Farm Festival
Land Stewardship Project

Dina Kountoupes
Summer 2004
Turtle Effigy Garden & The Big Back Yard gardens
Dream for Wild Health

Nadiene Lehrer
Summer 2004
Farm Intern: Agroforestry, Local Policy Development
Moonstone Farm Organics

Seminars Given

September 22, 2004
Dina Kountoupes: Summer Internship with Lakota Traditional Gardener and Herbalist Paul Red Elk

September 29, 2004
Nadine Lehrer: Beef, Trees, and Rural Policy: a Summer Internship in Western Minnesota

October 20, 2004
Marjorie Ross: The 2004 Community Food and Farm Festival: Linking Farmers and Consumers

Graduates with Sustainable Agriculture Systems Minor

Angie Goodrich, Derek Folden, Melissa Driscoll, Marjorie Ross

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

This grant has allowed students to receive compensation for their work with community based organizations and farms that would have been difficult for the host to provide. Students have also provided hosts with completion of work and projects that otherwise may not have been accomplished. Students have completed internships and graduated with the sustainable agriculture systems minor. Through presenting seminars, students have exposed others within the university to innovations and projects in sustainable agriculture.