Experiential Learning Opportunities for Graduate and Undergraduate Students

2006 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

Marilyn Johnson
Spring 2006
CSA Farm Inventory
Land Stewardship Project

Peter Hinck
Spring 2006
Blue Earth River Basin Initiative
Rural Advantage

Seminars Given

January 25, 2006
Rachael Dettman: Organic Certification: Insights from a Summer Intern

November 29, 2006
Marilyn Johnson: Community, Cover crops and Compost

Graduates with Sustainable Agriculture Systems Minor

Megan Keefe

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.