COMPSTD 4420 Visits Waterman Farm and the CEARC

March 10, 2023

COMPSTD 4420 Visits Waterman Farm and the CEARC

Tim and Mark Anthony outside of the CEARC's greenhouses

This semester, the Department of Comparative Studies launched a newly designed course -- with support from the OSU Sustainability Institute's Sustainability Education Grant -- COMPSTD 4420: "Cultural Food Systems and Sustainability." As part of this upper-level GE research-intensive course, students take part in a series of field trips to OSU's Waterman Farm with the intent of gaining a more tangible relationship with and knowledge of human-environment interactions as they relate to food production. Indeed, and as an Extension of OSU's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, Waterman Farm is a fascinating space that sits at the intersection of research, teaching, and community engagement. 

The class's second visit this past Tuesday included a special tour by Dr. Tim McDermott of the newest addition to Waterman: the Controlled Environment Agriculture Research Complex.

The CEARC's state-of-the-art facility seemed to blow everyone away. Poised to be home to leading research on controlled environment agriculture (CEA), its facilities and emergent tech will allow researchers to adjust various growing conditions, train future CEA specialists, and serve as a model for programs elsewhere. The instructor, Dr. Mark Anthony Arceño, notes that he sincerely couldn't think of a better way to make more tangible a study of sustainability than a visit to the CEARC. As the course continues to develop, we look forward to seeing how it continues to develop and eventually engage with folks throughout central Ohio and beyond.

The third and final phase of the course begins right after spring break and will focus on student-led presentations on regional and site-specific case studies related to sustainability issues facing various food systems around the world, as well as the complexity of interacting lived environments.

COMPSTD 4420 fulfills the Sustainability Theme and will next be offered Spring 2024.
For more information of the CEARC, please visit this ribbon-cutting story.


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