Sustainability course needs students

Justine and Kathy are trying to get an idea of student interest in the Sustainability and Organic Grape Production and Wine Making course.  We need at least 8 students for this discussion-focused course to work well.  Please let us know if you plan to add this class, after reading the following description.  HORT/FDSC/VIEN 2204 is a pre-req, or permission of instructors.

VIEN3120 is a 2 credit course focused on sustainability in the wine industry.  We believe this is the first university/college level course to focus on sustainable grape growing and wine making practices.  This is an increasingly important issue in the grape and wine industry, and we believe that students should familiarize themselves with the relevant issues.  With the new V&E curricula, this course counts as one of the major electives.  The class meets Tuesdays, from 12:20-4:20, though many weeks, the meeting time is shorter to allow students to work on projects.

This course has a different format than most of our other courses.  Students spend a good deal of time reading assigned literature (science journal papers, book chapters, popular press articles) and discussing the readings in 5 of the class sessions.  Discussions are usually approximately two hours. There is extra time built into the course (i.e., credit received for work outside of class meetings) so students can work on developing a vineyard management plan for the certified organic vineyard plot at the Orchards.  There are a few field trips planned for the course.  Some weeks, we meet for 1-2 hours in class and some weeks, the full 4 hours (lecture and lab slots) are used.

Students work cooperatively to come up with the management plan for the organic vineyard for the following year, and we hire a student intern to work in the vineyard for the summer.

Probable topics for discussion in 2013:

Discussion 1: Sustainable/organic/biodynamic overview & comparison

Discussion 2: Sustainability in the Vineyard- copper, cultivation, and other dodgy issues

Discussion 3: Sustainability in the Winery- sanitation, waste treatment, carbon capture

Discussion 4: Carbon Footprints & Life Cycle Analysis of Winemaking

Discussion 5: Consumer opinions on sustainable/organic wines

Please contact Kathy Arnink <> or Justine Vanden Heuvel <> if you are interested or have questions about the course.

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