Education, Research, and Outreach:
The Agroecology Program hosts various events throughout the year. Events are designed to enrich experiential learning through hands-on activities, engage in discussions concerning prominent research topics, and facilitate networking with our community.
• The Campus Organic Garden which has become the Program’s flagship. The ecologically-friendly garden includes features such as meditation garden, native edibles plants, fruit trees, nurseries, worm-compost, small pond, and vegetable patches. Apart from being a teaching facility, the Garden serves as a “Community Garden” for any FIU students and faculty to learn the science and practice of earth-friendly agriculture. Coming largely from an urban background, FIU students find this a unique opportunity on campus to learn, “how to grow their own food.”As a result, for the first time ever, the produce harvested from these plots were marketed at theFIU Organic Farmers Market inaugurated on December 3, 2008 and continuing.
• The signature event for the Agroecology program features a formal annual symposium which creates a dialog between well-known panel guests and students regarding global development in sustainable agriculture topics. This 1-2 day-long event also highlights students’ research projects through poster and oral presentation sessions. The event is attended by more than 120 participants, ranging from FIU students and faculty, high school students, local farmers and businesses, and the USDA.
• The Program is also networking with several local farmers and community organizations to promote sustainable food production in South Florida.
• High School Teachers’ Professional Development workshop in Agroecology, conducted every other year and summer internships for high school students.
• International collaborations with India and Honduras. Established formal Memorandum of Understandings to promote faculty, student training exchange on food and agriculture issues. Conduct annual workshops for National University of Agriculture, Honduras students.
• Engaging students in STEAM education – Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture, and Mathematics. Conduct one day workshop for several high schools to stimulate interest in science and technology.
• Participate in South Florida Regional Science and Engineering Fair, judge science projects, conduct agroecology workshop for teachers and parents, students award for science excellence.
• Education Effect: Working with the Office of Engagement, Agroecology program is one of the active participants and play a key role in developing raised bed gardens, aquaponic systems, science dual enrollment at Miami NorthWestern Senior High School.