The following courses have been added to the Tuscania study abroad Fall & Spring Semester programs with API at Lorenzo de’ Medici – The Italian International Institute. You can learn more about this program over on the API website here:
Mediterranean Sustainable Landscape Garden
Humans have been shaping the environment for ages. Now more than ever before it is important to understand the value of this heritage and recognize the necessity of new approaches to deal with two major imperatives today: sustainability and biodiversity. This course will focus on the Mediterranean landscape as a model and inspiration for coast and inland gardens. Lessons will be held both in class and during field trips including active work in a natural botanical garden and targeted visits to local gardens and nurseries. This multifaceted program enables students to study and understand, through direct experience, all sorts of Mediterranean flora and environments (two types of vegetation are termed the macchia and the gariga), and sustainable landscape gardening as an art form. Mediterranean planting practices lend themselves to adaptations in regions facing water shortage and climate changes. This course is an asset to all students in Agriculture Studies and others interested in green projects of any scale and scope that involve sustainable development and landscape preservation
Sustainable Forest Management
Forests are a unique feature of our planet: a symbol of life, a necessary part of our environment, economy, culture, and traditions. Forests provide us with food, water, renewable energy and shelter, as well as a wide range of other products and intangible benefits. They are home to many species of plants and animals, help mitigate climate change, protect the soil, evoke emotions, and offer places for recreation and inspiration. Forest protect us and keep us alive – but forests need to be protected, too. This is especially true for temperate forests, such as those in Europe and North America, since they have been influenced by human settlements and activities over many centuries. The protection of forests, a key part of modern forestry science, is central to this course. The basics of forestry including tree biology and the ecology of forests, are covered. Additional topics include how to identify trees, harvesting forests, and forest protection. Appropriate field trips and practical activities will help students understand how a forest works and how we can manage it in a sustainable and effective way.
The course is intended as an introduction to basic economics concepts which frames the agricultural sector within a theoretical framework. The very first part is basically an overview of the economic principles for consumer and producer behavior, price determination, elasticity, profit, demand and supply. These concepts are then applied to agriculture: definition of agriculture and introduction to it as a business; agri-food marketing principles; leading concepts of economics of natural resources. In the last part the course treats the economic, social and environmental roles of agriculture in relation to the challenges of food security and climate change: why should we care, and how? The course concludes with a comparative analysis of the very different roles of government in agricultural policy, in Europe and other regions.