Course Description

Feeding the World: Influences on the Global Food Supply, SAS 002V

Scientific principles and dynamic interactions involved in food production, food processing, nutrition, and agribusiness. Physical, biological and social science issues influencing the availability and safety of the food supply worldwide.

Key Information

Credit: 3 quarter units / 2 semester units credit
UC Davis, SAS

Course Credit:

Upon successful completion, all online courses offered through cross-enrollment provide UC unit credit. Some courses are approved for GE, major preparation and/or, major credit or can be used as a substitute for a course at your campus.
 
If "unit credit" is listed by your campus, consult your department, academic adviser or Student Affairs division to inquire about the petition process for more than unit credit for the course.
 

UC Berkeley:
Unit Credit

UC Davis:
General Education: WC. - II, IV. (II, IV.)

UC Irvine:
General Education: II - Science and Technology

UC Los Angeles:
Unit Credit

UC Merced:
Units toward degree (see your advisor)

UC Riverside:
Unit Credit

UC San Diego:
Unit Credit

UC San Francisco:
Unit Credit

UC Santa Barbara:
Unit Credit

UC Santa Cruz:
Unit Credit

Course Fees

No fees

More About The Course

SAS 2V provides an introduction to the interlinking factors that influence food availability worldwide. The class delves into social, economic, environmental, climatic, and scientific constraints and their interconnections. We discuss these both as challenges and opportunities facing modern agriculture. The class is not intended to be political, although some of the issues surrounding food and food production have become political hot topics. Increasingly we are confronted in the media with a dizzying assortment of viewpoints about food production systems and nutrition, views that can significantly influence politics and policy. And often it is very difficult for the average consumer to separate myth and pseudoscience from reality and evidence-based practice. 

Although we all eat and enjoy food, less than 2% of the U.S. population is engaged in farming. It is fair to say that most consumers have limited understanding of farming, of the paths of our food from farm to fork, and of the science, technology and infrastructure that support and protect this path. This class will fill in some of the details here. We’ll draw your attention to the remarkable gains in productivity and food security provided by modern agriculture. We hope to raise your awareness of the challenges confronting us today and in the near future if the world is to feed its inhabitants sustainably. You will emerge at the end of the quarter more critical of what you read and see in the media, and better able to question popular assumptions about food production, nutrition and related issues. As consumers, it’s important we make informed choices, understand the unintended consequences and trade-offs of these choices, and recognize where there may be ambiguities.

Course Creators

Richard Bostock
Dr. Bostock is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of California, Davis, joining the faculty there in 1981.  He received his B.S. degree in Biology with Distinction from Rhodes College in 1974 and a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology at the University of Kentucky in 1981.  His research and teaching interests are the biochemistry and molecular biology of plant-microbe interactions, which has included a long-standing interest in diseases caused by Phytophthora species.  Within this general area of research, he and his colleagues have studied lipid-based signaling in plant immunity and the coordination of plant stress signaling networks to enhance or diminish disease resistance. He and his colleagues have studied programmed cell death in response to pathogens, toxins, and elicitors, systemic signaling in resistance and susceptibility, and the influence of diverse stressors on these processes.  In addition to these basic studies, he leads an active applied research program on fungal diseases of orchard crops.  In 2002, he became the founding Director of the Western Region of the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN), a position from which he stepped down in 2017.  Through his participation in the NPDN, he has undertaken research on the etiology and mitigation of new and emerging plant pathogens.  Of particular current interest is thousand cankers disease of walnuts and detection of cryptic infections caused by Phytophthora species in nursery ornamentals using advanced chemical volatile measurement techniques.  Dr. Bostock teaches an undergraduate course in introductory plant pathology and a graduate course concerning the biochemistry and molecular biology of plant-microbe interactions, as well as SAS 2 and 2V, “Feeding the World: Influences of the Global Food Supply” in the Science and Society program.  SAS 2V is an online offering now adopted for UC Systemwide as part of the food curriculum for UC’s Global Food Initiative.  He was chair of the Dept. of Plant Pathology from 1999-2005.  He is a Fellow of the American Phytopathological Society and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Bostock is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of California, Davis, joining the faculty there in 1981.  He received his B.S. degree in Biology with Distinction from Rhodes College in 1974 and a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology at the University of Kentucky in 1981.  His research and teaching interests are the biochemistry and molecular biology of ...

Dr. Bostock is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of California, Davis, joining the faculty there in 1981.  He received his B.S. degree in Biology with Distinction from Rhodes College in 1974 and a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology at the University of Kentucky in 1981.  His research and teaching interests are the biochemistry and molecular biology of plant-microbe interactions, which has included a long-standing interest in diseases caused by Phytophthora species.  Within this general area of research, he and his colleagues have studied lipid-based signaling in plant immunity and the coordination of plant stress signaling networks to enhance or diminish disease resistance. He and his colleagues have studied programmed cell death in response to pathogens, toxins, and elicitors, systemic signaling in resistance and susceptibility, and the influence of diverse stressors on these processes.  In addition to these basic studies, he leads an active applied research program on fungal diseases of orchard crops.  In 2002, he became the founding Director of the Western Region of the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN), a position from which he stepped down in 2017.  Through his participation in the NPDN, he has undertaken research on the etiology and mitigation of new and emerging plant pathogens.  Of particular current interest is thousand cankers disease of walnuts and detection of cryptic infections caused by Phytophthora species in nursery ornamentals using advanced chemical volatile measurement techniques.  Dr. Bostock teaches an undergraduate course in introductory plant pathology and a graduate course concerning the biochemistry and molecular biology of plant-microbe interactions, as well as SAS 2 and 2V, “Feeding the World: Influences of the Global Food Supply” in the Science and Society program.  SAS 2V is an online offering now adopted for UC Systemwide as part of the food curriculum for UC’s Global Food Initiative.  He was chair of the Dept. of Plant Pathology from 1999-2005.  He is a Fellow of the American Phytopathological Society and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Sara Dye
Dr. Sara Dye is a lecturer in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of California, Davis.  She received her B.S. degree in Biological Sciences with Honors from University of California, Davis in 2004, and a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from University of California, Davis in 2017.  She was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in support of her Ph.D. studies, during which she studied the role of eicosapolyenoic fatty acids in eliciting defense responses and altering oxylipin metabolism in solanaceous plants. In addition to her research efforts, in the course of her Ph.D. she also participated in the Professors for the Future Fellowship program where she learned innovative methods and techniques and honed her skills for teaching at the college level.  As well as her degrees from UC Davis, she also obtained a B.S. in Nursing from California State University, Sacramento in 2008 and is a registered nurse (RN) with experience in medical intensive care and community health. Dr. Dye is passionate about helping students to learn and succeed at UC Davis.  She particularly loves helping students to see connections between different fields of study and the interrelatedness of seemingly disparate organisms and systems.  She teaches undergraduate courses in Science and Society, Global Disease Biology, and Plant Pathology using a One Health approach that emphasizes how optimum health for humans, animals, and plants is interdependent and interlinked. Dr. Sara Dye is a lecturer in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of California, Davis.  She received her B.S. degree in Biological Sciences with Honors from University of California, Davis in 2004, and a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from University of California, Davis in 2017.  She was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in support of her Ph.D. ...

Dr. Sara Dye is a lecturer in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of California, Davis.  She received her B.S. degree in Biological Sciences with Honors from University of California, Davis in 2004, and a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from University of California, Davis in 2017.  She was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in support of her Ph.D. studies, during which she studied the role of eicosapolyenoic fatty acids in eliciting defense responses and altering oxylipin metabolism in solanaceous plants. In addition to her research efforts, in the course of her Ph.D. she also participated in the Professors for the Future Fellowship program where she learned innovative methods and techniques and honed her skills for teaching at the college level.  As well as her degrees from UC Davis, she also obtained a B.S. in Nursing from California State University, Sacramento in 2008 and is a registered nurse (RN) with experience in medical intensive care and community health. Dr. Dye is passionate about helping students to learn and succeed at UC Davis.  She particularly loves helping students to see connections between different fields of study and the interrelatedness of seemingly disparate organisms and systems.  She teaches undergraduate courses in Science and Society, Global Disease Biology, and Plant Pathology using a One Health approach that emphasizes how optimum health for humans, animals, and plants is interdependent and interlinked.

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