Simple Classroom Tools for Sophisticated Ideas: Sustainable Agricultural Soils as Renewable Resources

Authors: John Hintz*, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
Topics: Agricultural Geography
Keywords: Sustainable agriculture, environmental geography, pedagogy
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Environmental geography educators must stay on the leading edge of environmental science to maintain currency in the classroom. However, integrating sophisticated leading-edge scientific and sustainability breakthroughs into 100-level introductory environmental coursework is often quite challenging. This poster presents a framework for teaching first-year university students (majors and non-majors alike) about the substantive differences between the dominant industrial agricultural model and sustainable agriculture via two mechanisms: (a) focusing on the soil itself; specifically, the paradigm of agriculture based in the emerging “living soil” model; and (b) teaching this cutting-edge and sophisticated concept through the basic principal of renewable versus nonrenewable resources. Importantly, this short lesson can invert the dominant conception of soils, which is, once farmed, soils exist as a nonrenewable resource that can only be managed as such. Understanding agricultural soils as renewable resources, on the other hand, clearly and succinctly illuminates the superiority of the new conservation agriculture.

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