Interdisciplinary Honors Seminars

The Food-Energy-Water Nexus in the Anthropocene

The Food-Energy-Water Nexus in the Anthropocene


Index# 13690

Professor Nirav Patel

W 11:30-12:50    F 1:10-2:30; 2:50-4:10; 4:30-5:50

HC S120 College Ave Campus

Will NOT Count Towards Honors College MAJOR
Will NOT Count Towards Honors College MINOR

This course will introduce you to the current state of each component in the food, energy, and water (FEW) nexus before diving into the complexity of their relationships with each other and with underlying social-ecological systems (SES). Throughout the semester we will discuss the demands that the production of FEW place on SES, and how these demands are under even greater strain in the changing climate. We will also examine the primary public and environmental health issues arising from industrial trends in food and energy production—i.e. population growth and shifting socioeconomic status, obesity and food safety, pollution and environmental degradation. In addition, we will explore policy-level responses to these issues and the potential of proposed sustainability initiatives. We will focus on these issues as they are relevant to the U.S., but also draw from international examples that will inform our understanding of how they are treated in different geographical and/or political contexts. Ultimately, this course will provide a better understanding of pertinent human behavior drivers that can help identify the causal forces between FEW nexus and SES that shape perhaps the greatest challenges of the Anthropocene.

About Professor Patel

Dr. Nirav S. Patel is an Assistant Research Professor at the Honors College who contributes to advancing its scholarly mission. Trained as a natural and a social scientist with expertise in coupled natural-human systems, his current research and teaching focuses on interdisciplinary learning approaches to human-environment interactions within social-ecological systems. He earned his Ph.D. in Natural Resources from Cornell University where he was recognized for his excellence in teaching, character, service, and advocacy for students enrolled in the core biology instructional program there. At the Honors College, in addition to furthering his independent research, he is charged with developing and implementing experiential learning opportunities for first-year students through the Honors College mission course, the Forum.