The EGLS course introduced me to forage and grassland systems across the regions we traveled in a very personal way. During both of the trips I have participated in, I found that the learning we did while living in the "classroom" has been better retained in my memory and understanding than any other traditional course I've taken. These diversified experiences, along with the variety of fellow students and mentors participating in the course, have given me new outlooks on the forage and livestock systems I work with at home. Those students and mentors have now become my closest colleagues.
Ecology of Grazing Lands Systems is a field oriented course that takes participants into diverse grazing lands ecosystems across several states and may include other countries. Students learn about:
- The components and functions of grazing lands and how these vary in different ecoregions.
- Research needs, objectives and techniques in soil-plant-animal research.
- Forage-livestock ecology and systems in grazing lands (cropland, pastureland, range land and forestland).
- The role of forages in conservation practices, wildlife habitat, and sustainable agriculture.
- Industries involved with forages and livestock.
This graduate level course includes a two-week field trip open to students who meet the qualifications set by their professor. Graduate credit is received through the students home institution and is credited to their chosen program of study. Enrollment is limited to about 30 students and is taught during the summer. At least two faculty members will participate in the field trip in its entirety each time that the class is offered. Routes for the field trip will be different each time the course is offered, and students will travel through widely divergent ecosystems. International trips may be offered in some years. A student can enroll for this course more than once, but with no additional credit and pending available space.