Growing food using a closed-loop system. Rocks instead of soil + fish poop continuously cycling through the system for nutrients = lots of delicious, healthy, organic food!
In this lesson, students explore factors that contribute to desertification. Students learn about a farmer from Burkina Faso who halted desertification on his farmlands by implementing innovative farming techniques. Students conduct an in-depth analysis of rainfall data and NASA satellite images to understand how and why desertification happens. Finally, students create a survey to examine microclimates on their school grounds. This lesson is part of curriculum related to the PBS series Earth A New Wild and was developed in collaboration with PBS LearningMedia.
Two issues of
Resource: Engineering and Technology for a Sustainable World magazine, focusing on food reliability in 2050.
Providing the world of 2050 with ample safe and nutritious food under the ever-increasing pressure of climate change, water limitations and population growth will be a monumental challenge that requires engagement of agricultural and biological engineers around the world.
“We would do well to pay attention to how our food is produced and whether that is done in a sustainable, efficient, and safe manner. Nearly 40% of the world’s ice-free land is given over to agriculture. Farming has an impact on our water supply, which can be polluted by pesticides and fertilizer runoff. It affects climate, releasing, by some measures, more greenhouse gases than all the cars, trucks, and planes in the world. Dams rearrange and disrupt rivers to provide water for crops. Landscapes are stripped of trees to create cultivable land.
“To tell the story, we gos to savannas in Africa, meat-processing plants in Brazil, and fields in the American Midwest. To show how food sustains us spiritually, it sits down at dinner tables in Mexico, the Philippines, Belarus, and Pakistan. We’ll look at the farming frontier of the ocean along with the pluses and minuses of aquaculture.”
National Geographic Magazine – Editor's Note – May 2014