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Suzanne R. Morse
Suzanne R. Morse
Elizabeth Battles Newlin Chair of Botany
207-801-5724 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Suzanne received a B.A. in Botany from the University of California, Berkeley in 1980 and a Ph.D. in Botany from the University of California, Berkeley in 1988. From 1988 to 1991, she was a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Organismal and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. She also was a visiting scholar at the Harvard School of Public Health from 1996-1998, and at the University of California, Berkeley in 2001.
Suzanne joined the COA faculty in 1991, where she teaches a variety of courses in biology, botany, science and society, and agroecology. She also regularly teaches in the Yucatan program and in the human ecology core curriculum. Students that have worked with Suzanne at COA have done a wide range of projects, including a radio program on seed saving, an analysis of the impact of the current national organic standards, photographic essays, and research on genetic imprinting in plants.
Suzanne's research includes plant physiological ecology and evolution, mechanisms of drought tolerance in plants, weed seed banks, effects of changing carbon dioxide concentrations and temperature on plant population dynamics, and the role of dietary fiber in the expression of type II diabetes. She is currently researching the role of the moon in traditional agriculture. In addition to presenting papers at national conferences, she also has given invited papers on the ethical implications of the Human Genome Project, environmental justice, and the development of sustainable agriculture curricula, At COA, Suzanne is an active member in Academic Affairs and the International Studies, and was acting Academic Dean in 1992.
Suzanne's other interests include Buddhism, gardening, modern dance, Tai Chi, writing, painting, and bicycling.
B.A. University of California, Berkeley, 1980
Ph.D. Botany, University of California, Berkeley, 1988
Suzanne holds the Elizabeth Battles Newlin Chair in Botany
Established in 1997, through the generosity of the family of Elizabeth Battles Newlin, a longtime summer resident on Mt. Desert, as a tribute to her love for growing things and in celebration of the collegeï¿½s 25th Anniversary. The Newlin Chair was the Collegeï¿½s first endowed professorship.
The global demand for food and fiber will continue to increase well into the next century. How will this food and fiber be produced? Will production be at the cost of soil loss, water contamination, pesticide poisoning, and increasing rural poverty? In this course, we examine the fundamental principles and practices of conventional and sustainable agriculture with a primary focus on crops. By examining farm case studies and current research on conventional and alternative agriculture we develop a set of economic, social, and ecological criteria for a critique of current agricultural practices in the United States and that will serve as the foundation for the development and analysis of new farming systems. Evaluations are based on two exams, class presentations, participation in a conference on potato production, and a final paper. Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: Signature of the instructor and one of the following: Biology I, Plant Biology, Ecology, or Economics. Class limit: 13. Lab fee: $40. *ES*
ES490Art and Science of Fermented Foods
This course will take an in depth look at the art and science of fermented and cultured foods. The first half of the class will focus on the microbiology of fermentation with a specific focus on products derived from milk and soybeans. Each week there will be a laboratory portion in which students will explore how the basic fermentation processes and products change with different milk and soy qualities. These small-scale experiences and experiments will be complemented with field trips to commercial enterprises in Maine and Massachusetts. In the second half of the term students will explore the differences in flat, yeast, and sourdough breads. Final projects will focus on a food way of choice and will culminate in presentations that explore the historical and cultural context in which these different cultured foods were developed and how these microbial-mediated processes enhance preservation, nutritional and economic value, and taste. Evaluations will be based on class participation, short quizzes, a lab report, journal, and a final project. Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Class limit: 12. Lab Fee: $75 (to cover use of the community kitchen, one two-day field trip to Massachusetts, to visit commercial soy product companies and supplies.) *ES*
This is the first half of a 20-week, two-term introductory course in biology, providing an overview of the discipline and prerequisite for many intermediate and advanced biology courses. The course provides an integrative view of the attributes of plants and animals, including cell biology, physiology, reproduction, genetics and evolution, growth and differentiation, anatomy, behavior, and environmental interactions. Weekly laboratory sessions or field trips augment material covered in lecture and discussion. Attendance at three lectures and one lab each week is required; course evaluation is based on quality of class participation, exams, problem sets, preparation of a lab notebook, and a written term paper. Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: College-level algebra (by course, assessment,) or Signature of instructors, chemistry helpful. Lab fee: $25. *ES*
ES066Gardens and Greenhouses:Theory/Practice of Organic Gardening
This class offers a good foundation of knowledge for a gardener to begin the process of organic gardening, as well as an understanding of what defines organic gardening. The information presented focuses on soil fertility and stewardship, the ecology of garden plants, soil and insects, and practical management of the above. The garden is presented as a system of dynamic interactions. Emphasis is given to vegetable crops and soil fertility. Laboratories include soil analysis, tree pruning, seedling establishment, weed and insect identification, garden design, covercropping, composting, and reclamation of comfrey infested area. Evaluations are based on participation in class and lab, written class work, exam, and final individual garden design. Level: Introductory. Pre-requisite: Signature of Instructor. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: $25. *ES*
HS925Global Politics of Food
HE001Human Ecology Core Course
Human Ecology is the interdisciplinary study of the relationships between humans and their natural and cultural environments. The purpose of this course is to build a community of learners that explores the question of human ecology from the perspectives of the arts, humanities and sciences, both in and outside the classroom. By the end of the course students should be familiar with how differently these three broad areas ask questions, pose solutions, and become inextricably intertwined when theoretical ideas are put into practice. In the end, we want students to be better prepared to create your own human ecology degree through a more in depth exploration of the courses offered at College of the Atlantic. We will approach this central goal through a series of directed readings and activities. Level: Introductory. Lab fee: TBA. *HE*
ES515Our Daily Bread: Following Grains Through The Food System
The aim of the course is to use wheat, oats and rye as a lens to explore how a wide range of factors including history, changing land use patterns, crop development, human nutrition, food processing, sensory evaluation, and socio-economic factors shape how grains are grown, harvested and ultimately transformed into our daily bread. This field-based course seeks to provide students with deep insights into the past and current production of grains in the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States. Extensive readings will complement the summer fieldwork at farms, mills, bakeries and research sites in Europe, and will provide students with the agronomic background necessary for a historical view of grain production and the possibility of localized grain within the current global economy. Students will lead discussions, interview farmers, write short synthetic essays, and undertake a research project designed together with the class. By the end of the course students should be able to: Evaluate the importance of wheat and other temperate grains to the feeding of human populations in past, present and future contexts; Review current and traditional methods of evaluation of food quality and grain processing (bread production in particular) and relate these to modern nutritional problems; Describe the growth cycle of wheat in general terms and relate the production cycle to current issues of sustainability including greenhouse gas emissions, carbon sequestration, energy requirements, and soil conservation; and Compare and contrast the socio-economic importance of wheat to Maine, Germany and the UK. Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: Formal application, Signature of the instructor, Introductory German highly desirable, any of the following courses: Theory and Practice of Organic Gardening, Chemistry of Cooking, The Contemporary Culture of Maine Organic Farmers, Agroecology. *ES*