Science & Nature
Garden Biology: The Science of Plant Life, Gardening, and the Environment
Unlock the secrets of nature in this awe inspiring class that unites advanced natural science, ecology, and gardening for a community of upcoming naturalists. We study botany, farming, ecosystems, and solutions to big environmental issues.
Peter Burke, BA Ecology & Agriculture
186 total reviews for this teacher
21 reviews for this class
Completed by 105 learners
Once per week
learners per class
per learner - per class
How does an "Ongoing" course work?
Meets on a weekly schedule, join any week, no need to catch up on previous material
Live video chats, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Automatic payment every Sunday, cancel any time
Great for clubs and for practicing skills
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My Garden Biology classes draw upon a range of natural sciences to inspire awe and fascination for the natural world. If your learner completes a full cycle of this class they will become an expert naturalist! This is not your average biology class. I fill in the gaps left by core biology curriculum and go into greater detail about the mysterious lives of plants. Biology was my favorite subject in high school, but the textbook curriculum left me with many unanswered questions. It wasn't until...
This course will cover: how to garden, how to grow vegetables, photosynthesis, climate change, carbon sequestration, food chain, water cycle, erosion, compost, fertilizers, desertification, hydrology, pesticides, organic farming, pollinators, pollination, botany, seed dispersal, abundance, scarcity, nectar, biology, pollen, pollination, pollinators, DNA, diversity, plant reproduction, life cycles, predatory insects, beneficial insects, orchids, types of flowers, flower families, mycology, ecosystems, mycelium, topsoil, trees, habitat, xylum, ploem, no-till farming, organic farming, mycorrhizae, mycorrhizal fungi, mycoremediation, toxic waste, superfund sites, biology, nectar, pollen, reproduction, butterflies, moths, beetles, aphids, entomology, predatory insects, beneficial insects, organic farming, pollinators, pollination, botany, how to garden, how to grow vegetables, monocultures, agriculture, pesticides, insects, bugs, farming, pest control, bio control, human health, ecosystems, extinction, endangered species, jumping spiders, dragon flies, lady bugs, parasitic wasps, hover flies, lacewings, assassin bugs, Biology, Ecology, Ecosystems, Ecosystem services, Erosion, Flooding, Food Security, Drought, Climate change, Biodiversity, Diversity, Endangered Species, Hydrology, Topsoil, Geology, Agriculture, Farming, biology, nectar, pollen, butterflies, moths, beetles, aphids, entomology, predatory insects, beneficial insects, organic farming, pollinators, pollination, botany, how to garden, how to grow vegetables, monocultures, agriculture, pesticides, insects, bugs, farming, pest control, bio control, essential oils, epidermis, Biology, Gardening, How to garden, pollinator garden, butterfly garden, solitary bees, specialist bees, pollinators, pollination, keystone species, nature's best hope, Doug Tallamy, entomology, ecology, ecosystems, biomes, tidal pools, swamps, beaver dams, carbon sequestration, watershed management, hydrology, food webs, food chains, wildlife, endangered species, topsoil,
I currently sit on the advisory committee for the Shao Shan Temple Community Garden which works with community members of all ages to create a nourishing space for mindfulness practice, community engagement, and to provide fresh local veggies for the temple programs and the local food shelf. I received my Outdoor Leadership Certificate from Hanfl Center for Outdoor Education and Environmental Study in 2019 along with an Advanced Wilderness First Aid Certificate. I had the privilege of managing the gardens at the Art Monastery, which is dedicated to cultivating personal awakening and cultural transformation through art making, spiritual practice, and reciprocity with the earth. I managed volunteers to grow local organic food using ecologically informed techniques. And I am currently planning native perennial pollinator gardens to be planted at their facilities next spring. I have been teaching English abroad for the last three years. I have a TESOL certificate to teach English as a second language. I have traveled to Thailand and India while teaching English as a second language. During my Ecology and Agriculture major at Hampshire College I volunteered with Help Yourself Northampton to plant Public Access Food Forests in public spaces around the city. This involved working with the local government to approve such plantings and educating the general public about the importance of food security, food access, and the ecological benefits of diverse gardens as apposed to lawns. I had the privilege of working alongside youth volunteers, talking with them about ecology and gardening as we planted an edible garden next to a bike path in the center of town. I got to work side by side with young people from my community and understand their relationship to food and nature. I had the privilege of volunteering for Fresh New London; their mission is empowering youth, connecting community and growing food to dismantle systemic oppression and build food sovereignty. Again I had the amazing opportunity to work alongside high school students in the area to talk about gardening and the environment, but also to understand the local community and the needs of a diverse population. We worked to grow culturally relevant food options like Ahi Dulce, a popular sweet pepper from Latin America. I have also had the opportunity to volunteer at Nuestras Raices, a grassroots urban agriculture organization based in Holyoke, MA. Their mission is to create healthy environments, celebrate “agri-culture,” harness collective energy, and to advance a vision of a just and sustainable future. We worked together with the understanding that cultivating youth leadership can powerfully influence policy and systems change. I also had the wonderful opportunity to assist with a nature based after school program at Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School which used nature games and nature based arts and crafts to teach K-4th grade students about basic ecological principles and basic outdoors skills. We ran activities such as identifying the signs of spring, looking at animal tracks, and building simple shelters to let kids connect with nature, get out of the classroom, and develop useful outdoors skills. During my six month apprenticeship at Green Gulch Farm and Zen Center in San Francisco, CA I had the opportunity to meet with local high school students to talk with them about mindfulness, meditation, and organic farming during community outreach programs at the farm. During my time at Hampshire College I worked with the organization Real Food Challenge which is dedicated to mobilizing young people to redefine real food and build a food system that benefits everyone. I worked with youth leaders from around the country to advocate for more ethically and sustainably sourced foods to be served in dining halls in schools around the country. I was one of the original members of the Pioneer Valley Workers Center Farmworker Organizing Committee. They are pursuing a future in which workers, immigrants, and all people of color, revolutionize the way that we feed and sustain themselves. My role included organizing childcare and education for the farmworker meetings so that the parents could meet and discuss strategies to improve working conditions at local farms. I was lucky to present at the 2017 Northeast Organic Farmers Association about soil grown sprouts and the environmental benefits of growing fresh greens at home rather than buying them from farms across the country. I have had the privilege of taking a permaculture design course with Eric Toensmeier, the award-winning author of Edible Forest Gardens and Carbon Farming, and an appointed lecturer at Yale University, and international lecturer. I studied ecosystem mimicry in food production and we discussed innovative techniques to grow food, sequester carbon, and sustain wildlife.
This class will include occasional, optional, simple homework assignments that can be used to fuel classroom discussion. For example: one assignment could be to look for some insects in your backyard or local park, take a picture and share it with the class. Or another could be to conduct an at-home science experiment like the soil jar test - put a handful of dirt in a jar with water, shake, and allow it to settle than observe the layers. However, classes will not depend on students completing assignments. They are optional and will only be used for classroom discussion.
50 minutes per week in class, and maybe some time outside of class.
Peter Burke, BA Ecology & Agriculture
Let's Learn from Nature Together | BA Ecology & Agriculture
🇺🇸Lives in the United States
186 total reviews
217 completed classes
Biology was my favorite subject in high school, but the textbook curriculum left me with many unanswered questions about the natural world. My specialty is teaching advanced natural sciences using metaphor and an interactive teaching style that...