Charles F Jackels
B CUSP 116
Addresses an important social issue through an interdisciplinary perspective; builds creative and critical skills of writing, analysis, and quantitative reasoning; and explores, through scientific methods, one aspect of the natural world. Offered: W.
This class explores several aspects of coffee, a crop critical to the economy of much of the tropical world and a beverage equally critical to the lifestyle of the developed, northern world. This interdependence is reflected in the fact that coffee is the number 2 traded commodity in the world, behind petroleum. An overview of the history and economic importance of coffee will accompany more detailed discussions of: the biological/chemical aspects of the growing and processing of coffee; the ecological considerations of organic/Fair Trade/sustainable coffee production; and the health implications of coffee consumption. A connecting theme will be the examination of how the scientific method is used to address this wide range of important and interesting questions. A field trip to a small-scale coffee roasting company will provide a first-hand opportunity to learn about the opportunities and challenges provided by the specialty coffee market.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Lectures, Class discussion, small group activities, and student presentations.
This course is designed as a Natural World general education course for a wide range of students. It is expected that the students in this course will have the usual high-school background in the natural sciences and bring to the course a curiosity to learn about a beverage that is particularly significant in the Seattle area.
Class assignments and grading
Reading in texts and scholarly articles. Research paper and several other writing assignments. Homework problem assignments.
Class participation and presentations, homework grades, evaluation of written and research assignments, small group participation, and examinations in class.