Sustainable Farm Systems

Long-Term Socio-Ecological Metabolism in Western Agriculture, 1700-2000

One of the early team meetings in Spain.

This interdisciplinary research project, funded by the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council through a Partnership Grant, with matching contributions from partner universities and national science ministries in Austria and Spain, creates a formal partnership among 5 research groups in Europe, Latin America, and North America.  For a decade or more these teams have explored the environmental history of agro-ecosystems in the past, using the perspective of socio-ecological metabolism to understand how farmers managed soil nutrients, landscape processes, and energy flows to sustain communities and produce food for themselves and society.  Led by historians, the project also includes agronomists, soil scientists, landscape ecologists, economists, and demographers.  Dr. Geoff Cunfer hosts the project at the University of Saskatchewan.  The team includes over 30 faculty members plus dozens of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows at universities in Austria, Spain, Colombia, Cuba, the United States, and Canada.

Click below to view the partner institution web sites: