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Summer program in Costa Rica stresses sustainable agriculture

May 17, 2013 — Students from the University of Delaware interested in sustainable development and agriculture are encouraged to apply for the second session of the Consortium for Sustainability beginning June 23 at Costa Rica’s EARTH University.

The event involves a consortium of universities including the University of Florida, Michigan State University and Penn State University, among others, that will send faculty and students to study in Costa Rica for two four-week sessions. Mark Rieger, dean of UD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, spearheaded the consortium when he served as associate dean and professor in the University of Florida’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

“I saw a couple of friends from Michigan State and Penn State when I went down to EARTH University in 2007 for a global conference on higher education in agriculture,” explained Rieger.

Finding similarities and overlapping areas of research between the students and professors at the different institutions, Rieger asked, “‘Why don’t we think about a consortium of universities that would all contribute to one program? Then we could still have our semi-autonomous goals, things that we want to accomplish in our own universities, but we could also collaborate and share because we’re doing the same things.’”
The consortium was created soon afterward and Rieger said that he couldn’t think of a better place for it to happen than at EARTH University.