Teachings and Professors

There will be 288 hours of lessons in the classroom, divided between 7 different teachings. Most of the teachings are divided in modules.
Teachings Modules Hours of lesson
History of rural landscape Landscape history 18
Environmental history 18
Rural development economic assessment of rural landscapes 18
integrated valorization of biocultural resources 18
Traditional knowledge Soil and water conservation: traditional and sustainable techniques 18
Traditional building materials 18
Laboratory 1 – Planning and Management landscape projects and planning 18
planning and management of rural areas 18
mapping of agroforestry systems 36
Laboratory 2 – Agricultural heritage traditional knowledge and sustainable innovation 18
cultural ecology 18
Food cultures traditional food 18
genetic diversity and traditional food 18
Agrobiodiversity agroecology 36
Total hours of lesson 288
Teaching History of rural landscape
Module Landscape history
Professor Mauro Agnoletti – University of Florence – mauro.agnoletti@unifi.it
Hours of lessons 18
Course program

The concept of time and space. Methods and approaches in landscape history. The case of Italy from roman to medieval times. Timber production and forest changes, case studies from the Alpine area. Historical food production and landscape. Afforestation and watershed management on mountain areas. Nature conservation and socio economic changes.  The transformation of the landscape mosaic: case studies. The Italian National register of Historic Landscapes.  Landscape  and dry stone terraces: case studies.

Reading Material: Agnoletti M., 2013, Italian Historical Rural Landscapes, Cultural Values for the Environment and Rural Development, Springer Verlag / Agnoletti M., 2005, Landscape changes, biodiversity and hydrogeological risk in the area of  Cardoso between 1832 and 2002 (Regional Park of the Apuane Alps), Regione Toscana, Firenze. / Agnoletti M., 2000, Introduction: the development of forest history research, in Agnoletti & Anderson (EDS), Methods and approaches in forest history, CAB International, Wallingford and New York. 1-20.

Teaching will be based on a mixture of lectures, student discussions, student debates and other activities. In addition, you will be asked to prepare and conduct a 10 min. research presentation for the class. The topic will be discussed with the instructor in advance.

Teaching History of rural landscape
Module Environmental history
Professor Elizabeth Johann – Coordinator of IUFRO Research Group 9.02.03 Forest and Culture; Austrian Forest Association /Group of Experts Forest History (Leader); Association of Forest Pedagogics in Austria (Vice-President) –  elisabet.johann@aon.at
Hours of lessons 18
Course program

Aim: The representation of history is more than the sum of information accumulated in the past and presented. By becoming acquainted with historical (social) manner and behaviour of human beings towards nature and analysing it, conclusions can be drawn relating to the diversity of interactions between men and environment.  By these means the question can be answered what kind of relationship between men and nature is able to meet the various human needs concerning the sustainable use.

Topics: The course will emphasize on the historical processes which led to the rich diversity with regard to the landscape as well as management practises and the transfer of traditional knowledge between generations.  The lessons are not only confined to demonstrating historical developments, but intend also to contribute to a better knowledge related to the interrelationship between men and environment in the course of time. Thus, conservation strategies with regard to the safeguarding of biodiversity will be addressed by case studies. The course also aims to promote activities related to the safeguarding of the heritage and enhance benefits through dynamic conservation and ecosystem services.

 

 
Teaching Rural Development
Module Economic assessment of rural landscapes
Professor Tiziano Tempesta – University of Padua – tiziano.tempesta@unipd.it
Hours of lessons 18
Course program

Many researches in the last decades highlighted that landscape quality affects people’s wellbeing. It has been seen that the quality of the landscape interacts with numerous physiological parameters of an individual and that more pleasant landscapes tend to improve overall personal health. Many human activities are directly influenced by the landscape preferences. In the case of tourism and recreational activities, landscape can be considered one of the most important pull factors. The quality of landscape is also able to influence the real estate market and in some cases the market of food products. From an economic point of view, the rural landscape has three important features: a) it is a pure public good; b) it is an externality (positive or negative) of farming and other economic activities that exploit and modify the territory; c) it is a merit good. For this kind of good, the spontaneous activities of economic agents lead to an inefficient land use arrangement. Only the government intervention can correct these market failures. To efficiently implement landscape policies it is necessary to evaluate the benefits from public intervention. The aim of the course is to present the main landscape valuation approaches that can classified as follows: a) Non-monetary (based on expert judgement or on the judgement of the population) b) Monetary (supply based and demand based). Moreover some methodological approaches useful to analyse the relationship between tourist demand, food demand and landscape features will be presented.

 

 
Teaching Rural Development
Module Integrated valorization of biocultural resources
Professor Silvia Scaramuzzi – University of Florence – silvia.scaramuzzi@unifi.it
Hours of lessons 18
Course program

Objectives: Acquiring the foundations for an economic, environmental and socially sustainable valorization of a GIAHS site.

This module will be based on the analysis and evaluation of the background and the identity of a GIAHS, in order to define the vision for its most competitive and sustainable future development. Students will become confident in using tools for: a) analyzing historical, cultural, environmental resources of the territory and its stakeholders; b) developing a strategic local thinking in order to integrate the resources; c) preparing a valorisation plan for the GIAHS.

Knowledge of frameworks and tools of analysis, valorisation and management of biocultural resources will be acquired in this module.

Synthetic Program:

1. Territorial Capital: concept; identification of biocultural resources: the importance of participatory methodologies; governance and sustainability

2. The role of typical products: concept; protection tools; valorization strategies

3. Rural tourism for a sustainable valorization of biocultural resources: dynamics; experiential tourism; case studies from Italian and international projects

4. The role of a territorial enhancer: role, competencies, training opportunities

Teaching methods: Class sessions will feature lectures, seminars, case study analysis, group discussion. Online resources such as presentations and readings will be available.

Readings: Berti G. (2011), Weaving the Rural Web: The dynamics of rural development in Lunigiana, Laboratorio di Studi Rurali Sismondi, ISSN 2039-2532 https://sismondi.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/qs12_rural_web_lunigiana_berti.pdf

Vandecandelaere et alii (2009), Linking people, places and products, FAO/SINERGI Rome www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/olq/documents/guide/guide.pdf

 
Teaching Traditional knowledge
Module Soil and water conservation: traditional and sustainable techniques
Professors

Elena Bresci – University of Florence – elena.bresci@unifi.it

Federico Preti – University of Florence – federico.preti@unifi.it

Hours of lessons 18
Course program

The course is organized with lectures and plenary discussions on topics related to soil and water conservation interventions.

Objectives: The course aims to provide the students with fundamental concepts about physical erosion processes affecting hillslopes and the management of the drainage network of watersheds, and the techniques for soil conservation and the management of soil moisture. The course will include the basic concepts of water harvesting, considering also local traditional technologies, aimed to support water conservation and food security in rural areas.

Extended program: Application of bioengineering techniques for watershed management. Soil slope stabilization and erosion control by means of traditional and innovative soil and water bioengineering solutions. Control of hydrogeological risk in terraced slopes. Introduction to water harvesting and water conservation in arid areas. Concepts and examples of traditional and innovative soil and water conservation systems and sustainable land management approaches.

Reference texts: Donald H. Gray, Robbin B. Sotir: Biotechnical and Soil Bioengineering slope stabilization: a practical guide for control, 1996, John Wiley and sons inc.; FAO, Water harvesting (AGL/MISC/17/91), 1991; WOCAT, 2017,  ‘where the land is greener – case studies and analysis of soil and water conservation initiatives worldwide’ https://www.wocat.net/library/media/27/

Exam: Written examination on the topics addressed during classes.

Teaching Traditional knowledge
Module Traditional building materials
Professor Leonardo Conti – University of Florence – leonardo.conti@unifi.it
Hours of lessons 18
Course program

The specific objectives consist of providing students with a basic knowledge (theory and practical) on traditional building materials (stone, straw, raw earth, ecc.). At the end of the course, students will be able to identify places of particular interest where to transfer their knowledge on construction techniques with traditional building materials.

Minimum knowledges required concern sustainable building materials, in order to understand the effective potentialities of traditional materials such as natural stone, straw and raw earth.

Students will be able to refine their knowledge on the use of traditional buildings materials. They may suggest to use sustainable building materials both according to traditional techniques and also by applying them through contemporary construction techniques.

The course will offer the participants the possibility to understand the most important features of traditional building materials. The course, step by step, will analyse the technical properties and construction methods of each material. Particular attention will be dedicated to stone, bale and raw earth.

A particular focus will be made on the use of natural stone in terraced systems. In this case, the main technical construction parameters of the dry stone walls will be analysed. This analysis will allow to evaluate the state of conservation of dry stone walls in order to suggest operation for safeguarding and protection. The students will develop skills on the study of the agricultural terraced systems by participating in technical visits in some study areas of Tuscany Region.

The following phase about the study of straw and raw earth will allow to understand the use of them such as building materials. Both materials will be characterized in terms of mechanical and physical properties and will also illustrate the main construction methods. The students will visit a case study in Tuscany based on the use of natural materials with low environmental and economic impact.

Lectures: 12 h. Laboratory/practice: 6 h

 

Teaching

Teaching

Laboratory 1 – Planning and Management
Module Landscape projects and planning
Professors

Tessa Matteini – University of Florence – tessa.matteini@unifi.it

David Fanfani – University of Florence –david.fanfani@unifi.it

Hours of lessons 18
Course program

Teaching goals: The course is aimed to provide cultural and operational tools and methods to analyse, decipher and design landscapes, according with a complex and cross disciplinary approach. More specifically, the course highlights the value of long-lasting territorial structures (referring both to cultural and agro-eco systemic aspects) as key reference for the regeneration of cultural landscapes, adopting a strategic and integrated point of view. Moreover the course proposes a range of case studies on active/inventive conservation of layered landscapes.

Teaching methods and course contents: Starting from this premises, the course draws on two complementary teaching activities. In detail:

1. Frontal teachingwill provide: Theory and methodology for the co-evolutionary framing  of landscapes and of their long-lasting structures.

2. Practical planning and design activitiesaimed to cultural landscapes enhancement  through different intervention scales.

Such practical issues of landscape analysis and project exploration will be referred to a specific landscape study case and also developed through field visits and discussion among teachers and students.

Teaching Laboratory 1 – Planning and Management
Module Planning and management of rural areas
Professors

Gherardo Chirici – University of Florence – gherardo.chirici@unifi.it

Mauro Agnoletti – University of Florence – mauro.agnoletti@unifi.it

 

Hours of lessons 18
Course program

The first part of the course will be focused on:  activity of United Nations on the environment and the effects on planning and management of the rural territory. Conservation of world heritage sites (UNESCO) and FAO sites of the world rural heritage (GIAHS). European Landscape Convention. Joint program on biocultural diversity of CBD and UNESCO.  EU directives on nature conservation and rural development. Activities of Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forest in Europe on cultural values. Planning in Italy: the case of Tuscany. Agricultural heritage systems in Rural Development Plans: strategies and actions. Landscape observatories: the national observatory for rural landscape. Landscape impact assessment in rural areas: the case of wind towers.

Reading material: Agnoletti M., Ed., The Conservation of Cultural Landscapes, CAB International, New York; / Agnoletti., M., 2009, Euroepan agricultural policies and landscape: effects, strategies and perspectives, in: Landscape in planning polices and governance: towards integrated spatial management, Proceedings of the seventh meeting  of the workshops of the Council of Europe for the implementation of the European Landscape Convention, Piestany Slovak Republic, 24-25- April, 2008, Strasbourg, Council of Europe Publishing, 41-60; / Agnoletti M., 2005, Landscape changes, biodiversity and hydrogeological risk in the area of  Cardoso between 1832 and 2002 (Regional Park of the Apuane Alps), Regione Toscana, Tipografia Regionale, Firenze; / Agnoletti M., 2006, Traditional Knowledge and the European Common Agricultural Policy (CAP): the case of the Italian National Rural Development Plan 2007-2013. In:  Agnoletti M., Parrotta J., Johann E., 2006, editors, Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Forest Management: the role of traditional knowledge, IUFRO -MCPFE, Warsaw, vol 1. 19-27; / Agnoletti M., 2014, Rural landscape, nature conservation and culture: Some notes on research trends and management approaches from a (southern)European perspective, Landscape and Urban Planning.  126 (2014) 66-73.

Teaching will be based on a mixture of lectures, student discussions, student debates and other activities. In addition, you will be asked to prepare and conduct a 10 min. research presentation for the class. The topic will be discussed with the instructor in advance.

The second part of the course is organized to introduce basic knowledge of forestry, silviculture and forest management: consistency and characteristics of forest resources at global level, mainly on the basis of the results of the FAO Global Forest Resource Assessment; overview of the importance of forest resources in terms of ecosystem services production will be also outlined; main silviculture models applied to the different forest types for even aged and uneven aged forest; concepts of sustainable forest management and wood production; monitoring and inventorying systems for the acquisition of information useful to support forest management approaches; production of data on the basis of sampling designs systems and mapping approaches on the basis of remotely sensed imagery.

Teaching Laboratory 1 – Planning and Management
Module Mapping of agroforestry systems
Professors

Mauro Agnoletti – University of Florence – mauro.agnoletti@unifi.it

Antonio Santoro – University of Florence – antonio.santoro@unifi.it

Martina Venturi – University of Florence – martina.venturi@unifi.it

Luca Ongaro – Freelance GIS expert – luca@ongaro.info

 

Hours of lessons 36
Course program

The aim of the course is to provide students with the basic tools for working with GIS software and for creating maps of rural landscapes useful for GIAHS proposals. The course is divided in four parts:

·       What is a GIS

·       How does it work

·       Where to find the data and how to use them

·       What are and how to create the maps for a GIAHS proposal

The course is based both on lessons and on practical activities. During the course the students will learn the basis of cartography and topography, how to use a GIS software and how to work with different types of data (raster and vector). The course is based on the free GIS software QGIS. They will learn how to map rural areas with the specific aim of highlighting and monitoring the features of agricultural heritage systems. At the end of the course they will be able to produce maps that are required/useful for GIAHS proposals.

For the final exam they will be asked to create a heritage map of a traditional landscape of their country, that could also represent an useful step for the final thesis.

 
Teaching Laboratory 2 – Agricultural heritage
Module Traditional knowledge and sustainable innovation
Professor Marco Fioravanti – University of Florence – marco.fioravanti@unifi.it
Hours of lessons 18
Course program

Traditional Knowledge (TK) consists of practical (instrumental) and normative knowledge concerning the ecological, socio-economic and cultural environment. As a dynamic expression of perceiving and understanding the world, it can give, and historically has given, a valuable contribution to science and technology, and more in general to the development of Human civilization.

This module aims to show how TKs systems can be used as a strategic tool for supporting the sustainable development of the territory.

After a short introduction about TKs Systems and their main characteristic features, examples will be given about TKs in the Agro-forestry chains. Particular attention will be paid to the pedagogical aspect of the “knowledge potential” and on its implication to personal and collective identity. The strategy of transition from Product design to System product design will be also introduced, applying the “community map” approach for establishing socio-cultural and economical priorities for community development, mainly oriented to increase the resilience in the development of local communities.

The module will be organized in frontal lectures, sites visits and practical activities.

 
Teaching Laboratory 2 – Agricultural heritage
Module Cultural ecology
Professor Giovanni Kezich – Trentino Folklife Museum, Director – g.kezich@museosanmichele.it
Hours of lessons 18
Course program On the basis of a preliminary survey of the theoretical bases of the school of “cultural ecology” within anthropology, the course will focus on the culture-specific determinants of the anthropized environment, as they can be observed when different cultures are find to operate at close quarters. In that, specific reference will be made to fieldwork in the Alps carried out by American anthropologists John W. Cole and Eric R. Wolf in their seminal work “The Hidden Frontier” (1974). From Cole & Wolf’s predictions, which can be taken still today as a useful counterpart to environmental determinism, we shall linger on to the Alpine environment with a specific reference to the area of Trentino in the Italian Alps, elucidating a number of cases of human adaptation as against adverse and contrasting environmental circumstances. Within the picture, cases of dramatic change in the adaptive strategies will be also taken into account within the general scope of a complex systematic picture of the man-to-environment relation. Specific reference will also be made throughout at the specific methodology of ethnographic research as to the elicitation and understanding of the above mentioned set of relations.
 
Teaching Food cultures
Module Traditional food
Professors

Erminio Monteleone – University of Florence – erminio.monteleone@unifi.it

Bruno Zanoni – University of Florence – bruno.zanoni@unifi.it

Caterina Dinnella – University of Florence – caterina.dinnella@unifi.it

Hours of lessons 18
Course program

Compositional analysis of food: Moisture and Water activity; Crude fat analysis; Carbohydrate analysis; Protein analysis. Markers of genuine milk and cheese composition, milk thermal treatments by means of enzyme indicators (alkaline phosphatase and lactoperoxidase). Maillard reaction. Vegetable oil composition: triglycerides, fatty acids, minor polar fraction. Chemical physical characteristics of natural fatty acids: determination of fatty acid in 2-monoglicerides. Assessment of conformity to botanical origin. UV-VIS assay. Markers of virgin olive oil Markers of oxidation.

Food Technology: definitions, synoptic table of processes and unit operations in the food industry. Food Quality: ISO standard definition, customer expectations, food product specifications and quality profile. Food process analysis: conceptual steps, application to extra virgin olive oil case study.

The Sensory Evaluation Laboratory–environment. The subjects: recruitment, selection and training; Scaling procedures. Sensory test classification. Difference tests:  paired difference test, triangular test, duo-trio, ranking test. Descriptive methods: Descriptive Analysis, CATA, Similarity methods: Sorting and Projective mapping.  Hedonic tests: acceptability and preference tests.

Exam modality: The exam verifies the acquisition of the knowledges needed to correctly design and conduct analytic method, sensory test and food process analysis. Specifically, the students are required to: (i) correctly describe the main markers of food characteristics mainly in relation to regulation; (ii) correctly describe the classification of sensory tests; (iii) correctly describe the classification of food products-food processing-raw materials. The acquired skills are tested by: (i) verifying the capability of correctly selecting an analytical method or a sensory test in relation to a specific task, the capability of correctly of designing the most common sensory tests; (ii) verifying quality profile, flow sheet, plant/equipment and quality control of extra virgin olive oil processing.

 
Teaching Food cultures
Module Genetic diversity and traditional food
Professor Stefano Benedettelli – University of Florence – stefano.benedettelli@unifi.it
Hours of lessons 18
Course program

·       Population genetics: Hardy and Weinberg equilibrium; population biodiversity evolutionary forces: migration, mutations, selection and derived genetics.

·       Importance of the evaluation of local genetic resources, plant breeding and local farmer participation in genetic improvement. Selection and choice of seeds. Breeding for resistance to abiotic stress. Breeding for quantitative variables: breeding for nutritional quality traits. The case of wheat. Participatory plant breeding.

·       Methods and equipment for the cleaning and preparation of seeds.

Reference texts: Falconer D.S., Mackey T.F.C. Introduction to quantitative genetics. – Ceccarelli S., Guimarães E.P., Weltzien E. Plant Breeding and farmer participation.

 
Teaching Agroecology
Professor Enric Tello – University of Barcelona – tello@ub.edu
Hours of lessons 36
Course program

After presenting some basic notions of the Agroecology discipline, the module will introduce the socio-metabolic approach, and will explain how to use it to analyse and evaluate the agroecosystem performance at landscape level. The lessons will be focused on the approach of the FAO Agroecology Knowledge Hub and the 2018 FAO initiative. According to this diagnosis, shared with different global networks like Slow Food, IFOAM, Via Campesina, iPES FOOD and others, the main pending task worldwide is to search for feasible ways to start scaling up best farm organic managements to innovative agro-ecological territories. This task requires novel analytical tools, models and indicators to inform deliberative process of community-based projects engaged in discovering ways of closing the material and energy flows based on site-specific knowledges, and agroecology landscapes, which help empower both farmers and consumers in each territory.

The module will debate the usefulness of different analytical tools to provide a multi-criterial set of indicators relating the biophysical performance of agroecosystems with the biodiversity allocated aboveground and belowground the agro-ecological landscapes, that play a key role in driving the ongoing global change of which vital ecosystem services depend on, always enhancing social cohesion and equity in the farming communities and societies involved.

The analytical tools  examined will be the circular bio-economic approach to energy analyses of farm systems – such as multi-EROI accounting; NPK, Organic Matter and Water balances; the Intermediate Disturbance-Complexity (IDC) analyses and the Energy-Landscape Integrated Analyses (ELIA); and the Socio-Ecological Reproductive Analyses (SERA) of social and gender inequalities in farm communities and the society at large.