Chatham News

Food, Farm, and Field: Chatham University now registering students for hands-on summer sustainability course at Eden Hall Campus

PITTSBURGH (March 15, 2013) … Chatham University is now registering students for its second annual summer food and sustainability course to be held at Eden Hall Campus from July 28 through August 10. During the two-week summer program titled Food, Farm, and Field, students will gain a deeper understanding of issues relating to sustainability and the environment while living at the University’s Eden Hall Campus in Richland Township, Pa.

Students live on campus throughout the course, exploring the critical relationships among food, farm, and environment. The program blends classroom learning, group discussions, community field trips, and lab and field activities on the farm and in the kitchen. One day of the course may start with a breakfast discussion about the importance of agro-ecology as it relates to the farm and its surroundings. From there, students spend the rest of the morning learning sustainable growing methods while working in the Eden Hall Campus’ organic garden. After a lunch break, students attend lectures and discuss important literature about sustainable farming, food sheds, and more. Other days may take students off the farm as they visit a variety of local businesses where they will learn first-hand about locally sourced cheeses, foraged foods, the importance of organizing and supporting farm markets, and much more. Students will also have the opportunity to prepare locally sourced dishes and compare them to meals sourced from Wal-mart. Each day will include time for recreational activities such as swimming, hiking, yoga, and time for reflection through writing, video, and photography.

“I am truly grateful for those two weeks in Pennsylvania,” says Julia Pope, an anthropology and fine arts major at Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. “I learned so much about what we covered in the course material, but I learned far more about myself and my place in the world around me, building lasting relationships as I went. I could never replace what I was given during my time with the group, I am infinitely thankful for the direction in which the entire experience has propelled me.”

Last summer’s Food, Farm, and Field class documented the experience on a blog that can be viewed at

“Because we take an interdisciplinary approach in this program, we can provide a whole range of perspectives on the way our food moves through our environment and our communities,” says Alice Julier, director of the Master of Arts in Food Studies program at Chatham.

“The program at Chatham involves hands-on experiential training at our Eden Hall site, but also engagement with practitioners throughout Pittsburgh. This connection between the agricultural and environmental landscape and the communities where food is prepared and consumed is our innovative approach to this course.”

Instructors will include Chatham University’s renowned faculty in sustainability, food studies, film and digital media, agro-ecology, and creative writing. Local farmers, chefs, and food suppliers will also provide their perspectives as guest lecturers. Current undergraduate or graduate students in any field of study who are enrolled in accredited institutions or those who have completed an undergraduate degree at an accredited institution are encouraged to apply, as well as are those interested in agritourism or working in the food service industry.

Students will receive three academic credits at the upper division undergraduate or graduate level. The cost is $3,000 and includes all course materials, academic credits, lodging, meals, and activities. For more information, visit or call 412-365-1498 to speak with someone about the program. To register, visit to create an account. Once created, select the “Food, Farm, and Field” option and provide the necessary information. Space is limited.

Chatham is also registering for its first Food, Farm, and Field summer course for high school sophomores and juniors. For more information about high school programming at Eden Hall Campus, contact Jessica Mooney with the School of Sustainability and the Environment at 412-365-2705 or

About Chatham’s School of Sustainability and the Environment (SSE)
Chatham’s SSE currently offers a Master of Arts in Food Studies (MAFS) degree that attracts students from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds seeking experience and training in intellectual and practical skills related to all stages of the food system. The SSE also offers a Master of Sustainability degree, a two-year, full-time cohort program that focuses on identifying and finding solutions to real-world sustainability challenges and developing an academically sound, yet professionally oriented understanding of how to simultaneously improve economic development, social justice, and the biophysical environment. Additional degree and certificate programs for undergraduate and graduate students will be offered starting in 2013.

About Chatham’s Eden Hall Campus
Eden Hall, gifted to Chatham University in 2008 by the Eden Hall Foundation, integrates sustainable development, learning, and living throughout its design. Located in the township of Pine-Richland on a 388-acre site north of Chatham’s historic Shadyside Campus, Eden Hall Campus will serve more than 1,000 students in a carbon and water resources neutral, zero net energy integrated facility.

The initial stage of construction consists of the development of field labs, classrooms, a café, an amphitheater, a mosaic garden, and infrastructure development to be complete by fall 2013. A dining hall and two residence halls supporting 150 beds are scheduled for completion in 2015. Costs for these stages of the project are estimated at $40 million.

By protecting valuable watersheds, incorporating existing land and agricultural resources, and rehabilitating existing farm structures alongside developing new, green buildings, Eden Hall will be a one of kind venue for education, conferences, community outreach, and ecotourism. As the future home of our School of Sustainability and the Environment, Eden Hall will be a place of learning, research and practicing sustainable behaviors that can be replicated elsewhere to make the world a better place.

About Chatham University
Chatham University, founded in 1869, is located in the vibrant Shadyside neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pa. Preparing students from around the world, Chatham’s enrollment throughout the past decade was the fastest growing in the Pittsburgh region. With enrollment of more than 2,300 students and consisting of an undergraduate women’s college and co-educational graduate and online programs, Chatham has consistently been ranked among the top master’s level institutions in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Offering challenging academics and innovative programming in the fields of sustainability and the environment, health and lab sciences, creative and liberal arts, and business and entrepreneurship, a Chatham education is designed to meet the needs of tomorrow’s economy, today.

For more information, call 412-365-1139 or visit