The Urban Agroecology Certificate of Achievement trains students in the skills and practices of urban agriculture, focusing on ecologically restorative food production, project planning, and small-scale enterprise development.

Graduates of the program will be prepared for entry-level employment in the local urban agriculture industry or non-profit organizations.

Students in the Urban Agroecology program:

  • Learn the principles of sustainable farming and food systems in the urban environment.
  • Plan and design home, school, and community gardens and farms.
  • Find out about food production, food access in under-served communities, and the public health implications of food distribution.
  • Get hands-on training to work for the following: Small-scale farm enterprises, non-profit organizations
    relating to food and public health, and food policy organizations.

Summer 2021: Introduction to the Bay Area Farmer-to-Farmer Training

Overview: This 6-week intensive with Merritt College is led by Agroecology Commons’ Farmer-to-Farmer Educators Circle, a network of farmers and community educators with diverse expertise in land stewardship, small farm production, food sovereignty, and social movements. The network includes: Will Scott, Scott Family Farms in Fresno, CA; Aaron Dinwoodie, Feral Heart Farms in Sunol, CA; Caiti Hachmyer, Red H Farms in Sebastapol, CA; and Kristyn Leach, Namu Farms in Winters, CA.

Course details: The course runs from June 16th to August 1st and will be held on Wednesdays online from 6-8:30 pm and Saturdays outdoors in-person from 9 am-4 pm on different farm sites. Course scholarships, transportation stipends, and Spanish translation support are available for those who need it. Course suggested donation $50-300 with course scholarship stipends up to $400 for underserved and systemically oppressed beginning farmers.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Contribute to the development of locally-owned enterprises based in the production, processing,
    distribution, and sale of fresh foods.
  • Develop and implement groundbreaking techniques for carrying out sustainable agriculture in conjunction
    with ecosystem restoration.
  • Serve as educators in their own communities, inspiring and enabling others to contribute to our cities’
    health and sustainability through personal choices.
  • Increase social equity by increasing employment, management, and ownership opportunities for the East
    Bay’s most economically vulnerable residents.

Certificate Curriculum

Required Courses

17 units required; number of units in parentheses

  • ENVMT 001 Environmental Careers (1)
  • ENVMT 002 Introduction to Sustainable Environmental Systems (4)
  • ENVMT 003 Social Issues in Agriculture (3)
  • ENVMT 005 Bay Area Food Culture (3)
  • ENVMT 035 Introduction to Urban Agroecology (3)
  • ENVMT 012 or AFRAM 38 Environmental Racism and Justice (3)

Major Electives

Select any combination of courses for a minimum of five (5) units from the following:

  • ENVMT 016 Introduction to Healthy Community Systems (3)
  • LANHT 028A Permaculture Design I (3)
  • LANHT 045A Mushroom Cultivation I (2)
  • LANHT 076 Edible Landscaping (3)
  • LANHT 077 Crop Production, Marketing and Sales (1.5)
  • NUTR 031 Food-Production Systems (3)

Interdisciplinary Electives

Select any combination of courses for a minimum of two (2) units from the following:

  • BIOL 005 Botany (4)
  • BIOL 015 Environmental Biology (3)
  • BIOL 029 Introduction to Biodiversity (4)
  • BIOL 061H Natural History of the Bay Area: Butterflies and Moths (2)
  • COPED 476F Occupational Work Experience in Environmental Management and Technology (3)
  • ENVMT 008 Introduction to Outdoor Education (3)
  • ENVMT 014 Environmental Impact Reports (2)
  • ENVMT 39C Introduction to GIS (4)
  • ENVMT 044 Introduction to Creek and Watershed Restoration: General Aspects (3)
  • ENVMT 055 Principles of Conservation and Land Management (3)
  • ENVMT 056 Management of Public Parks and Natural Resources (3)
  • ENVMT 057 Park Operations Practices and Skills (4)
  • GEOG 001 Physical Geography (3)
  • GEOL 021 Bay Area Field Studies (1)
  • LANHT 002 Plant Materials: Tree ID and Culture with Lab (Day) (3)
  • LANHT 002E Plant Materials: Tree ID and Culture (Evening) (3)
  • LANHT 005A Plant Materials: Fall Native Plant ID and Culture with Lab (Day) (3)
  • LANHT 005B Plant Materials: Spring Native Plant ID and Culture with Lab (Day) (3)
  • LANHT 005EA Plant Materials: Fall Native Plant ID and Culture (Evening) (3)
  • LANHT 005EB Plant Materials: Spring Native Plant ID and Culture (Evening) (3)
  • LANHT 010 Insect Pests (3)
  • LANHT 016 Soil Management (3)
  • LANHT 023 Plant Terminology (2.5)
  • LANHT 045A Mushroom Cultivation I (2)
  • LANHT 050 Plant Taxonomy (3)
  • LANHT 081 Arborist Equipment Fundamentals (2)
  • NATAM 076E California Indian Ecology on the Central Coast (1.5)

Total units required for Certificate: 24

Model Curriculum

The following table provides a suggested sequence of courses through which a student could earn the Certificate within 2 years:

Semester 1 (Fall Year 1)

Major Elective3
Total Semester Units7
Total Units Completed To Date7

Semester 2 (Spring Year 1)

Total Semester Units8
Total Units Completed To Date15

Semester 3 (Fall Year 2)

Interdisciplinary Elective2
Total Semester Units5
Total Units Completed To Date20

Semester 4 (Spring Year 2)

Major Elective2
Total Semester Units5
Total Units Completed To Date25

Get in touch!

For questions on the Certificate of Achievement in Urban Agroecology, contact co-coordinators Yaël Ehrenberg at or Paul Rogé at For questions on the Natural History and Sustainability Program, contact the NHS Director Brad Balukjian at