OER in Agriculture

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After performing a lay-of-the-land research of open educational resources (OER) in the area of agriculture, we have compiled an initial landscape of materials that are available online and/or openly licensed. The materials have been divided into three categories: courses, reusable learning objects (RLO), and resources.

Courses: Materials are considered courses if they can be taught for the length of a term. Course materials usually include a syllabus or course outline, reading list, assignments, lecture materials, and assessments.

Reusable Learning Objects: Materials are considered RLOs if they are stand alone learning modules but not full courses. Many RLOs are in the form of online self-paced learning experiences focusing on a single topic that could be components or enhancements to courses.

Resources: Supplementary materials are considered resources. These types of materials include publications, case studies, animations, videos, and examples. Because it would be unmanageable to list each resource, we have grouped them by organization and then by topic. Therefore, one listing could include 20 or more resources.


Johns Hopkins School of Public Health OCW

  • Environmental Health
    • Description: Examines health issues, scientific understanding of causes, and possible future approaches to control of the major environmental health problems in industrialized and developing countries.
    • License: CC Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Generic
  • Food Production, Public Health, and the Environment
    • Description: This course provides an understanding of the complex and challenging public health issue of food security and in a world where one billion people are under-nourished while another billion are overweight.
    • License: CC Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Generic


  • Advanced Soil Mechanics
    • Description: This class presents the application of principles of soil mechanics.
    • License: CC Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States
  • Designing and Leading the Entrepreneurial Organization
    • Description: This subject is about building, running, and growing an organization.
    • License: CC Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States
  • Developmental Entrepreneurship
    • Description: This class surveys developmental entrepreneurship via case examples of both successful and failed businesses and generally grapples with deploying and diffusing products and services through entrepreneurial action.
    • License: CC Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States
  • Ecology II: Engineering for Sustainability
    • Description: This course covers the use of ecological and thermodynamic principles to examine interactions between humans and the natural environment.
    • License: CC Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States
  • Development Economics: Microeconomic Issues and Policy Models
    • Description: Topics include: Agricultural issues: peasant behavior, land tenancy, and interlinked markets. Credit and insurance market problems and institutions. Health, nutrition, and productivity. Gender bias. Education. Technological change. Government failures.
    • License: CC Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States
  • Early Stage Capital
    • Description: Prepares entrepreneurs to optimize the use of outside advisors and to negotiate effective long-term relationships with sources of funding, including venture capital.
    • License: CC Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States
  • Entrepreneurial Finance
    • Description: This course clarifies key marketing concepts, methods, and strategic issues relevant for start-up and early-stage entrepreneurs.
    • License: CC Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States
  • Entrepreneurial Marketing
    • Description: This course clarifies key marketing concepts, methods, and strategic issues relevant for start-up and early-stage entrepreneurs.
    • License: CC Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States
  • Environmental Microbiology
    • Description: This class provides a general introduction to the diverse roles of microorganisms in natural and artificial environments.
    • License: CC Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States
  • Global Entrepreneurship Lab
    • Description: Entrepreneurship in the 21st century is evolving. Because of global changes in technology, communications, and capital markets, today's innovative startups are building successful companies in countries around the globe, in many instances with investors, vendors, customers, and employees located thousands of miles away.
    • License: CC Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States
  • Groundwater Hydrology
    • Description: This course covers fundamentals of subsurface flow and transport, emphasizing the role of groundwater in the hydrologic cycle, the relation of groundwater flow to geologic structure, and the management of contaminated groundwater.
    • License: CC Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States
  • Law for the Entrepreneur and Manager
    • Description: This course provides a basic understanding of legal issues that corporations face during their existence.
    • License: CC Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States
  • Soil Behavior
    • Description: This class presents a detailed study of soil properties with emphasis on interpretation of field and laboratory test data and their use in soft-ground construction engineering.
    • License: CC Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States

Tufts OCW

  • Agricultural Science and Policy 2 (Nutr 241B)
    • Description: This course, semester two of a year long course, highlights the relevance of natural resource conservation for ensuring healthy agricultural, food and environmental systems, as well as the various approaches for implementing it.
    • License: CC License 3.0

University of North Carolina

  • Principles of Soil Science (SSC–012)
    • Description: The objectives of this course are: 1) Know the basic terms used for the description, study, and management of soils. 2) Understand soil chemical and physical properties and processes important to agriculture and nonagricultural soil uses. 3) Develop skills in determining soil properties and interpreting soils information necessary for the productive use of soils. 4) Understand the role of soils and soil management in maintaining and improving environmental quality.
    • License: OpenContent and OpenPublication License

Utah State University OCW

  • Irrigation & Conveyance Control Systems (BIE6300)
    • Description: This is a course regarding measurement of flow rates and water levels.
    • License: CC License 2.5
  • Sprinkle & Trickle Irrigation (BIE6110)
    • Description: This is a course regarding technical design and evaluation of pressurized agricultural irrigation systems, including system layout, pipe sizing, water applicator selection, pumping system hydraulics, water filtration requirements, and water application uniformity and efficiency.
    • License: CC License 2.5
  • Surface Irrigation Design
    • Description: This course highlights design and evaluation of surface irrigation systems, field measurements for evaluating and improving uniformity and efficiency, simulation of surface systems, and land leveling computation and equipment.
    • License: CC License 2.5

UC Berkeley

UC Davis

  • Design, Analysis, and Interpretation of Experiments
    • Description: To introduce graduate students in the agricultural and environmental sciences to the research process and the statistical methods necessary to plan, conduct, and interpret effective experiments.
    • License: Unknown

UC Santa Cruz

  • Exploring Sustainability in Agriculture: An Online Sustainable Agriculture Instructional Resource
    • Description: This course introduces the topic of natural resource sustainability in agriculture. The course is designed for use both in the classroom and on college farms, and integrates the study of theoretical aspects of agricultural sustainability with both field-based laboratory exercises and hands-on learning of sustainable agriculture practices.
    • License: © 2005 Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems, University of California, Santa Cruz

University of Kentucky

  • Food and the Environment (AGR 697)
    • Description: This course will explore how food production, processing, transportation, and consumption affect the environment. It will focus on key indicators of the sustainability of a food production and supply system.
    • License: © 2006, University of Kentucky
  • Introductory Soil Microbiology (PLS 566)
    • Description: The nature and biochemical activities of soil microflora; their significance in soil genesis and structure and their role in soil fertility.
    • License: © 2006, University of Kentucky
  • Soil Physics Lab (PLS 576)
    • Description: The objectives of this course are to: (i) demonstrate standard methods of measuring important soil physical properties and processes, and (ii) develop familiarity with scientific methods of data collection, summary and analysis.
    • License: © 2006, University of Kentucky
  • Vegetable and Fruit Production (PLS 597)
    • Description: To examine the cultural practices of temperate zone fruit crops and challenges to the production of quality fruit.
    • License: © 2006, University of Kentucky
  • Issues in Agriculture: The Development of Modern Agriculture (GEN 100)
    • Description: The first of a two-course sequence designed to introduce you to major historical, international, social, economic, political, and scientific issues in agriculture and renewable resources.
    • License: © 2006, University of Kentucky

University of Minnesota

  • Basic Soil Science (Soil 2125)
    • Description: Covers five major areas of Soil Science. Understanding the classification system, physical properties, chemical properties, biological properties, and the fertility of soil will allow you to plan the use of an area of land according to the soil's potential.
    • License: © Terence H. Cooper & Regents of the University of Minnesota, 2006

Reusable Learning Objects

Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)

  • Africa Rice Center
    • New Rice for Africa (NERICA) Compendium
      • Description: This compendium brings together the results of scientific research on the NERICA varieties, ranging from the choice of land to planting, integrated crop and pest management, harvest and post-harvest operations, agro-processing technologies and NERICA nutritional quality, and adoption impact on rice farmers’ livelihoods.
      • License: Fair use of this material is encouraged. Proper citation is requested.
  • World Agroforestry Centre
    • Description:The World Agroforestry Centre aims to build on what farmers already know and do. By combining scientific excellence with innovative development partnerships, the World Agroforestry Centre is delivering science to farmers and policy debates.

International Rice Research Institute


University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • Postharvest Technology Research and Information Center
    • Description: Information on postharvest technology for California growers, shippers, marketers, carriers, distributors, retailers and processors aimed at improving the quality and value of fresh horticultural crops and reducing postharvest losses.
    • License: © 1997-2008 by the Regents of the University of California (Legal Notices)
  • Seed Biotechnology Center
    • Description: Coordinates research to address problems of interest to the seed industry and provides continuing education in seed biology and technology.
    • Topics:
      • Crop Species
      • Biotechnology
      • Food-Feed-Pharma
      • Protocols
      • Seed Production
    • License: Copyright © 2009 The Regents of the University of California
  • UC Agricultural Issues Center
    • Description: The UC Agricultural Issues Center is a forum for the identification and analysis of important issues affecting the agricultural sector. AIC provides broadly based, objective information on a range of critical, emerging agricultural issues and their significance for the economy and natural resources through studies, conferences and publications.
    • Topics:
      • International trade and globalization of agriculture.
      • Advances in productivity and technology in agriculture.
      • Linkages between natural resources, the environment and agriculture.
      • Rural-urban interactions, particularly land use issues.
      • Agricultural personnel and labor issues.
      • Commodity market and agribusiness issues.
    • License: © University of California Agricultural Issues Center. Material produced by the Agricultural Issues Center on this site may be reproduced providing appropriate citation and acknowledgment is given.
  • UC IPM Online
    • Description: Monitoring techniques, pesticide information, and non-pesticide alternatives for managing insect, mite, nematode, weed, and disease pests in agricultural crops, floriculture and ornamental nurseries, commercial turf, homes and landscapes.
    • License: © 1995-2008 by the Regents of the University of California (Legal Notices)