CIW's Big Idea: Feeding a Hungry World and Hungry Minds


"The power of population is so superior to the power of the earth to produce subsistence for man, that premature death
must in some shape or other visit the human race."
—Malthus T.R. 1798. An essay on the principle of population. Chapter VII, p61


In the 200+ years since Malthus wrote the population of the earth has grown tremendously, but so has human capacity to produce food from the earth. But that capacity has relied upon enormously increased use of fossil fuels for industrial farming, synthetic fertilizers, and so on, and heightened competition for water for irrigation as well as other uses. We are transforming the very climate of the earth, with the result that sea-levels are rising, threatening a great deal of food-producing land in river deltas around the world. And we are concerned with the safety, nutritive value, and availability for every one of the foods that are available. Today's students are concerned with their own well-being, their own healthy nutrition, with the health of the communities in which they live, with the present and future availability of healthy food in their community, nation, and world.

College-in-the-Woods is focusing on issues in food production, distribution, good nutrition, and sustainability with area-based courses, service learning, and a series of events for the benefit of residents and the larger community. For Fall 2015, we have a service learning course, CDCI 395, providing opportunities for residents of CIW to learn about a range of food-related issues while contributing service to the Southern Tier community.

Our community partners include (but are not limited to) VINES Urban Farm, BU Acres, CHOW, Food and Health Network of the Southern Tier, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Meals on Wheels, Food Not Bombs, Catholic Charities Food Pantry, Rescue Mission, Sodexo, Lost Dog, Challah for Hunger, Binghamton Farm Share, Half a Loaf, and others.

Our Learning Community for Fall 2015 offers, in addition to CDCI 395, two area-based sections of WRIT 111, an area-based section of Philosophy 146: Law and Justice, an area-based section of PoliSci 113, Comparative Politics, and Harp 101: How to Be a Professional.

For more information, contact Tony Preus, Faculty Master of CIW:

Last Updated: 8/20/15