The University of Arizona

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Sustaining Local Food, Biodiversity and Livestock Grazing in the Alps


This course introduces students to concepts of biodiversity, small-scale cheese production, principles of livestock grazing management, and payment for ecosystems services to sustain biodiversity in grasslands and livelihood of alpine pastoralists through the application of conservation grazing.
Through a series of hands-on field-based exercises and discussions, students will apply principles and skills in plant identification, grazing management, and the response of cheese composition to differences in livestock diets.
Most of the course will be abroad in the Alps, and this time will include visits to small farms and dairies, and mountain lodges (rifugi) that are located in Natural Parks and other wild landscapes. We will also interact with farmers managing livestock grazing and producing cheese, Park Rangers, and Extension Specialists working to managing livestock grazing to support biodiversity in grasslands, and University of Turin faculty and students studying the relationship between grazing, biodiversity, and local cheeses.

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McClaran, Mitch