We built a model team and course for interdisciplinary, participatory, systems-oriented natural resource education around agroforest systems. We created a "grab bag" exercise to facilitate student efforts in synthesizing systems of increasing complexity. Four elements were critical in meeting course objectives: an early field trip that provided a concrete, common ground of reference; sequential exercises that honed students' skills with complex systems; group work that fostered integration of diverse information; and a faculty team that modeled group skills, provided key information, and facilitated student teamwork. This structured learning example provides a model for any course focused at the higher levels of learning - synthesis and evaluation - involving complex systems.
agroforestry, co-learning, model