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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

Adult courses

Coffee, Cloves, and Chocolate: How Plants Have Shaped Human History

Week 2: July 12-18, 2015

The registration period for this program has passed.
Please contact us if you have any questions.

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Perhaps no single factor had a more profound effect on the discovery of the New World than black pepper—and another plant, sugar cane, in large part drove the flourishing slave trade of Africa, England, and the Americas.

From the time we humans lived in caves, we have valued plants as sources of food, medicine, clothing, and shelter; have celebrated plants in ceremonies; have led daring and in some cases disastrous explorations in search of plants; and have fought battles over control of the production of highly valued crops.

Don Rakow, associate professor of plant science and former director of the Cornell Plantations, will show us, in lecture, discussion, and garden visit how the quest for plants has greatly shaped the cultural, political, and economic status of nations today.

Donald Rakow

Donald A. Rakow is an associate professor of horticulture and the former Elizabeth Newman Wilds Director of Cornell Plantations (now the Cornell Botanic Gardens). His teaching and research focus is the history and management of public gardens and the social,... > more


Registration is closed for this class. Please contact CAU if you have questions.

Program charges

Below are the program fees and housing choices for the on-campus summer programs. Please contact us if you have questions.

For adults staying on campus, the program fee (per adult, per week) includes the course, lodging, fifteen all-you-care-to-eat meals, banquet dinner, coffee breaks, hospitality hours, evening lectures, walks and talks, welcome and farewell receptions, conference-lot parking fees, and use of most of Cornell’s campus facilities. Some courses have additional fees as noted. Wednesday dinner is on your own. Some campus facilities, such as the golf course, also charge specific user fees.

Standard room, on-campus housing, and meals

$1,970 double occupancy, $100 single supplement

Standard room, on-campus housing with exclusive bath, and meals

$2,030 double occupancy, $150 single supplement

Course fee for commuters and those staying at Hilton Homewood Suites

$1,285. This fee does not include housing or meals. If you wish to stay at Hilton Homewood Suites, please call 607.266.0000 to make a reservation in the CAU block.

Commuter meal plan option

$327. Most CAUers staying at Hilton Homewood Suites select our meal plan for the week in order to enjoy the full CAU experience. It includes six breakfasts, five lunches, and four dinners.