Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2015

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Dale Miller, Department of Environmental Studies

Second Advisor

Alicia Gibb, ATLAS Institute

Third Advisor

Jill Harrison, Department of Sociology


This thesis investigates the potential for alternative technology development for the purposes of improving sustainable agriculture. By synthesizing ideological frameworks from Agroecology, Appropriate Technology and Open Source Hardware, a set of benchmarks are defined in order to gauge the sustainability of existing agricultural technology, as well as guide the development of new farm technology. Using these benchmarks, a number of practical farm technology projects envisioned by the author are discussed, with an emphasis on the design and construction of two specific projects, an egg incubator and an electric fence charger, both built with salvaged materials and open-source documentation. While the cost of each project was far less expensive than its commercial equivalent, time spent and labor costs are examined and discussed in light of other future open-source farm projects.