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Sustainable Plant Systems

Overview: 

The Department of Soil, Water, and Environmental Science and the School of Plant Sciences jointly created the Sustainable Plant Systems (SPS) major as an interdisciplinary field of study for undergraduate students interested in a career in modern agriculture and crop production. The SPS degree offers a solid foundation in basic sciences and requires coursework from the plant sciences as well as soils, water and environmental sciences. Students are expected to obtain and apply fundamental principles of sciences to develop plant production systems, and land management programs locally, regionally, and globally. Graduates from this program will be well prepared academically to enter graduate degree programs or pursue employment in agricultural and related green industries, including agronomic and horticultural field and greenhouse crop production, controlled environmental agriculture, permanent tree crop production, turf grass systems, and urban horticulture.

Expected Learning Outcomes: 
Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Plant Systems
 
The Sustainable Plant Systems is jointly administered by the Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science and the School of Plant Sciences.  Curriculum emphasizes coursed from both departments. After completing foundation coursework during their first four semesters, students can select from one of the following sub-plans, each totaling 18 units:  Agronomy; Controlled Environment Agriculture; Environmental Horticulture; Fresh Produce Safety, or Turf Science.  The Turf Science option has been eliminated effective Fall 2016.
 
Expected Learning Outcomes for the BS Sustainable Plant Systems
 
Students will be able to integrate and apply the general principles of Sustainable Plant Systems to specific plant production systems.
Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the history, current conditions, and future challenges associated with plant science and production systems on a local and global scale.
Students will be able to apply the basic principles of plant biology and soil science to plant production systems.
Students will be able to  think critically as demonstrated by evaluating information from multiple perspectives, drawing reasonable conclusions, and defending them rationally.
Students will be able to communicate effectively principles and technical terms associated with plant production systems both orally and in writing.
 
Assessment Activities: 

Sustainable Plant Systems Degree Expected Outcomes: Matching Classes to Outcomes

  1. Integrate and apply the general principles of Sustainable Plant Systems to specific plant production systems. ENVS 316, ENVS 401, PLS 306

SWES 316 Course Objectives:

1.         To discuss nutrient availability in soils, and soil properties that govern nutrient availability.

2.         To discuss important soil chemical and biological properties and their impacts on soil fertility and plant nutrition in both agricultural and non-agricultural ecosystems.

3.         To discuss nutrient acquisition and use by plants.

4.         To discuss nutrient cycling in the soil-plant system.

5.         To discuss modern methods of nutrient management, and the use of tools for minimizing pollution resulting from fertilizer use.

6.         To discuss the issue of agricultural sustainability and its impact on production of agricultural and horticultural crops.

SWES 401 Course Objectives:

Develop an understanding of the chemical and physical principles and basic mechanisms that are operative in arid soil-plant systems, and then to extend this knowledge to field-level diagnostic and management strategies. From this course students should be proficient in the fundamentals of this area of study and capable of applying these principles to problems in soil, water, and plant-system management.

PLS 306 Course Objectives:

Develop an understanding of the basic principles associated with crop production systems. Fundamental agronomic concepts and practices will be presented, discussed, and demonstrated.

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the history, current conditions, and future challenges associated with plant science and production systems on a local and global scale. SWES 316, ENVS 401, PLS 195A, PLS 306

PLS 195A Course Objectives:

1.            Become excited about plants, and the interesting things they do.

2.            Sharpen analytical, listening, speaking, and writing skills.

3.            Understand the role of scientists in society.

4.            Demonstrate the ability to think critically, as demonstrated by evaluating information from multiple perspectives, drawing reasonable conclusions, and defending them rationally through questioning expert speakers.

 

  1. Apply the basic principles of plant biology and soil science to plant production systems. PLS 240, PLS 312, PLS 306, PLS 360

PLS 240 Course Objectives:

  1.       Understand the basic structures and processes involved in plant growth and development;

population genetics, and molecular genetics.

2.         Appreciate the diversity found among plants and understand the basis for and significance of this diversity;

3.         Understand how plants interact with their environment and the critical roles that plants play in all ecosystems;

4.         Use scientific terminology to communicate effectively about plants;

5.         Develop critical thinking skills by evaluating information from multiple perspectives, drawing reasonable conclusions, and defending them rationally;

6.         Have assumed complete responsibility for their performance in the course and actively worked to improve their organizational and time management skills.

 

PLS 312 Course Objectives:

1.         understand/comprehend the basic concepts of the very broad field of genetics, including the sub-fields of   transmission genetics, cytogenetics, quantitative inheritance, population genetics, and molecular genetics.

2.         solve a wide variety of genetic problems by utilizing the basic concepts and selecting an appropriate and effective approach.

3.         acquire some basic skills and enhance your understanding of the basic concepts of genetics through the laboratory experience.

4.          read and understand articles concerning genetics in the popular press.

5.         have an appreciation for the historical development of the field of genetics.

6.         think critically as demonstrated by evaluating information from multiple perspectives, drawing reasonable conclusions, and defending them rationally.

7.         have an understanding of the role of genetics in other sciences as well as in society in general, including ethical issues raised by current genetics research.

8.         be excited about learning.

 

PLS 306 Course Objectives:

Develop an understanding of the basic principles associated with crop production systems. Fundamental agronomic concepts and practices will be presented, discussed, and demonstrated.

PLS 360 Course Objectives:

We will start with a review of plant architecture then on to bioenergetics. Then we will discuss how plants use the energy of the sun to assimilate carbon, and how they convert that carbon into energy and building materials for growth, maintenance and reproduction.  Next we will cover how plants obtain, distribute and utilize water and in the next section do the same with nutrients.  Finally we will discuss how plants grow and develop, respond to their environment, and react to stress. 

  1. Think critically as demonstrated by evaluating information from multiple perspectives, drawing reasonable conclusions, and defending them rationally. SWES 401, PLS 306, PLS 498

PLS 498 Course Objectives:

1.         To synthesize what was learned in the Plant Sciences curriculum;

2.         To learn about different kinds of research in the Department of Plant Sciences;

3.         To learn about careers available in the Plant Sciences;

4.         To sharpen analytical, listening, speaking, and writing skills.

 

  1. Communicate effectively principles and technical terms associated with plant production systems both orally and in writing. ENVS 408, ENVS 415, ENGL 308, PLS 306

 

ENVS 408 Course Objectives:

1) expose them to the principles of grammar, composition, and organization that produce clear technical writing; 2) teach them to prepare effective graphs and tables; 3) instill in them the importance of improving documents through multiple revisions and careful self-editing; 4) introduce them to the main forms of technical writing, including letters, scientific papers, instructions, and proposals; 5) teach them how to cite references and how to conduct a literature review. 

ENGL 308 Course Objectives:

1.         Recognize writing as a social act grounded in and dependent on context, involving multiple audiences and serving various purposes.

2.         Understand a range of research methods (e.g., fieldwork, interviews, observations, analyses, online, and library).

3.         Consider how purposes, audiences, situations, and methods affect writers’, readers’, and/or users’ perceptions of written documents.

4.         Learn how to conduct and manage short- and long-term projects, both individually and collaboratively.

5.         Develop strategies for planning, researching, and developing documents that effectively respond to professional situations.

6.         Learn and apply usability and/or peer review strategies to create projects for multiple user and/or reader needs.

7.         Use technology to assist in the planning and production of projects.

 

Updated date: Wed, 05/25/2016 - 15:53