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Courses - Fall 2017
PLSC
Plant Sciences
PLSC101
Introductory Crop Science
Credits: 4
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
CORE: LL
GenEd: DSNL
Major crop plants including: anatomy, physiology, morphology, history, use, adaptation, culture, improvement and economic importance.
Students must pay a $50.00 laboratory materials fee.
PLSC115
How Safe is Your Salad? The Microbiological Safety of Fresh produce
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
CORE: LS
GenEd: DSNS, SCIS
Recommended: PLSC100, PLSC101, or BSCI105; or (BSCI170 and BSCI171).
As food is produced in larger quantities and made to travel longer distances, keeping our food safe in this day and age is an ever growing challenge. This course will focus on the question of what it takes to grow and maintain safe fruits and vegetables, as food travels along the path from the farm to your fork. Food safety of fresh produce will be discussed from the public health, agricultural, economical and policy perspectives.
PLSC120
Mushrooms and Molds
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
GenEd: DSNS
Students will learn about how essential fungi (mushroom, molds, and alikes) are in this world and how they affect our daily lives. They will learn how fungi interact with animals, plants and other organisms in positive and negative ways. Also, they will study the importance of fungi in biotechnology and food and how they have shaped many societies throughout history.
PLSC125
Feeding Nine Billion by 2050: Food Security and Crop Protection
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
GenEd: DSNS, SCIS
A big question in global food security is "how can we feed 9 billion people in 2050?" This course will stimulate creative thinking about possible solutions particularly from the crop production perspective. The instructor will introduce the concept of food security and different dimensions of this complex issue, identify major constraints to food security, and discuss scientific approaches that may be used to meet the grand challenge. Emphasis will be placed on topical and controversial issues such as the impact of biofuel production and GM crops on food security, and novel strategies that can enhance crop protection for improving food security.
PLSC201
Plant Structure and Function
Credits: 4
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisite: PLSC100; or PLSC101. And CHEM103; or CHEM131. And CHEM132.
The relationship between plant structure and function and how the environment influences changes in the physiology to control higher plant growth and development are studied.
PLSC203
Plants, Genes and Biotechnology
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
CORE: LS
GenEd: DSNS
Prerequisite: BSCI103 or BSCI105; or (BSCI170 and BSCI171).
An overview of the history, genetics, and reproductive mechanisms for agronomic and horticultural plants that examines mechanisms of genetic improvement ranging from traditional plant breeding to tissue culture and genetic engineering. Social and political issues such as germplasm preservation and international intellectual property rights will also be discussed.
PLSC205
Introduction to Turf Science and Management
Credits: 4
Grad Meth: Reg
GenEd: DSNL
Credit only granted for: PLSC205 or PLSC305.
Formerly: PLSC305.
Principals of turf science and culture with emphasis on turfgrass anatomy, morphology, and physiology. The role of cultural interventions in achieving specific aesthetic and functional objectives is examined for multiple turf uses. Pest problems typically encountered in turfgrass management are also covered.
PLSC253
Woody Plants for Mid-Atlantic Landscapes I
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisite: PLSC100.
A field and laboratory study of trees, shrubs, and vines used in ornamental plantings. Major emphasis is placed on native deciduous plant materials.
PLSC399
Special Problems in Plant Science
Credits: 1 - 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Contact department for information to register for this course.
PLSC402
Sports Turf Management
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisite: PLSC305 and PLSC401.
Sports turf management, including design, construction, soil modification, soil cultural techniques, pesticide use, fertilization, and specialized equipment.
PLSC404
Plant Metabolism
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisite: BSCI170 and BSCI171; or PLSC201. And CHEM231 and CHEM232; or CHEM237; or permission of AGNR-Plant Science & Landscape Architecture department.
An introduction to biochemistry and metabolism in plants, covering the biosynthesis of compartments in plant cells with biological molecules such as nucleic acids, amino acids and lipids.  Energy flow processes such as photosynthesis, carbohydrate metabolism and respiration, are covered in the course. The integration of different pathways in plant development and responses to environmental stresses will be discussed.
PLSC405
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg
Prerequisite: At least one course in ecology; or permission of instructor.
Recommended: BSCI361 or PLSC471; or any BSCI or ENST ecology course.
Credit only granted for: PLSC405 or PLSC605.
Additional information: Class will be held on campus, with two day-long field trips to local farms.
How can we balance the multiple, and often competing objectives of sustainable agricultural intensification to promote both agricultural productivity and human wellbeing? The answer to this question requires a transdisciplinary, agroecological perspective. Agroecology is the integrative study of the ecology of the entire food system, encompassing ecological, economic and social dimensions. This course is designed to introduce various topics in agroecology (e.g. organic agriculture, biodiversity, the Farm Bill). We will take an ecosystems approach to the study of agriculture that will enable students to analyze the environmental, social, and economic interconnections within various types of agricultural systems locally and globally.
PLSC420
Principles of Plant Pathology
Credits: 4
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisite: CHEM131, CHEM132, and PLSC201; or students who have taken courses with comparable content may contact the department.
An introduction to the causal agents, nature and management of plant diseases with particular attention paid to economically important diseases of horticultural and agronomic crops.
PLSC433
Technology of Fruit and Vegetable Production
Credits: 4
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisite: PLSC201, NRSC411, PLSC271, and PLSC202; or students who have taken courses with comparable content may contact the department.
Corequisite: BSCI442.
Recommended: ENST200.
Restriction: Junior standing or higher.
Credit only granted for: NRSC411 or PLSC433.
A critical analysis of research work and application of the principles of plant physiology, chemistry and botany to practical problems in the commercial production of fruit and vegetable crops.
PLSC453
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Weed identification, ecology, and control (cultural, mechanical, biological, and chemical methods).
PLSC480
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisite: PLSC471, ENST360, or BSCI363; or other coursework/experience considered for instructor permission.
Additional information: Class will be held both on campus and at other locations such as the U.S. Botanic Garden, local parks, and urban and suburban locations off campus.
Cities are rapidly increasing in number and size across the globe, transforming local ecosystems. This course examines urban environments as coupled social-ecological systems at multiple scales, from streets and parks to urban landscapes patterns and global patterns of biodiversity. Ecological principles are applied in the urban context, including habitats, biodiversity, ecological processes, and ecosystem services of urban environments, with applications to problems in urban land management, decision-making and design.
PLSC605
Advanced Agroecology
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg
Prerequisite: At least one course in ecology or instructor permission.
Recommended: BSCI361 or PLSC471; or any BSCI or ENST ecology course.
Additional information: Class will be held on campus, with two day-long field trips to local farms.
How can we balance the multiple, and often competing objectives of sustainable agricultural intensification to promote both agricultural productivity and human wellbeing? The answer to this question requires a transdisciplinary, agroecological perspective. Agroecology is the integrative study of the ecology of the entire food system, encompassing ecological, economic and social dimensions. This course is designed to introduce various topics in agroecology (e.g. organic agriculture, biodiversity, the Farm Bill). We will take an ecosystems approach to the study of agriculture that will enable students to analyze the environmental, social, and economic interconnections within various types of agricultural systems locally and globally. Students will be required to plan and execute group discussions and learning activities.
PLSC608
Research Methods
Credits: 2
Grad Meth: Reg, Aud
Prerequisite: permission of department. Repeatable to 6 credits if content differs. Credit will be granted for only one of the following: AGRO608, NRSC608, or PLSC608. Formerly NRSC608.
PLSC608T
(Perm Req)
Research Methods; Supervised Teaching
Credits: 2
Grad Meth: Reg, Aud
Prerequisite: permission of department.
PLSC619
Seminars in Plant Science and Landscape Architecture
Credits: 1
Grad Meth: Reg, Aud
PLSC689Q
Special Topics; Microbiology of Agricultural Systems
Credits: 1
Grad Meth: Reg, Aud
Various aspects of microbiology will be covered as it pertains to agricultural systems. Topics to be covered include microbial diversity in soil, the rhizosphere and the phyllosphere, the impact and role bacteria play in promoting plant growth and suppressing disease, and the ecological functions of bacterial communities in soil as drivers of biogeochemical cycling of nutrients and greenhouse gas emissions and in the aerial portions of a plant. All these topics will be discussed from an agricultural perspective, food security and safety. The course is structured around journal article reviews and discussions to encourage critical thinking and provide the opportunity to bridge concepts and ideas from multiple disciplines. In addition, there will be opportunity for more in-depth literature review and discussion of salien research areas within agricultural microbiology, with specific attention to methodologies and study design.
PLSC799
Master's Thesis Research
Credits: 1 - 6
Grad Meth: Reg, S-F
Contact department for information to register for this course.
PLSC898
Pre-Candidacy Research
Credits: 1 - 8
Grad Meth: Reg
Contact department for information to register for this course.
PLSC899
(Perm Req)
Doctoral Dissertation Research
Credits: 6
Grad Meth: Reg, S-F
Contact department for information to register for this course.