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Interdisciplinary Programs

Curricula in Plant and Soil Sciences

Williams Hall, Room 2234

David A. Crouse, Undergraduate Coordinator of Crop and Soil Sciences; Williams Hall, Room 2234                     

Phone: (919) 515-7302

Visit the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences online.

Plant and Soil Sciences is a diverse program with concentrations in agroecology, agronomic business, agronomic science, crop biotechnology, crop production, and soil sciences.

Agroecology is the study of the ecological, environmental, economic and social interactions of agricultural production systems. In this program students learn about the latest practices and research innovations in sustainable agriculture locally and internationally through classroom studies, hands-on experiences, and field trips. This is a multi-disciplinary concentration that will prepare students for a diversity of employment opportunities.

Agronomic Business concentration is a degree program intended to prepare students for careers in marketing, management, sales, or other economic segments of agri-industry. This concentration is a science based curriculum with built-in flexibility that allows students to choose from a wide range of ARE or BUS electives, plant science courses, and career path electives.

Agronomic Science and Crop Biotechnology concentrations are degree programs designed for students who wish to establish professional careers in areas such as applied plant science and crop production research, crop biotechnology, plant breeding, genetics, or physiology. This program will be especially beneficial for students who wish to pursue advanced degrees in areas of applied plant sciences. Students preparing for plant biotechnology, breeding, or genetics careers must have a broad and thorough knowledge of the life and plant sciences, as well as hands on experience in the most recent scientific techniques. At the same time, scientists engaged in plant genetic manipulation at all levels should clearly understand the potential impact engineered plants may have in field production environments. The objectives of these two concentrations are to merge the scientific/technical expertise in the life sciences with knowledge of plant growth and plant development to prepare students for careers in today’s rapidly changing agricultural industries.

Crop Production concentration prepares students for career in the crop management, production, or technology. Today’s job market demands that or graduates be well versed in the life sciences and the technical aspects plant agricultural production. This concentration is a science based curriculum with built-in flexibility that allows students to choose from a wide range of crop science courses and career path electives. The flexibility will enable our graduates to have successful careers in plant agriculture-related positions such as international agricultural development, plant protection, plant inspection, biosecurity, precision agricultural technologies, specialty crop production, and farm management.

Soil Science concentration provides a focus on the soil resource component of crop and soil management. This concentration provides greater breadth and depth to the role of the physical, chemical and biological properties of the soil. A strong science background allows students to select from a variety of professional career opportunities. In addition to the role of soil in crop production, the soil science concentration prepares students for careers in waste management, watershed/water quality protection, erosion and sediment control, landing planning and soil survey. Opportunities exist in the public sector as well as the private with the potential to become licensed as a professional soil scientist.

The Departments of Crop and Soil Sciences administer the Plant and Soil Science curriculum jointly. Crop Science relates primarily to the agroecology, biotechnology, genetics, breeding, physiology and management of field crops. Soil Science is oriented toward soil physics, chemistry, origin, microbiology, fertility and management. For further information and employment opportunities, see the departmental headings for Crop and Soil Sciences.

Specific curriculum requirements are available on the Registration and Records website.

Curricula in Natural Resources

John S. Russ, Undergraduate Coordinator Agricultural and Resource Economics; Nelson Hall Room 3346

David A. Crouse, Undergraduate Coordinator Soil Science; Williams Hall, Room 2234

Visit the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences online.

Wise use of all our natural resources (soil, water, air, minerals, flora, fauna, and people) for the benefit of current and future members of society is the goal of natural resource management. This important challenge recognizes the interdependence of people with their environment and requires an integrated, multi-disciplinary approach to solving society’s resource problems. Population growth, rising incomes, life style changes and urbanization lead to more intensive use of all natural resources. These trends present challenges to resource managers who must be trained in the basic principles of several disciplines in order to develop and apply sound management strategies to our resource problems. Natural resource professionals must understand resources and the social systems governing their use. They must be able to work in teams to analyze potential effects of resource use and to design ways to make efficient use of natural and environmental resources for current and future generations.

To accommodate the breadth and complexity of natural resource management, the Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources is a campus-wide program involving three colleges and four departments that administer seven concentrations. A common core of 84 credit hours of course work provides a balanced foundation in communication, humanities, social sciences, mathematics and the natural sciences. The core course requirements include a freshman orientation course and a senior level applications course that natural resource majors in all concentrations must complete. Within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, three concentrations are available: Economics and Management, Soil Resources, and Soil and Water Systems. For information on other concentrations see the Department of Forestry in the College of Natural Resources and the Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences in the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences.

Specific curriculum requirements are available on the Registration and Records website.

Department Head of Crop and Soil Sciences

Jeff Mullahey

Undergraduate Coordinator, Crop and Soil Sciences

David Crouse

Director of Graduate Programs, Crop Science

Daniel Bowman

Director of Graduate Programs, Soil Science

T. Jot Smyth