Sustainable Plant and Soil Systems (SPSS)

Head of Department: Professor Richard McAvoy

Department Office: Room 133, W.B. Young Building

Major requirements

1100. Turfgrass Management

(Formerly offered as TURF 1100.) Three credits. Two class periods and one 2-hour laboratory. Taught with SAPL 110. Rackliffe

An overview of turfgrass adaptation, selection, and management. Topics include turfgrass growth, physiology, soil interactions, weeds and diseases, morphology and identification, establishment, and maintenance. Cultural system practices for lawns, golf courses, athletic fields, and other turf areas.

1110. Fundamentals of Horticulture

(Formerly offered as HORT 1110.) Three credits. Three class periods. Salsedo

Science and practice of horticultural plant propagation and culture. Basic concepts of plant structure, growth and function. Integrated pest management. Impact of new technology. Horticulture and the environment.

1120. Introduction to Plant Science

Four credits. Three class periods and one 2-hour laboratory period. Taught with SAPL 120. Lubell

Basic concepts of plant anatomy and physiology in production of agricultural and horticultural crops. Developmental stages of crop plants from seed through vegetative growth and flowering to harvest. Included topics are mineral nutrition, water relations, photosynthesis, respiration, reproduction, tropisms, climate effects, and breeding and development of improved crop plants. Relationships between the physiology of plants and crop production practices.

1125. Insects, Food and Culture

(Formerly offered as PLSC 1125.) Three credits. Three class periods. Legrand

Introduction to the fascinating world of insects and their ubiquitous interactions with people. Role of insects in food and fiber production; insects as food; impact of insects on human health, commerce and history; and insects as inspiration sources for art, music, film and literature around the world. CA 4-INT.

1150. Agricultural Technology and Society

(Formerly offered as PLSC 1150.) Three credits. Berkowitz

Development of agricultural systems and technologies and their influence on societies. Topics include plant and animal domestication, food and industrial crops and centers of production, environmental issues, and agricultural ethics. CA 3.

2100. Environmental Sustainability of Food Production in Developed Countries

(Formerly offered as PLSC 2100.) Three credits. Not open for credit to students who have passed PLSC 3995 when taught as Environmental Sustainability of Food Production in North America. Guillard

Foundations of modern systems that produce the majority of food calories consumed in North America and other developed countries. Benefits and environmental risks associated with modern food production systems. Alternative food production systems and sustainability. Local food production and food security. Food production and climate change.

2110W. Sustainable Plant Pest Management Communication

One credit. Prerequisite: ENGL 1010 or 1011 or 2011; open only to Sustainable Plant and Soil Systems majors; others by instructor consent. Ellis.

Communication of the impacts, economic importance, identification, and sustainable management of new and emerging plant pests, such as insects, mites, weeds/invasive plants, and diseases of food and non-food (ornamental) crops, in agricultural and landscape settings. Connections with UConn Extension and real-world pest occurrences will be incorporated.

2120. Environmental Soil Science

(Formerly offered as SOIL 2120.) Three credits. Three class periods. Prerequisite: CHEM 1122 or 1124Q or 1127Q or 1137Q or 1147Q. Schulthess

Introduction to the physical, chemical and biological properties of soils. The relationship between soils and the growth of higher plants. Impact of soils on environmental quality. CA 3.

2125. Soils Lab

(Formerly offered as SOIL 2125.) One credit. One 2-hour laboratory period. Prerequisite: SPSS 2120 (SOIL 2120), which may be taken concurrently. Schulthess

Basic laboratory analysis of the physical and chemical properties of soil. Includes weekend field trips.

2430. Herbaceous Ornamental Plants

(Formerly offered as HORT 2430.) Three credits. Taught with SAPL 430. Not open for credit to graduate students. Kuzovkina

Identification, nomenclature, cultural requirements and landscape uses of herbaceous perennials, ornamental grasses, ferns, annuals and bulbs. Study of live plants is required.

2500. Principles and Concepts of Agroecology

(Formerly offered as PLSC 2500.) Three credits. Recommended preparation: introductory course in plant biology or environmental science. Guillard

Application of ecological processes to modern agricultural production practices. Crops and their environment. Soil quality and maintenance of soil productivity. Sustainability of agroecosystems.

2520. Floral Art

(Formerly offered as HORT 2520.) Two credits. One class period and one 2-hour studio period. Taught with SAPL 520.

The study of flower arrangement as an art form with emphasis on historical background, artistic principles, color harmony and care of perishable media. Individual expression is encouraged in the creation of floral composition. A fee of $75 is charged for this course.

2560W. Written Communications in Horticulture

(Formerly offered as HORT 2560W.) One credit. Prerequisite: ENGL 1010 or 1011 or 2011; open only to Sustainable Plant and Soil Systems majors; others by instructor consent. Lubell

Writing as a component of communicating facts and opinions in the theory and practice of Horticulture. Assignments will reflect forms of writing commonly encountered by professional horticulturists, including descriptive brochures, articles for mass media, extension bulletins, and technical manuals.

3081. Summer Internship Experience

(Formerly offered as PLSC 3081.) Zero credit. Hours by arrangement. Must be followed by SPSS 3990. Prerequisite: Instructor consent. Students taking this course will be assigned a grade of S (satisfactory) or U (unsatisfactory). May be repeated.

Provides opportunity for students to gain practical experience, knowledge, and professional skills in a work environment related to employment and careers in plant science or landscape architecture. Students work with instructor and internship supervisor to develop a learning contract and plan of work to ensure meaningful and educational tasks and experiences.

3090. Field Study of U.S. Food Production Systems

(Formerly offered as PLSC 3090.) Two credits. Prerequisite: SPSS 3094 (PLSC 3094). Morris

Visits to and discussions with farmers of agronomic, vegetable, fruit and livestock production systems in the Northeastern United States, the Corn Belt and the High Plains. Visits to agricultural research stations for discussions with scientists and educators, and visits to agricultural infrastructure sites such as retail fertilizer dealerships, granaries, and post production facilities such as juice factories or flour mills will also be included.

3094. Seminar in U.S. Food Production Systems

(Formerly offered as PLSC 3094.) One credit. Morris

Discussion of the complex issues surrounding the economic, agronomic, and environmental performance of food production systems in the United States.

3100. Golf Course Management

(Formerly offered as TURF 3100.) Three credits. Taught with SAPL 210. Not open for credit to graduate students. Rackliffe

Cultural management techniques including soil aeration, topdressing, mowing, thatch removal, grass or species selection, fertilization, irrigation and management of personnel, pests, equipment and inventory. Field trips required.

3150. Advanced Turfgrass Management

(Formerly offered as TURF 3150.) Three credits. Three class periods. Prerequisite: SPSS 1100. Corequisite: SPSS 2120.

Effects of environmental stresses and turfgrass management practices on growth, development, and physiology of turfgrasses. Implementation of proper management practices to promote optimal turfgrass health under stress conditions.

3210. Molecular Laboratory Technology

(Formerly offered as PLSC 3210.) Three credits. Prerequisite: BIOL 1107 or 1108 or 1110 or equivalent. Wang

Laboratory technologies for identification and characterization of molecules important for molecular biology research, genetic manipulation and disease diagnosis. Labs will provide hands-on experience performing basic molecular biology techniques, lectures will cover theoretical basis and application. A fee of $50 is charged for this course.

3230. Biotechnology – Science, Application, Impact, Perception

(Formerly offered as PLSC 3230.) Three credits.

Scientific, legal, and ethical aspects of Biotechnology application in agriculture, health medicine, forensics, and the environment. Designed for students with diverse departmental affiliations.

3240. Plant Biotechnology

(Formerly offered as PLSC 3240.) Three credits. Prerequisites: One of BIOL 1110, MCB 3010, MCB 3201. Li

Principles of recombinant DNA and plant gene transfer technologies. Applications of plant biotechnology in agriculture, horticulture, forestry, human/animal health care, and pharmaceutical industry. Social and environmental impacts of plant biotechnology.

3245. Plant Breeding and Biotechnology

Three credits. Prerequisite: One of BIOL 1102, 1108, or 1110; or MCB 2410; or SPSS 3210 (PLSC 3210), 3230 (PLSC 3230), or 4210 (PLSC 4210). Not open to students who have passed PLSC 3240.

Principles and applications, economic, social and environmental impacts, advantages, potentials and limitations of major traditional and modern plant breeding technologies including crossing/hybridization, mutagenesis, genetic engineering and genome editing.

3250. Plant Gene Transfer Techniques

(Formerly offered as PLSC 3250.) Three credits. Li

Techniques of plant gene delivery and transgenic plant production. Verification and analysis of transgenic plants. A fee of $75 is charged for this course.

3255. Modern and Traditional Plant Breeding Techniques

Three credits. Prerequisite: One of BIOL 1102, 1108, or 1110; or MCB 2410; or SPSS 3210 (PLSC 3210), 3230 (PLSC 3230), 3245, or 4210 (PLSC 4210); others with instructor consent. Not open to students who have passed PLSC 3250.

Hands-on experiments for traditional and modern plant breeding techniques, including artificial crossing/hybridization, polyploidy induction, plant tissue culture and transgenic plant production, and radiation- and genome editing-mediate mutagenesis.

3300. Principles of Turfgrass Irrigation Systems

(Formerly offered as TURF 3300.) Three credits. Two class periods and one 2-hour laboratory. Taught with SAPL 230. Not open for credit to graduate students. Rackliffe

Turfgrass irrigation systems, principles of hydraulics, irrigation components, design, installation and repair. Students will design irrigation systems for various turf areas. Field trips and fieldwork will be required.

3400. Professional Development for Turfgrass Industries

(Formerly offered as TURF 3400.) Two credits. Two hour class periods. Taught with SAPL 240. Not open for credit to graduate students. Rackliffe

Topics include human resource information, communication skills, turfgrass pesticide laws and compliance, labor laws and compliance, bid specifications, resume writing, interviewing, golf course management structures, business ethics, and benefits of professional association membership. Guest lecturers include industry professionals and representatives.

3410. Woody Plants: Common Trees, Shrubs and Vines

(Formerly offered as HORT 3410.) Three credits. Taught with SAPL 410. Two class periods and one 2-hour outdoor laboratory. Recommended preparation: BIOL 1110. Brand

Taxonomy, identification, ornamental characteristics, cultural requirements and landscape use of deciduous and evergreen woody plants most often utilized in landscapes of the northeastern United States and similar environs.

3420. Soil Chemistry Components

(Formerly offered as SOIL 3410.) Four credits. Three class periods and one 2-hour computer laboratory period. Prerequisites: CHEM 1124Q or 1127Q or 1137Q or 1147Q . Recommended preparation: SPSS 2120 and 2125 (SOIL 2120 and 2125). Schulthess

Basic concepts of the physical chemistry of soil constituents. Topics include soil atmospheres, soil solutions, soil organic matter, soil mineralogy, and surface characteristics and analysis. Lab exercises on a personal computer are an integral part of the course.

3530. Advanced Floral Design

(Formerly offered as HORT 3530.) Two credits. Taught with SAPL 530. One class period and one 2-hour lab. Not open for credit to graduate students. Prerequisite: SPSS 2520 (HORT 2520); instructor consent.

In-depth study of post-harvest requirements for specialized floral crops. Exposure to novel floral materials with an emphasis on special events and wedding designs. Mass marketing, retail price structuring and mass-production concepts are covered. A fee of $75 is charged for this course.

3540. Garden Center Management

(Formerly offered as HORT 3540.) Three credits. Taught with SAPL 540. Not open for credit to graduate students. Bonelli

Fundamentals related to horticultural specialty businesses with particular emphasis on the retail and contracting areas. Specialty and mass merchandising firms are considered and compared.

3550. Urban Plant Systems Construction and Maintenance

Three credits. Recommended preparation: BIOL 1110; SPSS 2430, 3410.

Structural and functional components of plant systems. Provision of ecosystem services. Overviews of a wide spectrum of planted systems including streetscaping, green roofs and green walls, rain gardens and bioretention, and phytoremediation systems. Techniques of soil modification. Plant selection. Establishment and maintenance of woody and herbaceous plants: planting, preservation, pruning, mulching, irrigation, and fertilization.

3560. Indoor Plants and Interiorscaping

(Formerly offered as HORT 3560.) Three credits. Taught with SAPL 560. Kuzovkina

Taxonomy, identification, ornamental characteristics, cultural requirements and use of tropical plants. Principles of interiorscaping in the home, office, public buildings, and related locations.

3610. Organic and Sustainable Vegetable Production

(Formerly offered as HORT 3620.) Four credits. Three class periods and one 2-hour field laboratory period. Taught with SAPL 620. Field trips required. Not open for credit to graduate students. Berkowitz

Fundamentals of soil management and crop plant husbandry as applied to vegetable production. Horticultural principles of crop growth. Focus is on sustainable and organic practices. Field laboratory will consist of required trips (some outside designated laboratory time) during the early part of the semester to organic and conventional farms.

3620. Soil Fertility

(Formerly offered as SOIL 3620.) Three credits. Two class periods and one 2-hour laboratory period. Prerequisite: SPSS 2120 (SOIL 2120). Morris

Factors governing nutrient uptake by plants, fate of nutrients applied to soils, principles and practices in the manufacture and use of fertilizers for crop production, laboratory and greenhouse studies of soil and plant response to applied nutrients.

3640. Plant Propagation

(Formerly offered as HORT 3640.) Three credits. Two class periods and one 2-hour laboratory period. Not open for credit to graduate students. Taught with SAPL 640. Brand

Theory and practice in sexual and asexual propagation of horticultural plants, emphasizing the anatomical, physiological, and ecological principles involved. Laboratories provide practical experience with seeds, division, cuttings, budding, grafting, layering and tissue culture.

3660. Nursery Production

(Formerly offered as HORT 3660.) Three credits. Two class periods and one 2-hour laboratory period. Taught with SAPL 660. Lubell

Principles of field and container production of nursery stock. Emphasis on production practices for woody nursery stock from propagule to sale.

3670. Greenhouse Technology and Operations

(Formerly offered as HORT 3670.) Three credits. Two class periods. Prerequisite: BIOL 1108 or 1110; open to juniors or higher. Recommended preparation: SPSS 2120. Taught with SAPL 670. McAvoy

Introduction to greenhouse systems with emphasis on structures, environmental control, root media, irrigation and fertilization, and pest control, in relation to requirements for plant growth and crop production.

3675. Greenhouse Management Field Study

One credit. One three hour laboratory per week. Prerequisite or corequisite: SPSS 3670.

Greenhouse crop production techniques and methodologies employed at commercial greenhouse venues. Follows a travel-course format, in which students are required to participate in regularly scheduled field trips to commercial greenhouse operations in Connecticut and neighboring states, where students will make observations on the mechanical systems, management considerations, and crop production practices.

3720. Golf Course Design

(Formerly offered as TURF 3720.) Two credits. Taught with SAPL 720. Not open for credit to graduate students. Rackliffe

Introduction to golf course design theory, planning, and layout. Putting green and tee construction methods. Turfgrass species and cultivar selection for the golf course. Guest presentations by designers and golf course superintendents. Field trips required.

3740. Landscape Construction

(Formerly offered as HORT 3740.) Three credits. Two 1-hour lectures per week and seven 4-hour outdoor laboratories per semester. Taught with SAPL 740.

Principles and techniques used to build landscape structures including patios, walls, walkways, water features, and green roofs.

3800. Turfgrass Pests and Control

(Formerly offered as TURF 3800.) Three credits. Two class periods and one 2-hour laboratory. Taught with SAPL 800. Not open for credit to graduate students. Rackliffe

Turfgrass weed, insect, disease and vertebrate identification and control. Emphasis on biological controls and IPM. Field trips required.

3810. Fundamentals of Plant Pathology

(Formerly offered as PLSC 3810.) Three credits. Two class periods and one 2-hour laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 1108 or 1110; open to juniors or higher. Inguagiato

Causal agents, nature and dynamics of plant disease. Pathogen biology, factors influencing disease development, diagnosis of diseases, and principles of plant disease control with emphasis on major diseases of crop, horticultural and turfgrass systems.

3820. Ecology and Control of Weeds

(Formerly offered as PLSC 3820.) Three credits. Two class periods and one 2-hour laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 1108 or 1100; or SPSS 1120. Guillard

Weed origin and classification. Losses caused by weeds. Weed competition. Weed seed production, dormancy and germination. Cultural, mechanical, biological and chemical control methods. Weed identification.

3830. Horticulture Entomology

(Formerly offered as PLSC 3830.) Three credits. Two class periods and one 2-hour laboratory. Legrand

 Identification and management of insects pests found in food crops, ornamental plants and turfgrass. Biology of key pests and their damage symptoms, monitoring and management tactics will be covered along with identification and use of beneficial insects employed in pest management.

3840. Integrated Pest Management

(Formerly offered as PLSC 3840.) Three credits. Taught with SAPL 840. Not open for credit to graduate students. Legrand

Principles of integrated pest management covering insect, disease, and weed problems in agronomic crops, vegetables, fruits, turfgrass, ornamentals, and greenhouse production. Environmental impacts and pest control strategies will be covered.

3990. Field Study Internship

(Formerly offered as PLSC 3990.) One to six credits. Hours by arrangement. Prerequisite: Open to junior-senior students who have demonstrated professional potential as identified by their advisor; open only with consent of Head of the Department of Plant Science and the advisor. This course may be repeated provided that the sum total of credits earned does not exceed six. Students taking this course will be assigned a final grade of S (satisfactory) or U (unsatisfactory).

Students will work with professionals in an area of research or management.

3995. Special Topics

(Formerly offered as PLSC 3995.) Credits and hours by arrangement. May be repeated for credit with a change of topic. Prerequisite: Open only with consent of instructor.

Topics and credits to be published prior to the registration period preceding the semester offerings.

3999. Independent Study

(Formerly offered as PLSC 3999.) Credits and hours by arrangement. Prerequisite: Open to qualified students with consent of instructor and Department Head. Students are expected to submit written reports. Course may be repeated for credit.

4210. Plant Physiology: How Plants Work

(Formerly offered as PLSC 4210.) Three credits. Three class periods. Prerequisite: BIOL 1108 or 1110 and CHEM 1122 or 1124Q or 1127Q or 1137Q or 1147Q; open to juniors or higher. Wang

Principles of plant physiology and gene expression from the cell to the whole plant level. Emphasis on plant cell structure, water movement, transport systems, photosynthesis, respiration, phytohormone signals and responses to environmental stresses.

4420. Soil Chemistry Processes

(Formerly offered as SOIL 4420.) Three credits. Three class periods. Prerequisite: CHEM 1128Q. Recommended preparation: SPSS 2120 and 2125 (SOIL 2120 and 2125). Schulthess

Physical chemical characteristics of soil minerals and soil organic matter and their reactivity with compounds present in the aqueous and vapor phase. Topics include: redox reactions, adsorption and desorption measurements, electrokinetics, adsorption modeling, and basic principles of soil modification and remediation practices.

4650. Plant Tissue Culture

(Formerly offered as HORT 4650.) Three credits. Two class periods and one 3-hour laboratory period. Prerequisite: CHEM 1122 or 1124 or 1127 and instructor consent. Not open for credit to students who have passed HORT 3650. Brand

In vitro techniques for plant propagation, biotechnology and research. Media preparation, aseptic micropropagation techniques including meristem culture, direct and indirect-organogenesis and embryogenesis, embryo rescue, somaclonal variation, and pathogen indexing.

4994. Seminar

(Formerly offered as PLSC 4994.) One credit. Prerequisite: Open only with consent of instructor. Course may be repeated for credit.

Professional presentations of current topics in Plant Science.

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