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Agronomy

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Undergraduate Study

The Department of Agronomy offers a major leading to a degree of Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in agronomy. The curriculum is designed to provide a strong foundation in crop science, soil science, agricultural meteorology, and plant breeding.

Graduates have the theoretical and practical knowledge needed for efficient and sustainable production of food, feed, fuel, and fiber. Graduates are skilled in critical thinking, problem solving, and communicating and working effectively with others. They understand the ethical, cultural, and environmental dimensions of issues facing professionals in agriculture and natural resources.  There are many opportunities for undergraduate students to be involved in research and international agriculture.

An agronomy major prepares students for employment in agricultural business and industry, agricultural service organizations, crop production and soil management, environmental and natural resource management, and farm management. Graduates pursue careers in the seed, fertilizer, and agricultural chemical industries as field agronomists, crop and soil management specialists, research technicians, sales and marketing specialists, and production managers. State and federal agencies employ agronomists as extension specialists, county extension directors, environmental and natural resource specialists, research associates, soil surveyors, soil conservationists, regulatory agencies as plant, food, and grain inspectors, science-based professional positions, graduate study, or research careers. Additional areas of work open to agronomists include integrated pest management, land appraisal, agricultural finance, turfgrass management, and the home lawn care industry.

The department offers an international scholar program leading to a credentialed title of "Agronomy International Scholar" for agronomy majors who have distinguished themselves in global understanding and international experience. Contact the department for requirements.

Department of Agronomy website - http://www.agron.iastate.edu/.

Curriculum in Agronomy

Total Degree Requirement: 128 cr.

Only 65 cr. from a two-year institution may apply which may include up to 16 technical cr.; 9 P-NP cr. of free electives; 2.00 minimum GPA. A minimum of 15 credits of agronomy courses must be earned at Iowa State and not transferred from other institutions.

International Perspective: 3 cr.

3 cr. from approved International Perspective list: http://www.registrar.iastate.edu/students/div-ip-guide/IntlPerspectives-current

U.S. Diversity: 3 cr.

3 cr. from approved U.S. Diversity list: http://www.registrar.iastate.edu/students/div-ip-guide/usdiversity-courses

Communication/Library: 13 cr.

6 cr. of English composition with a C or better and 3 cr. of speech fundamentals with a C or better.

ENGL 150Critical Thinking and Communication3
ENGL 250Written, Oral, Visual, and Electronic Composition3
SP CM 212Fundamentals of Public Speaking3
or AGEDS 311 Presentation and Sales Strategies for Agricultural Audiences
LIB 160Information Literacy1
One of the following:3
ENGL 302Business Communication3
ENGL 309Proposal and Report Writing3
ENGL 314Technical Communication3

Humanities:  3 cr.

3 cr. from approved humanities list: http://www.cals.iastate.edu/student-services/humanities 

Social Sciences: 3 cr.

3 cr. from approved social sciences list: http://www.cals.iastate.edu/student-services/social-sciences

Ethics:  3 cr.

3 cr. from approved ethics list: http://www.cals.iastate.edu/student-services/ethics

Mathematical Sciences:  6 cr. 

MATH 140College Algebra3
STAT 104Introduction to Statistics3

Physical Sciences:  8 cr. 

CHEM 163
163L
College Chemistry
and Laboratory in College Chemistry
5
or CHEM 177
177L
General Chemistry I
and Laboratory in General Chemistry I
One of the following:
AGRON 259Organic Compounds in Plants and Soils3
BBMB 221Structure and Reactions in Biochemical Processes3
CHEM 231
231L
Elementary Organic Chemistry
and Laboratory in Elementary Organic Chemistry
4

Life and Biological Sciences:  7 cr.   

BIOL 212
212L
Principles of Biology II
and Principles of Biology Laboratory II
4
AGRON 320Genetics, Agriculture and Biotechnology3
or BIOL 313 Principles of Genetics

Supporting Sciences (all 300-400 level):  15 cr.

This requirement can be met in one of three ways:

a.  Complete at least 3 credits in basic or mathematics-intensive discipline (ACCT, BBMB, BIOL, CHEM, COM S, ECON, All Engineering, GEOL, GEN, MATH, MTEOR, PHYS, STAT) as well as at least 6 additional credits in BIOL, BBMB, ENSCI, ENT, GEOL, HORT, GEN, MICRO, NREM, PL P, TSM.  The other 6 credits can be a combination of the above department's courses and/or AGRON.

b.  Complete the courses needed to fulfill a second major or a minor that complements the student's academic and professional goals.

c.  Petition the Agronomy Curriculum Committee with a specific set of coures designed around "keeper of the land", "builder of genetic diversity", "explorer of plant life", "developer of bio-energy", "confronter of world hunger", "designer of sustainable systems".

Agronomy Core:  47 cr.  

AGRON 105Leadership ExperienceR
AGRON 110Professional Development in Agronomy: Orientation1
AGRON 180Global Agriculture in a Changing World3
AGRON 181Introduction to Crop Science3
AGRON 182Introduction to Soil Science3
AGRON 183Basic Skills for Agronomists1
AGRON 206Introduction to Weather and Climate3
AGRON 210Professional Development in Agronomy: Career Planning1
AGRON 279Field Exploration of Agronomy3
AGRON 280Crop Development, Production and Management3
AGRON 281Crop Physiology3
AGRON 282Soil Conservation and Land Use3
AGRON 310Professional Development in Agronomy: Work ExperienceR
or AGRON 311 Professional Internship in Agronomy
AGRON 316Crop Structure-Function Relationships3
AGRON 342World Food Issues: Past and Present3
or AGRON 450 Issues in Sustainable Agriculture
AGRON 354
354L
Soils and Plant Growth
and Soils and Plant Growth Laboratory
4
AGRON 360Environmental Soil Science3
or AGRON 392 Systems Analysis in Crop and Soil Management
AGRON 410Professional Development in Agronomy: Senior Forum1
Additional AGRON credits at the 300-400 level6

Electives:  17 cr.

Additional free electives17

Minor - Agronomy

The department offers a minor in Agronomy that may be earned by taking 18 credits, 9 credits of which must be from these agronomy courses: AGRON 180, AGRON 181, AGRON 182, AGRON 280, AGRON 281, or AGRON 282.  An additional 9 credits must be taken from approved agronomy courses, with a minimum of 6 of the credits from courses at the 300 level or higher. At least 9 credits must be taken at Iowa State University with 6 credits numbered 300 or above.  At least 9 credits must be unique to the requirements for the minor and not used to fulfill specified requirements from the student's major.

Foundational Courses (9 required credits):
AGRON 180Global Agriculture in a Changing World3
AGRON 181Introduction to Crop Science3
AGRON 182Introduction to Soil Science3
AGRON 280Crop Development, Production and Management3
AGRON 281Crop Physiology3
AGRON 282Soil Conservation and Land Use3
Approved Elective Courses for Minor Credit (9 credits minimum, 6 credits at 300+ level)
CROP SCIENCE
AGRON 217Weed Identification1
AGRON 316Crop Structure-Function Relationships3
AGRON 317Principles of Weed Science3
AGRON 320Genetics, Agriculture and Biotechnology3
AGRON 330Crop and Seed Identification Laboratory2
AGRON 334Forage Crop Management3
AGRON 338Seed Science and Technology3
AGRON 351Turfgrass Establishment and Management3
AGRON 421Introduction to Plant Breeding3
SOIL SCIENCE
AGRON 259Organic Compounds in Plants and Soils3
AGRON 354Soils and Plant Growth3
AGRON 354LSoils and Plant Growth Laboratory1
AGRON 360Environmental Soil Science3
AGRON 452GIS for Geoscientists3
AGRON 459Environmental Soil and Water Chemistry4
AGRON 463Soil Formation and Landscape Relationships3
AGRON 477Soil Physics3
AGRON 485Soil and Environmental Microbiology3
ENSCI 402Watershed Hydrology3
AGRICULTURAL METEOROLOGY
AGRON 206Introduction to Weather and Climate3
AGRON 404Global Change3
AGRON 405Environmental Biophysics3
AGRON 406World Climates3
AGRON 407Mesoscale Meteorology3
GENERAL AGRONOMY COURSES
AGRON 342World Food Issues: Past and Present3
AGRON 392Systems Analysis in Crop and Soil Management3
AGRON 450Issues in Sustainable Agriculture3
AGRON 446International Issues and Challenges in Sustainable Development3
AGRON 497Agroecology Field Course3
Students minoring in agronomy can take the following courses: AGRON 331, AGRON 370, AGRON 490, and AGRON 496; but only one (1) credit from these courses can be used in the minor program

Agronomy, B.S.

Freshman
FallCreditsSpringCredits
AGRON 1101AGRON 1813
AGRON 1803AGRON 1823
AGRON 1831BIOL 2123
CHEM 163 & Lab or CHEM 177 & Lab5BIOL 212L1
ENGL 1503ENGL 2503
LIB 1601Math or Social Sciences3
Math or Social Sciences3 
 17 16
Sophomore
FallCreditsSpringCredits
AGRON 2063AGRON 2813
AGRON 2101AGRON 2823
AGRON 2793AGEDS 311 or SP CM 2123
AGRON 2803Organic Chemistry: AGRON 259, BBMB 221, OR CHEM 231 & L3-4
STAT 1043Elective3
Humanities3 
 16 15-16
Junior
FallCreditsSpringCredits
AGRON 3543AGRON 3163
AGRON 354L1AGRON 320 or BIOL 3133-4
AGRON 342 or AGRON 4503ENGL 302, 309, or 3143
Elective3International Perspectives3
Supporting Sciences6Supporting Sciences3
 16 15-16
Senior
FallCreditsSpringCredits
Agronomy Electives6AGRON 360 OR AGRON 3923
Elective6AGRON 4101
Ethics3Elective5
U.S. Diversity3Supporting Sciences6
 18 15

Graduate Study

Introduction

Agronomy is the science and technology of producing plants that serve humans, using practices essential for maintaining and improving life. The Department of Agronomy at the Iowa State University of Science and Technology (ISU) administers Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree programs in four different graduate majors that emphasize different disciplines of agronomy. These majors are: Agricultural Meteorology; Crop Production and Physiology; Plant Breeding; and Soil Science. A fifth graduate major, Agronomy, offers both an MS and a Graduate Certificate through distance education suitable for professionals working in industry or government, as well as a graduate minor for on–campus students.


Admission

To be fully admitted, prospective graduate students must have an undergraduate GPA of at least a 3.00 GPA (4.00 scale) or rank in the upper one–half of their undergraduate class. Provisional and restricted admission demand that students fulfill certain requirements. Non–native English speakers must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Students applying to the Agricultural Meteorology and Plant Breeding graduate majors must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). For all of the majors except Agronomy, a faculty member of the graduate major must agree to be the major professor before the student is admitted.


Program of Study

The academic courses used to satisfy requirements for a graduate degree compose a student’s Program of Study (POS). The POS must be approved by the student’s POS Committee. For the MS in Agronomy, the POS Committee must be composed of at least two faculty who are both members of the Graduate Major in Agronomy. For the other four majors at the MS degree level, at least three faculty must serve on a POS Committee. Two of the three must be members of the major, and at least one must be a member of a different graduate major. At the PhD level the POS Committee must have at least five members, of which at least three must be faculty in the major, and at least one a member of a different graduate major. If the student is pursuing a graduate minor, either as part of an MS or PhD, a graduate faculty member representing the minor must serve on the POS Committee.

Agronomy
The POS for the MS in Agronomy is fixed and consists of the following:

AGRON 501Crop Growth and Development3
AGRON 502Chemistry, Physics, and Biology of Soils3
AGRON 503Climate and Crop Growth3
AGRON 511Crop Improvement3
AGRON 512Soil-Plant Environment3
AGRON 513Quantitative Methods for Agronomy3
AGRON 514Integrated Pest Management3
AGRON 531Crop Ecology and Management3
AGRON 532Soil Management3
AGRON 533Crop Protection3
AGRON 591Agronomic Systems Analysis3
AGRON 592Current Issues in Agronomy3
AGRON 594Agronomy MS Practicum1
AGRON 599MAgronomyarr †
† Arranged with instructor.
All Other Degrees

The courses in each student’s POS will vary depending on the major and the student’s interests.  Every on–campus student must include AGRON 601 in their POS. Note that only a maximum of three 400–level courses or up to one 300–level and two 400–level courses may be included on the POS. If a 300–level course is listed on the POS it cannot be an AGRON course.


Agricultural Meteorology
Students with a major in Agricultural Meteorology must include AGRON 698 in their POS. Students are encouraged to include the following courses: AGRON 505; AGRON 577; MTEOR 605; a modeling course such as AGRON 508, AGRON 518, AGRON 525, AGRON 677, GEOL 516, or MTEOR 552; and a course in statistics.


Crop Production and Physiology
The Graduate Major in Crop Production and Physiology has defined five Core Areas.
Core Area 1 (molecular biology / biochemistry): BBMB 404, BBMB 405, BBMB 542A–G, BBMB 607, and PLBIO 545.
Core Area 2 (growth and development): AGRON525, AGRON551, BIOL 454, BIOL 428, and GDCB 528.
Core Area 3 (plant physiology and metabolism): AGRON508, AGRON516, AGRON519, AGRON 525, AGRON 538, AGRON 553, AGRON 556, BBMB 645, and PLBIO 513.
Core Area 4 (crop ecology and management): AGRON 509, AGRON 515, AGRON 530, AGRON 553, AGRON 556, BIOL 472, BIOL 474, EEOB 570, EEOB 582, EEOB 584, EEOB 589, HORT 524, PL P 577, and PL P 594.
Core Area 5 (statistics / quantitative methods): AGRON 526, STAT 401, STAT 402, STAT 407, STAT 505, STAT 512, CRP 551, and NREM 546.

To major in Crop Production and Physiology, at least one course from three of the Core Areas must be included in the POS for the MS. For the PhD, at least one course from each of the Core Areas must be included. A single course cannot be used for more than one Core Area. Students are also encouraged to consider AGRON 698.

Plant Breeding
The Graduate Major in Plant Breeding has both a resident and distance–education MS program.  The following courses are recommended for students with a major in Plant Breeding: AGRON 521, AGRON 522, AGRON 523, AGRON 524, AGRON 528, AGRON 561, AGRON 600A, AGRON 698, GEN 510, STAT 401, and STAT 402. For the distance program, the following courses are recommended: AGRON 501, AGRON 506, AGRON 513, AGRON 520, AGRON 521, AGRON 523, AGRON 524, AGRON 528, AGRON 544, and AGRON 599. Resident students pursuing the PhD also often include AGRON 621 and AGRON 625 in their POS.


Soil Science
Students pursuing a major in Soil Science may specialize in one of six areas: soil chemistry; soil fertility; soil management; soil microbiology and biochemistry; soil morphology and genesis; or soil physics. If a specialization is chosen, the major professor must be in the designated specialty area. For the PhD, the POS must include one credit of AGRON 600B. Students are also encouraged to consider including AGRON 698 in their POS. 

Master of Science

The general requirements for an MS degree include: 

  • a minimum of 30 credits from academic courses and research activities;
  • at least 22 credits earned at ISU;
  • two–thirds or more of earned credits related to the major; and
  • completion of a final oral examination.

Both non–thesis and thesis options for an MS degree in Agricultural Meteorology, Crop Production and Physiology, Plant Breeding, and Soil Science are available. Students in the Agronomy major must choose the non–thesis option.

Students in Agricultural Meteorology working towards the MS must meet with their POS Committee at least twice. Besides the final oral examination, an additional meeting must be held near the beginning of the graduate program. At this meeting the student will introduce the area of research to be pursued, potential research questions and methods, and a proposed POS. The student must also present a short written report on how the proposed research will help them
master established Enduring Understandings in Agricultural Meteorology.

Creative Component

If the non–thesis MS degree is chosen, then the student must:
1. register for at least two credits of AGRON 599 that will be used to complete a “creative component;” and
2. pass a comprehensive final oral examination.
The creative component is work that presents “substantial evidence of individual accomplishment.”  The POS Committee and the student will specify the creative component, how it will be documented, and how it will be evaluated. The POS Committee also has flexibility in determining the format of the final oral examination. For Agricultural Meteorology, the final oral exam must include an evaluation of the student’s mastery of the Enduring Understandings in Agricultural
Meteorology.

Thesis
In the thesis option the student must:
1. pursue a research project culminating in a written thesis; and
2. pass a comprehensive final oral examination.

A minimum of three research credits of AGRON 699 must be listed on the POS to account for work on an MS thesis. The thesis is submitted to the POS Committee prior to the final oral examination.  During the final oral examination, the student will present and defend the thesis in the presence of the POS Committee. Students in Agricultural Meteorology must also demonstrate mastery of the Enduring Understandings in Agricultural Meteorology. The presentation (also called the “exit seminar”) is open to the general public. Only POS Committee members may attend the examination that follows the presentation.

Doctor of Philosophy

The general requirements for a PhD degree include:

  •  a minimum of 72 credits from academic courses and research activities;
  •  at least 36 of these credits earned at ISU;
  •  completion of a preliminary oral examination;
  •  a written PhD dissertation; and
  •  completion of a comprehensive final oral examination.

Note that the 72 credits can include the credits earned in pursuit of an MS degree. If an MS was earned at another institution, those courses earned at the other institution can be listed along with the ISU courses, but only if the POS Committee determines that the courses are appropriate.  Students in Agricultural Meteorology working towards the PhD must meet with their POS Committee at least three times. Besides the final oral examination and another for the preliminary exam, an additional meeting must be held near the beginning of the graduate program. At this meeting the student will introduce the area of research to be pursued, potential research questions and methods, and a proposed POS. If a student will pursue a PhD without first completing an MS, then during the first meeting of the POS Committee the student must also present a short written report that illustrates connections between the Enduring Understandings in Agricultural Meteorology and their planned research.

Qualification Exam

Agricultural Meteorology
Students in Agricultural Meteorology must take and pass a qualification exam once they have decided to pursue a PhD. The qualification exam must be passed before taking the preliminary exam. The format of the qualification exam is as follows. The student will produce a written report that demonstrates their knowledge of the Enduring Understandings in Agricultural Meteorology.  If the student has come from another university the report must present research completed at ISU and not at the previous institution (such as a thesis). This report will be submitted to all of the faculty in the major. The student will then make an oral presentation to faculty and other students in the major that summarizes and defends the written report.  After the oral presentation, the faculty will meet to determine whether or not the student passed the exam, and whether the student can re–take the exam if the student failed. The faculty will provide written feedback to the student, suggesting areas where improvement is needed and a course of action. The qualification exam can be taken only two times during a student’s graduate career at ISU. If a student who had entered the PhD program without an MS degree takes the qualification exam and fails the exam, the student can: take the qualification exam again, if so allowed by the faculty; or continue their graduate career in pursuit of an MS degree. In the latter case, the student could take the qualification exam one more time after an MS degree has been completed.

All Other Majors
A qualification exam is not required for students in the Crop Production and Physiology, Plant Breeding, or Soil Science majors.

Preliminary Exam

All students pursuing a PhD must take and pass a preliminary oral examination.

Agricultural Meteorology
For students in Agricultural Meteorology the preliminary exam consists of a defense of the student’s proposed dissertation research to the POS Committee. Besides an oral defense, the student must also submit a written report on their proposed research. If the student fails the preliminary exam, the POS Committee must also decide if the student can re–take the exam. The preliminary exam can only be taken twice.  

Crop Production and Physiology
Students in Crop Production and Physiology may be asked to take a written preliminary examination.  If a student fails the written preliminary examination, the POS Committee may require the student to retake the exam, to answer additional written questions, or proceed with the oral examination. The nature of the preliminary oral exam is determined by the student’s POS Committee.

Plant Breeding
Students in Plant Breeding must pass a uniform written preliminary examination that consists of five questions, each from one of five topical areas. Faculty members in Plant Breeding evaluate each answer. Evaluators assign a pass or fail grade to the answer. If an evaluator assigns a failing grade to a question, the evaluator shall clearly indicate the strengths and weaknesses of the answer and provide written information (e.g., references, rationale) to the student which clearly outlines an acceptable response to the question. Failure to provide such written information may invalidate that grade and be considered sufficient cause to exclude the grade in the overall evaluation of the student’s answer. Students who receive two pass grades for a question will have successfully completed that topic, and students must pass each topic to pass the exam. If two valid grades are not in agreement (e.g., one passing grade and one failing grade), additional faculty members will evaluate the answer until there are two valid assessments that are in agreement. Students who do not pass a topic have the opportunity to repeat that topic on the next regularly scheduled exam date. The number of attempts for each topic has not been specified. The examination is offered the last Thursday and Friday of each January and September when one or more students have signed up to take the exam. Students may choose to attempt questions for all five topics, or for subsets of the topics. If a student decides to attempt questions for only certain topics, the student must specify which topics in writing at least one month prior to the scheduled exam date. The nature of the preliminary oral exam is determined by the student’s POS Committee.

Soil Science
Students in Soil Science must pass a written preliminary examination. Exam questions are authored by members of the POS Committee. The format of each question is left open and they may be formulated as open– or closed–book problems. A reasonable period for completion may be set by the author of the question. The student’s responses are formally scored or ranked only by the POS Committee member who authored the question. A copy of the student’s responses to all questions is submitted to all POS Committee members at least one week before the student’s preliminary oral examination. When the student submits a request to schedule the preliminary oral examination, the student’s major professor certifies by signing the form that the student has satisfactorily completed a written preliminary exam. The nature of the preliminary oral exam is determined by the student’s POS Committee.  

Doctoral Dissertation and Final Oral Examination

All students must include at least three AGRON 699 credits in their POS for work on their PhD dissertation. During the required final oral examination, a student presents and defends the dissertation.  This presentation (also called the “exit seminar”) is open to the general public. Only POS Committee members may attend the examination that follows the presentation. 

Graduate Certificate in Agronomy for distance students

The Graduate Certificate in Agronomy is for distance students and is comprised of the first six courses in the Master of Science in Agronomy Distance Curriculum. All six courses are required for certificate completion.

AGRON 501Crop Growth and Development3
AGRON 502Chemistry, Physics, and Biology of Soils3
AGRON 503Climate and Crop Growth3
AGRON 511Crop Improvement3
AGRON 512Soil-Plant Environment3
AGRON 514Integrated Pest Management3
Total Certificate Credits 18

Graduate Minor

Students who wish to minor in Agronomy must include a core course from each of the other four graduate majors in their POS. These courses are:

AGRON 505Environmental Biophysics3
AGRON 516Crop Physiology3
AGRON 521Principles of Cultivar Development3
AGRON 553Soil-Plant Relationships3

However, one substitution is allowed with the approval of the faculty member serving as the minor representative on the POS Committee.

Expand all courses

Courses

Courses primarily for undergraduates:

Cr. R. F.S.SS.


A participatory experience in activities or completion of a course that enhances the development of leadership and group-dynamic skills. See adviser for departmental requirements.

Cr. 1. F.


Orientation to college life, the profession of agronomy, and the agronomy curriculum.

(Cross-listed with ENV S, NREM). (3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.


Overview of soil, water, plants, and animals as renewable natural resources in an ecosystem context. History and organization of resource management. Concepts of integrated resource management.

(Cross-listed with ENV S, GEOL, MTEOR). (3-0) Cr. 3. S.


Study of the occurrence, history, development, and management of world water resources. Basic hydrologic principles including climate, surface water, groundwater, and water quality. Historical and current perspectives on water policy, use, and the role of water in society and the environment.
Meets International Perspectives Requirement.

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.


The global distribution of climate and soils and the physical processes that connect natural resources to agriculture and the environment. How agricultural production is distributed among food, feed, fiber, and energy. The impact of global change on the increasing demand for agricultural production. Meets International Perspectives requirement.
Meets International Perspectives Requirement.

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.


Basic structure and function of plants, origin and classification, growth and development. Fundamentals of photosynthesis, plant water use, plant nutrition and genetics that regulate plant growth, development and responses to the environment.

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.

Prereq: CHEM 163
Introduction to physical, chemical, and biological properties of soils; soil formation, classification and global distribution; soil health, soils and humanity and sustainable land management.

(0-3) Cr. 1. F.


Developing the skills that agronomists employ in their work with crops, soil, and the environment through activities involving tools and methodologies used by agronomists. Enrollment is restricted to first-year students majoring in agronomy.

(Cross-listed with MTEOR). (3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.


Basic concepts in weather and climate, including atmospheric measurements, radiation, stability, precipitation, winds, fronts, forecasting, and severe weather. Applied topics include global warming, ozone depletion, world climates and weather safety.

(1-0) Cr. 1. F.

Prereq: Sophomore classification
Career planning, résumé and cover letter preparation, and interviewing techniques. Career orientation through invited speakers.

(1-2) Cr. 1. F.S.

Prereq: BIOL 101 or equivalent
Half-semester course. Identification of important weeds of agricultural, horticultural and native ecosystems. Principles of plant taxonomy and classification. Field trips.

(3-0) Cr. 3. S.

Prereq: CHEM 163, BIOL 212, MATH 140; AGRON 182 (or equivalent) or AGRON 282 or equivalent
Structure, function, and transformations of organic compounds significant in plant and soil environments.

(2-3) Cr. 3. F.

Prereq: AGRON 181 or equivalent and AGRON 182 or equivalent
Field-based investigation of Iowa’s agronomic systems. Application of principles learned in introductory soils, crops and agronomy courses. For students majoring in Agronomy.

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.

Prereq: AGRON 181 or equivalent and AGRON 182 or equivalent
Overview of crops and cropping systems in the context of global and US agriculture. Focus on agronomic principles, constraints and opportunities as they apply to various locations in Iowa, the USA and the world.

(3-0) Cr. 3. S.

Prereq: AGRON 181 or equivalent
Science governing plant growth and development in the context of cropping and genetic improvements.

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.

Prereq: AGRON 182 or equivalent
Principles of soil conservation and land use with emphasis on best management practices and use of soil maps and databases such as Web Soil Survey. Only Agron 260 or Agron 282 can be used to meet graduation requirements.

(Cross-listed with ENT, FOR, HORT). (2-0) Cr. 2. S.


Core background and specialty topics in agricultural, and horticultural pesticide applicator certification. Students can select certification categories and have the opportunity to obtain pesticide applicator certification at the completion of the course. Commercial pesticide applicator certification is emphasized.

Cr. R. F.S.SS.

Prereq: Permission of department cooperative education coordinator, sophomore classification
Required of all cooperative education students. Students must register for this course prior to commencing each work period.

Cr. R. F.S.SS.


Professional work experience in agronomy. See adviser for departmental requirements. Offered on a satisfactory-fail basis only.

(1-0) Cr. 1. Repeatable. F.S.

Prereq: Permission of instructor before internship begins
A supervised learning experience in a professional setting related to crop production, plant breeding, soil science or environmental science. For students majoring in Agronomy.

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.

Prereq: BIOL 212 recommended
Basic principles concerning the growth, development, and production of crop communities in relation to their environment.

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.


Biology and ecology of weeds. Interactions between weeds and crops. Principles and practices of integrated weed management systems. Herbicide mechanisms, classification, and fate in plants and soils.

(Cross-listed with GEN). (3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.

Prereq: BIOL 212
Transmission genetics with an emphasis on applications in agriculture, the structure and expression of the gene, how genes behave in populations and how recombinant DNA technology can be used to improve agriculture. Credit for graduation will not be allowed for more than one of the following: Gen 260, 313, 320 and Biol 313 and 313L.

(0-4) Cr. 2. S.

Prereq: AGRON 181 or equivalent.
Identification, agronomic and binomial classification of crops, weeds, and diseases. Analysis of crop seed samples for contaminants of weed and other crop seeds.

(0-6) Cr. 2. Repeatable. F.S.

Prereq: Permission of instructor. AGRON 330 recommended
Intensive training in preparation for intercollegiate competition in national crops contests.

(3-0) Cr. 3. S.

Prereq: AGRON 181 or equivalent
Production and management of forage crops; concepts applied to yield, quality, and stand persistence; systems of forage utilization including grazing, hay, and silage. Students enrolling for graduate credit will be expected to complete an additional class project.

(Cross-listed with HORT). (2-3) Cr. 3. F.

Prereq: AGRON 181 (or equivalent) or HORT 221; BIOL 212
Seed production, maturation, dormancy, vigor, deterioration, and related aspects of enhancement, conditioning, storage, and quality evaluation. Aspects of the seed industry and regulation of seed marketing.

(Cross-listed with ENV S, FS HN, T SC). (3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.

Prereq: Junior classification
Issues in the agricultural and food systems of the developed and developing world. Emphasis on economic, social, historical, ethical and environmental contexts. Causes and consequences of overnutrition/undernutrition, poverty, hunger and access/distribution. Explorations of current issues and ideas for the future. Team projects.
Meets International Perspectives Requirement.

(Cross-listed with ENV S, T SC). (3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.

Prereq: Junior classification
Issues in the agricultural and food systems of the developed and developing world. Emphasis on economic, social, historical, ethical and environmental contexts. Causes and consequences of overnutrition/undernutrition, poverty, hunger and access/distribution. Explorations of current issues and ideas for the future. Team projects.
Meets International Perspectives Requirement.

(Cross-listed with HORT). (3-0) Cr. 3. F.

Prereq: HORT 221 or AGRON 181 (or equivalent) or BIOL 211
Principles and practices of turfgrass propagation, establishment, and management. Specialized practices relative to professional lawn care, golf courses, athletic fields, highway roadsides, and seed and sod production. The biology and control of turfgrass pests.

(Cross-listed with HORT). (0-3) Cr. 1. F.

Prereq: Credit or enrollment in HORT 351
Those enrolled in the horticulture curriculum are required to take 351L in conjunction with 351 except by permission of the instructor.

(Cross-listed with HORT). (3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.

Prereq: AGRON 182 or equivalent and BIOL 101
Effects of chemical, physical, and biological properties of soils on plant growth, with emphasis on nutritive elements, pH, organic matter maintenance, and rooting development.

(Cross-listed with HORT). (0-3) Cr. 1. F.S.

Prereq: Agron or Hort major with credit or enrollment in AGRON 354
Laboratory exercises in soil testing that assess a soil's ability to support nutritive requirements for plant growth.

(Cross-listed with ENSCI). (2-2) Cr. 3. S.

Prereq: AGRON 182 (or equivalent) or ENSCI 250 or GEOL 201
Application of soil science to contemporary environmental problems; comparison of the impacts that different management strategies have on short- and long-term environmental quality and land development. Emphasis on participatory learning activities.

(0-3) Cr. 1. Repeatable, maximum of 4 times. F.S.

Prereq: AGRON 182 or equivalent and permission of instructor
Description and interpretation of soils in the field and laboratory, emphasizing hands-on experience. Evaluation of soil information for land use. Students may participate in intercollegiate judging contests.

(1-0) Cr. 1. F.

Prereq: Junior or senior classification
How science works: Hypotheses, data integrity, classification, interpretations, ethics, and communications.

(2-3) Cr. 3. F.S.

Prereq: AGRON 316 and AGRON 354
Management strategies at the level of the farm field. Emphasis will be on participatory learning activities.

Cr. R. F.S.SS.

Prereq: Permission of department cooperative education coordinator; junior classification
Required of all cooperative education students. Students must register for this course prior to commencing each work period.

(Cross-listed with ENSCI, IA LL). Cr. 4. SS.

Prereq: Four courses in physical or biological sciences or engineering
Effects of geomorphology, soils, and land use on transport of water and materials (nutrients, contaminates) in watersheds. Fieldwork will emphasize investigations of the Iowa Great Lakes watershed.

(Dual-listed with AGRON 504). (Cross-listed with ENSCI, ENV S, MTEOR). (3-0) Cr. 3. S.

Prereq: Four courses in physical or biological sciences or engineering; junior standing
Recent changes in global biogeochemical cycles and climate; models of future changes in the climate system; impacts of global change on agriculture, water resources and human health; ethical issues of global environmental change. Also offered online Alt. F, even-numbered years.

(Dual-listed with AGRON 505). (Cross-listed with ENSCI, MTEOR). (3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. S., offered odd-numbered years.

Prereq: MATH 165 or MATH 182 or equivalent and some computer programming experience (any language)
Description of the physical microenvironment in which organisms live. Emphasis on the movement of energy (heat and radiation) and mass (water and carbon) among organisms, the soil, and atmosphere. Applications to humans, other animals, plants, and plant communities.

(Cross-listed with ENSCI, MTEOR). (3-0) Cr. 3. S.

Prereq: AGRON 206/MTEOR 206
Distribution and causes of different climates around the world. Effects of climate and climate variations on human activities including society, economy and agriculture. Current issues such as climate change and international efforts to assess and mitigate the consequences of a changing climate. Semester project and in-class presentation required.
Meets International Perspectives Requirement.

(Dual-listed with AGRON 507). (Cross-listed with MTEOR). (3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. S., offered even-numbered years.

Prereq: MATH 166 and MTEOR 443
Arritt, Gallus. Physical nature and practical consequences of mesoscale atmospheric phenomena. Mesoscale convective systems, fronts, terrain-forced circulations. Observation, analysis, and prediction of mesoscale atmospheric structure.

(1-0) Cr. 1. F.S.

Prereq: Senior classification
Development of an appropriate content for professionalism. Topics include professional certification, ethics, and maintaining an active network of information sources and professional contacts in support of lifelong learning. Student interpretation, writings, presentations, and discussions.

(Cross-listed with HORT). (3-0) Cr. 3. F.

Prereq: GEN 320 or BIOL 313
Breeding methods used in the genetic improvement of self-pollinated, cross-pollinated and asexually reproducing agronomic and horticultural crops. Applications of biotechnology techniques in the development of improved cultivars.

(Cross-listed with GLOBE, INTST). Cr. 3. F.S.

Prereq: 3-credit biology course, Sophomore or higher classification, permission of Instructor
Interdisciplinary study and analysis of agricultural systems, sustainable management, and impact on plants and animal biodiversity. International field experience in evaluating different agricultural systems and impact on biodiversity may be required. A program fee is charged to students for international study abroad.
Meets International Perspectives Requirement.

(Cross-listed with ENV S). (3-0) Cr. 3. F.


Agricultural science as a human activity; contemporary agricultural issues from agroecological perspective. Comparative analysis of intended and actual consequences of development of industrial agricultural practices.

(Dual-listed with AGRON 552). (Cross-listed with ENSCI, GEOL). (2-2) Cr. 3. F.S.

Prereq: GEOL 100, GEOL 201 or equivalent
Introduction to geographic information systems (GIS) with particular emphasis on geoscientific data. Uses ESRI's ArcGIS Desktop Software and extension modules. Emphasizes typical GIS operations and analyses in the geosciences to prepare students for advanced GIS courses.

(Dual-listed with AGRON 559). (Cross-listed with ENSCI). (3-3) Cr. 4. F.

Prereq: Two semesters of college-level chemistry, MATH 140, AGRON 182 (or equivalent) or AGRON 360; GEOL 100 and AGRON 354 recommended
An introduction to the chemical properties of soils, chemical reactions and transformations in soils and surface waters, and their impact on the environment. Topics include solution chemistry in soils and surface waters, solid-phase composition of soils, reactions at the solid-solution interface, and applications to contemporary environmental issues.

(Dual-listed with AGRON 563). (Cross-listed with ENSCI). (3-0) Cr. 3. S.

Prereq: AGRON 182 (or equivalent) or AGRON 260
Relationships between soil formation, geomorphology, and environment. Soil description, classification, geography, mapping, and interpretation for land use. Two weekend field trips. Credit for one of AGRON 463 or AGRON 463I may be applied for graduation.

(Dual-listed with AGRON 563I). (Cross-listed with ENSCI, IA LL). Cr. 4. Alt. SS., offered even-numbered years.

Prereq: AGRON 182 (or equivalent) or AGRON 260
Relationships between soil formation, geomorphology, and environment. Soil description, classification, geography, mapping, and interpretation for land use. Credit for only Agron 563 or 563I may be applied for graduation.

(0-3) Cr. 1. S.

Prereq: Credit or enrollment in AGRON 463
Laboratory exercise in soil formation with landscape relationships including pedon description with soil mapping.

(Dual-listed with AGRON 577). (Cross-listed with ENSCI). (3-0) Cr. 3. S.

Prereq: AGRON 182 or equivalent and MATH 166 recommended
The physical soil system: the soil components and their physical interactions; transport processes involving water, air, and heat.

(Dual-listed with AGRON 584). (Cross-listed with HORT). (3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. S., offered odd-numbered years.

Prereq: 9 cr. in biological or physical sciences
Understanding of the historical origins and ecological theories underpinning the practices involved in organic agriculture. Interdisciplinary examination of crop and livestock production and socio-economic processes and policies in organic agriculture from researcher and producer perspectives.

(Dual-listed with AGRON 585). (Cross-listed with ENSCI, MICRO). (2-3) Cr. 3. F.

Prereq: AGRON 182 or equivalent; MICRO 201 and MICRO 201L recommended
The living organisms in the soil and what they do. Emphasis on soil biota composition, the carbon cycle and bioremediation, soil-plant-microbial relationships, and environmental issues.

(Dual-listed with AGRON 588). (Cross-listed with ENSCI, GEOL). (2-2) Cr. 3. Alt. S., offered odd-numbered years.

Prereq: GIS course, such as GEOL 452, CRP 451, CRP 452, NREM 345, NREM 446, AE 408 or equivalent
GIS course with focus on the spatial analysis and modeling of raster data and triangulated irregular network (TIN) data. Uses ArcGIS and various extensions, such as Spatial Analyst, 3D Analyst, and ArcScene. Includes practical exercises during lectures, lab exercises, homework assignments, and (for GEOL 588) a class project.

Cr. 1-3. Repeatable, maximum of 4 credits. F.S.SS.

Prereq: Junior or senior classification with at least 8 credits in agronomy; permission of instructor in specialty area after consultation
Selected studies in crops, soils, or agricultural meteorology according to the needs and interests of the student.

Cr. 1-3. Repeatable, maximum of 4 credits. F.S.SS.

Prereq: Junior or senior classification with at least 8 credits in agronomy; permission of instructor in specialty area after consultation
Selected studies in crops, soils, or agricultural meteorology according to the needs and interests of the student.

Cr. 1-3. Repeatable, maximum of 4 credits. F.S.SS.

Prereq: Junior or senior classification with at least 8 credits in agronomy; permission of instructor in specialty area after consultation
Selected studies in crops, soils, or agricultural meteorology according to the needs and interests of the student.

Cr. 1-3. Repeatable, maximum of 4 credits. F.S.SS.

Prereq: Junior or senior classification with at least 8 credits in agronomy; permission of instructor in specialty area after consultation
Selected studies in crops, soils, or agricultural meteorology according to the needs and interests of the student.

Cr. 1-3. Repeatable, maximum of 4 credits. F.S.SS.

Prereq: Junior or senior classification with at least 8 credits in agronomy; permission of instructor in specialty area after consultation
Selected studies in crops, soils, or agricultural meteorology according to the needs and interests of the student.

(Cross-listed with HORT). Cr. 1-2. Repeatable, maximum of 1 times. F.S.SS.

Prereq: AGRON 338, advanced approval and participation of employer and instructor
A professional work experience and creative project for seed science secondary majors. The project requires the prior approval and participation of the employer and instructor. The student must submit a written report.

Cr. arr. Repeatable, maximum of 4 times.

Prereq: Permission of instructor
Workshop experience in crops, soils, or agricultural meteorology.

Cr. arr. Repeatable.

Prereq: Permission of instructor
Limited enrollment. Tour and study of production methods in major crop and livestock regions of the world. Influence of climate, economics, geography, soils, landscapes, markets, and other factors on crop and livestock production. Location and duration of tours will vary. Tour expenses paid by students. Check with department for current offerings.

Cr. arr. Repeatable.

Prereq: Permission of instructor
Limited enrollment. Tour and study of production methods in major crop and livestock regions of the world. Influence of climate, economics, geography, soils, landscapes, markets, and other factors on crop and livestock production. Location and duration of tours will vary. Tour expenses paid by students. Check with department for current offerings.
Meets International Perspectives Requirement.

Cr. arr. Repeatable.

Prereq: Permission of instructor
Limited enrollment. Tour and study of production methods in major crop and livestock regions of the world. Influence of climate, economics, geography, soils, landscapes, markets, and other factors on crop and livestock production. Location and duration of tours will vary. Tour expenses paid by students. Check with department for current offerings.

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.

Prereq: Jr. or Sr. classification with at least 8 credits in Agronomy
A one-week intensive class, offered off-campus. Student will visit farms within the Midwest and analyze the sustainability of each farm.

Cr. R. F.S.SS.

Prereq: Permission of department cooperative education coordinator; senior classification
Required of all cooperative education students. Students must register for this course prior to commencing each work period.

Courses primarily for graduate students, open to qualified undergraduates:

(2-0) Cr. 1. F.

Prereq: International agronomy graduate students only
An introduction to Iowa and U.S. agriculture for international scholars in agronomic majors. Field trips when possible. Departmental role in the functioning of research, teaching, and extension in fulfilling the charge given the land-grant university.

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.

Prereq: AGRON 181 or equivalent, MATH 140, CHEM 163, BIOL 101
Physiological processes in crop growth, development and yield: photosynthesis, respiration, water relations, mineral nutrition, assimilate partitioning, seedling vigor, light interception and canopy growth, root growth, reproduction and yield. Required course for the Master of Science in Agronomy degree program and Agronomy Graduate Certificate program.

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.

Prereq: AGRON 181 or equivalent, AGRON 182 or equivalent, BIOL 101, CHEM 163, MATH 140
Soil chemical, physical, and biological properties that control processes within the soil, their influence on plant/soil interactions, and soil classification. Basic concepts in soil science and their applications. Required course for the Master of Science in Agronomy degree program and Agronomy Graduate Certificate program.

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.SS.

Prereq: AGRON 181 or equivalent and MATH 140
Applied concepts in climate and agricultural meteorology with emphasis on the climate-agriculture relationship and the microclimate-agriculture interaction and crop risk management. Basic meteorological principles are also presented to support these applied concepts. Required course for the Master of Science in Agronomy degree program and Agronomy Graduate Certificate program.

(Dual-listed with AGRON 404). (Cross-listed with ENSCI, MTEOR). (3-0) Cr. 3. S.

Prereq: Four courses in physical or biological sciences or engineering; junior standing
Recent changes in global biogeochemical cycles and climate; models of future changes in the climate system; impacts of global change on agriculture, water resources and human health; ethical issues of global environmental change. Also offered online Alt. F, even-numbered years.

(Dual-listed with AGRON 405). (Cross-listed with ENSCI, MTEOR). (3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. S., offered odd-numbered years.

Prereq: MATH 165 or MATH 182 or equivalent and some computer programming experience (any language)
Description of the physical microenvironment in which organisms live. Emphasis on the movement of energy (heat and radiation) and mass (water and carbon) among organisms, the soil, and atmosphere. Applications to humans, other animals, plants, and plant communities.

(Cross-listed with HORT). Cr. 3. F.


Introduction to genetics of reproductive systems, recombination, segregation and linkage analysis, inbreeding, quantitative inheritance, fertility regulation, and polyploidy to prepare students for subsequent courses in crop improvement. Enrollment is restricted to off-campus MS in Plant Breeding students.

(Dual-listed with AGRON 407). (Cross-listed with MTEOR). (3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. S., offered even-numbered years.

Prereq: MATH 166 and MTEOR 454
The physical nature and practical consequences of mesoscale atmospheric phenomena. Mesoscale convective systems, fronts, terrain-forced circulations. Observation, analysis, and prediction of mesoscale atmospheric structure. Semester project and in-class presentation required.

(3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. S., offered even-numbered years.

Prereq: AGRON 505
Physical modeling of bio-response and crop adaptation to climate. Principles of resource capture (light and water) applied to growth and development. Ecological implications of radiation, temperature, moisture, and the biological properties of size, shape, resistance to water vapor loss, and absorptivity to solar and thermal radiation. Physiological stress in the soil, plant, atmosphere continuum.

(Cross-listed with SOC, SUSAG). (3-4) Cr. 4. F.

Prereq: Senior or above classification
Experiential, interdisciplinary examination of Midwestern agricultural and food systems, emphasizing field visits, with some classroom activities. Focus on understanding multiple elements, perspectives (agronomic, economic, ecological, social, etc), and scales of operation.

(Cross-listed with STB). (3-0) Cr. 3. F.

Prereq: Admission to the Seed Technology and Business Master's Degree Program or approval of the instructor
A study of the basic principles and methods in the genetic improvement of crop plants. Methods used in manipulating genomes through the use of biotechnology. Methods of cultivar development. Quantitative procedures for describing response to selection. Analysis of the relationship of reproductive characters and growth characteristics to response to selection.

(3-0) Cr. 3. S.

Prereq: AGRON 181 or equivalent, MATH 140, CHEM 163, BIOL 101
Basic principles in the genetic improvement of crop plants. Methods of cultivar development in self-pollinated and cross-pollinated crop species. Required course for the Master of Science in agronomy degree program and agronomy graduate certificate program.

(3-0) Cr. 3. S.

Prereq: AGRON 502. Recommended AGRON 501
Soil properties and their impact on soil/plant relationships. Soil structure, aeration, moisture, and nutrients will be discussed in the context of soil fertility and environmental quality management. Required course for the Master of Science in agronomy degree program and agronomy graduate certificate program.

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.

Prereq: AGRON 181 or equivalent, MATH 140, STAT 104
Quantitative methods for analyzing and interpreting agronomic information. Principles of experimental design, hypothesis testing, analysis of variance, regression, correlation, and graphical representation of data. Use of SAS and Excel for organization, analyzing, and presenting data. Required course for the Master of Science in Agronomy degree program.

(3-0) Cr. 3. SS.

Prereq: AGRON 181 or equivalent, AGRON 501, MATH 140, CHEM 163, BIOL 101; AGRON 502 and AGRON 503 recommended
Principles and practices of weed science, entomology, and plant pathology applied to crop production systems. Biology, ecology and principles of integrated crop pest management. Required course for the Master of Science in Agronomy degree program and Agronomy Graduate Certificate program.

(Cross-listed with A B E, AN S, SUSAG). (3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. F., offered odd-numbered years.

Prereq: SUSAG 509
Methods to maintain productivity and minimize the negative ecological effects of agricultural systems by understanding nutrient cycles, managing manure and crop residue, and utilizing multispecies interactions. Crop and livestock production within landscapes and watersheds is also considered. Course includes a significant field component, with student teams analyzing Iowa farms.

(3-0) Cr. 3. S.


Investigation of Molecular, whole plant, and plant community processes essential to biomass production and seed formation, and analysis of molecular approaches to overcome the limitations imposed on these processes by the environment.

(Cross-listed with E E, MTEOR). (3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. S., offered even-numbered years.

Prereq: MATH 265 or equivalent
Microwave remote sensing of Earth's surface and atmosphere using satellite-based or ground-based instruments. Specific examples include remote sensing of atmospheric temperature and water vapor, precipitation, ocean salinity, and soil moisture.

(2-0) Cr. 2. Alt. S., offered even-numbered years.

Prereq: AGRON 316 (or equivalent) and AGRON 317
Herbicide mechanisms of action, selectivity, uptake, and translocation. Specific sites of herbicide action as they affect plant physiology. Herbicide resistance in weeds and crops. Implications of herbicides on weed management.

Cr. 3. S.

Prereq: AGRON 506
Breeding methods used in the genetic improvement of self-pollinated, cross-pollinated and asexually reproducing agronomic and horticultural crops. Application of biotechnology techniques in the development of improved cultivars.

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.

Prereq: AGRON 421 and STAT 401
Theoretical and practical exploration of breeding methods to develop clonal, pureline, inbred and hybrid cultivars. Principles and strategies to set breeding objectives, parental selection and germplasm management, population development, generation advancements, multiple trait selection, experimental designs in breeding programs; seed production and certification. Introduce tools available to a breeder.

(0-6) Cr. 1-2. Alt. SS., offered odd-numbered years.

Prereq: AGRON 521
Field experience in planning and conducting plant breeding research for germplasm and cultivar development. Offered on a satisfactory-fail basis only.

(2-2) Cr. 3. S.

Prereq: AGRON 421 or AGRON 521, GDCB 542A
Plant breeding in the era of sequenced genomes and transformation. High throughout genomic technologies will be presented in relation to various applications in plant breeding.

Cr. 3. F.

Prereq: AGRON 506
Basic principles and applied techniques used in the genetic improvement of crop plants. Discussion of structure and function of genes that control traits of value. Types of molecular markers, analysis of quantitatively inherited traits, genome mapping, analyses of databases.

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.

Prereq: MATH 165 or MATH 181 or equivalent; AGRON 316 or AGRON 354 or equivalent.
Understanding basic crop physiology and soil processes through the use of mathematical and statistical approaches. Structure of crop models, dynamics and relationship among components such as leaf-level photosynthesis, canopy architecture, root dynamics and soil carbon and nitrogen pools.

(3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. S., offered odd-numbered years.

Prereq: STAT 401
Planning experiments for agricultural research, analysis of data, and concepts in data interpretation.

(3-0) Cr. 3. S.

Prereq: AGRON 506 or AGRON 513
An introduction to the application of quantitative genetics to plant breeding programs.

(Cross-listed with ENT, PL P, SUSAG). (3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. F., offered even-numbered years.


Durable, least-toxic strategies for managing weeds, pathogens, and insect pests, with emphasis on underlying ecological processes.

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.

Prereq: AGRON 501, AGRON 502, AGRON 503; AGRON 512 and AGRON 514 recommended
Ecological principles underlying crop production systems. Crop production in the context of management approaches, system resources and constraints, and interactions. Emphasis on the ecology of row and forage crops common to the Midwest. Required course for the Master of Science in Agronomy degree program.

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.

Prereq: AGRON 501, AGRON 503, AGRON 512. Recommended AGRON 513
Evaluates the impact of various soil management practices on soil and water resources. Combines and applies basic information gained in AGRON 502 and AGRON 512. Emphasizes the agronomic, economic, and environmental effects of soil management strategies. Required course for the Master of Science in Agronomy degree program.

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.

Prereq: AGRON 514
Integrated management systems for important crop pests. Cultural, biological and chemical management strategies applicable to major crops grown in the Midwest. Required course for the Master of Science in Agronomy degree program.

(Cross-listed with STB). (2-0) Cr. 2.

Prereq: Admission to the Seed Technology and Business Master's Degree Program or approval of the instructor
The components of seed quality and how they are assessed in the laboratory, including traits derived from modern biotechnology. The impact of new technologies on seed quality testing. Variety maintenance procedures and breeder seed. Variety identification: phenotype and grow-out trials, isozyme testing, and DNA marker testing. Procedures for evaluating varieties. The variance tests appropriate for fixed effects analysis of variance. Statistical inference and stratification for yield trials. Use of strip plot testing.

(Cross-listed with STB). Cr. 1.

Prereq: Admission to MS in Seed Technology and Business program or by special arrangement with the instructor
An analysis of the defining characteristics of the seed industry and introduction to the Master in Seed Technology and Business curriculum. The tasks of crop improvement and seed production will be analytically related to basic management functions and classifications of management activities that are used in the study of business administration. Management tasks and roles will be analyzed in related to the public policy issues that shape the seed industry, including ethical and economical approaches to biotechnology, intellectual property, and corporate responsibility.

(Cross-listed with STB). (2-0) Cr. 2. F.

Prereq: Admission to the Seed Technology and Business Master's Degree Program or approval of the instructor
Quantitative Methods for analyzing and interpreting agronomic and business information for the seed industry. Principles of experimental design and hypothesis testing, regression, correlation, analysis of variance, and graphical representation of data. Use of spreadsheets and statistical software for manipulating, analyzing and presenting data.

(Cross-listed with HORT). (2-0) Cr. 2. Alt. F., offered even-numbered years.

Prereq: AGRON 316; CHEM 231 or CHEM 331
Physiological aspects of seed development, maturation, longevity, dormancy, and germination of agronomic and horticultural crops and their interactions with field and storage environments. Emphasis on current literature and advanced methodology.

(Cross-listed with STB). (2-0) Cr. 2. F.

Prereq: Admission to the Seed Technology and Business Master's Degree Program or approval of the instructor
The technical operations which may be carried out on a seed lot from harvest until it is ready for marketing and use. The opportunities for quality improvement and the risks of deterioration which are present during that time. Analysis of the costs of and benefits of operations. Evaluation of equipment based on benefits to the customer and producer. Interpretation of the role of the conditioning plant and store as focal points within the overall operations of a seed company.

Cr. 2-3. F.S.SS.

Prereq: AGRON 206 or upper division Biological Science
Applied concepts in agricultural meteorology. Basic concepts of weather and of crop/climate relationships influencing production, protection, yield and associated production risk factors. Self study sections are available to resident and to distant education students all semesters. Credit for only one of Agron 503 or 541 may be applied toward graduation.

Cr. 3. F.

Prereq: AGRON 501
Incorporation of the principles of integrated pest management and crop protection. Management systems (biological, cultural, chemical) and strategies which practice principles of weed science, plant pathology, and entomology. Enrollment is restricted to off-campus students in Agronomy MS in Plant Breeding.

(Cross-listed with HORT, SUSAG). (3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. S., offered odd-numbered years.

Prereq: SUSAG 509
Project-focused engagement in food and farming systems using tools and perspectives drawn from multiple disciplines. Includes a field component.

(Cross-listed with STB). (2-0) Cr. 2. Alt. F., offered even-numbered years.

Prereq: Admission to the Seed Technology and Business Master's Degree Program or approval of instructor
Survey of crop production; including management of soil fertility, planting dates, populations, weed control, and insect control. Analysis of the principles of seed multiplication and the key practices which are used to ensure high quality in the products. Field inspection procedures and production aspects that differ from other crop production. Foundation seed production. Analysis of the typical organization of field production tasks. Resources and capabilities required. Survey of differences in seed production strategies between crops and impact of differences on management of seed production.

(Cross-listed with HORT). (2-0) Cr. 2. Alt. S., offered even-numbered years.

Prereq: Junior or senior or graduate classification or permission of instructor
Selected topics on anatomy, morphology, and physiology relative to growth and development of perennial grasses. Emphasis on growth and development characteristics peculiar to grasses and variations of such characteristics under natural and managed conditions.

(Dual-listed with AGRON 452). (Cross-listed with ENSCI, GEOL). (2-2) Cr. 3. F.S.

Prereq: GEOL 100, GEOL 201 or equivalent
Introduction to geographic information systems (GIS) with particular emphasis on geoscientific data. Uses ESRI's ArcGIS Desktop Software and extension modules. Emphasizes typical GIS operations and analyses in the geosciences to prepare students for advanced GIS courses.

(Cross-listed with ENSCI). (3-0) Cr. 3. S.

Prereq: AGRON 354
Composition and properties of soils in relation to the nutrition and growth of plants.

(2-0) Cr. 2. Alt. F., offered odd-numbered years.

Prereq: AGRON 354; MATH 165
Implications of soil management on the soil environment and root activity. Effect of soil physical properties on soil erosion.

(Cross-listed with GEOL). (3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. S., offered odd-numbered years.

Prereq: AGRON 473, CHEM 178. Recommend: GEOL 311
Structure and behavior of clay minerals, humic substances and biochar in soil environments, with emphasis on reactions and environmental implications.

(3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. F., offered odd-numbered years.

Prereq: 3 credits in chemistry and 6 credits in biology; Recommended: ENSCI 382, ENSCI 553, or upper-level coursework in nutrient cycles
Major, biologically important agroecosystem nutrient cycles as linked to energy (carbon) and water. Effects of agricultural production and management on cycling within systems and transfer among system at local, regional and global scales will be emphasized.

(Cross-listed with ENSCI). (2-3) Cr. 3. Alt. F., offered even-numbered years.

Prereq: AGRON 354 and CHEM 211
Experimental and descriptive inorganic and organic analyses. Operational theory and principles of applicable instruments, including spectrophotometry, atomic and molecular absorption and emission spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, X-ray diffraction and fluorescence, gas and ion chromatography, and ion-selective electrodes.

(Dual-listed with AGRON 459). (Cross-listed with ENSCI). (3-3) Cr. 4. F.

Prereq: Two semesters of college-level chemistry, MATH 140, AGRON 182 (or equivalent) or AGRON 360; GEOL 100 and AGRON 354 recommended
An introduction to the chemical properties of soils, chemical reactions and transformations in soils and surface waters, and their impact on the environment. Topics include solution chemistry in soils and surface waters, solid-phase composition of soils, reactions at the solid-solution interface, and applications to contemporary environmental issues.

(Cross-listed with AN S). (4-0) Cr. 4. F.

Prereq: STAT 401
Population and quantitative genetics for plant and animal genetics. Study of the genetic basis and analysis of variation in quantitative traits in domestic or experimental populations using phenotypic and molecular marker data, including estimation of heritability and other genetic parameters, linkage analysis and mapping of quantitative trait loci, and the impact of inbreeding, heterosis, and genotype-by-environment interaction.

(Dual-listed with AGRON 463). (Cross-listed with ENSCI). (3-0) Cr. 3. S.

Prereq: AGRON 182 (or equivalent) or AGRON 260
Relationships between soil formation, geomorphology, and environment. Soil description, classification, geography, mapping, and interpretation for land use. Two weekend field trips. Credit for one of AGRON 463 or AGRON 463I may be applied for graduation.

(Dual-listed with AGRON 463I). (Cross-listed with ENSCI, IA LL). Cr. 4. Alt. SS., offered even-numbered years.

Prereq: AGRON 182 (or equivalent) or AGRON 260
Relationships between soil formation, geomorphology, and environment. Soil description, classification, geography, mapping, and interpretation for land use. Credit for only Agron 563 or 563I may be applied for graduation.

(Cross-listed with TOX, VDPAM). (3-0) Cr. 3. F.

Prereq: Statistics 300-level or higher.
Risk assessment principles as applied to biological systems. Exposure and effects characterization in human and animal health and ecological risk assessment. Risk analysis frameworks and regulatory decision-making. Introduction to quantitative methods for risk assessment using epidemiological and distributional analysis. Uncertainty analysis. This course is available only by distance.

(Cross-listed with ENSCI). (3-0) Cr. 3. F.

Prereq: AGRON 463 or equivalent
Advanced study of soil formation, emphasizing relationships among soils, landscapes, environment, humans, and land use.

(Dual-listed with AGRON 477). (Cross-listed with ENSCI). (3-0) Cr. 3. S.

Prereq: AGRON 182 or equivalent and MATH 166 recommended
The physical soil system: the soil components and their physical interactions; transport processes involving water, air, and heat.

(Cross-listed with ENSCI). (0-3) Cr. 1. S.

Prereq: concurrent enrollment in AGRON 477 or AGRON 577
Methods of measuring soil physical properties such as texture, density, and water content, and transport of heat, water, and gases.

(Dual-listed with AGRON 484). (Cross-listed with HORT, SUSAG). (3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. S., offered odd-numbered years.

Prereq: 9 cr. in biological or physical sciences
Understanding of the historical origins and ecological theories underpinning the practices involved in organic agriculture. Interdisciplinary examination of crop and livestock production and socio-economic processes and policies in organic agriculture from researcher and producer perspectives.

(Dual-listed with AGRON 485). (Cross-listed with ENSCI, MICRO). (2-3) Cr. 3. F.

Prereq: AGRON 182 or equivalent; MICRO 201 and MICRO 201L recommended
The living organisms in the soil and what they do. Emphasis on soil biota composition, the carbon cycle and bioremediation, soil-plant-microbial relationships, and environmental issues.

(Dual-listed with AGRON 488). (Cross-listed with ENSCI, GEOL). (2-2) Cr. 3. Alt. S., offered odd-numbered years.

Prereq: GIS course, such as GEOL 452, CRP 451, CRP 452, NREM 345, NREM 446, AE 408 or equivalent
GIS course with focus on the spatial analysis and modeling of raster data and triangulated irregular network (TIN) data. Uses ArcGIS and various extensions, such as Spatial Analyst, 3D Analyst, and ArcScene. Includes practical exercises during lectures, lab exercises, homework assignments, and (for GEOL 588) a class project.

Cr. arr. Repeatable.

Prereq: 15 credits in agronomy
Literature reviews and conferences on selected topics in crops, soils, or agricultural meteorology according to needs and interest of student.

(3-0) Cr. 3. S.

Prereq: AGRON 511, AGRON 513, AGRON 531, AGRON 532, AGRON 533
Analysis of cropping systems from a problem-solving perspective. Case studies will be used to develop the students' ability to solve agronomic problems. Required course for the Master of Science in Agronomy degree program.

(3-0) Cr. 3. S.

Prereq: AGRON 501, AGRON 503, AGRON 511, AGRON 512, AGRON 513, AGRON 514
Critical analysis and discussion of agricultural practices, programs, and policies of current interest to the field of agronomy. Leadership skill development through consideration of technical, social, and ethical components underlying controversial topics. Enhancement of communication proficiency through debate and writing in order to define problems, articulate possible solutions, and propose appropriate courses of action. Required course for the Master of Science in agronomy degree program.

Cr. arr. Repeatable.

Prereq: Graduate classification

(1-0) Cr. 1. SS.

Prereq: AGRON 501, AGRON 502, AGRON 503, AGRON 514 (or current enrollment. Recommended: AGRON 511, AGRON 512, AGRON 513
Practical field and laboratory experiences integrating coursework in climatology, crops, and soils. Includes lectures, labs and local agri-business tours.

(Cross-listed with STB). (3-0) Cr. 3.

Prereq: Admission to the Seed Technology and Business Master's Degree Program or approval of the instructor
Advanced survey of the organization, staff capabilities and management characteristics typical in seed production and crop improvement in seed enterprises. Analysis of the use of quality information in the management of seed operations and sales. Process management applications for seed. Production planning for existing capacity. Analysis of the manager's tasks in the annual cycle and how the tasks of these managers relate to the general categories of business management roles. Difference in management strategies used with different situations and groups of employees.

Cr. arr.

Prereq: Nonthesis M.S. option only
A written report based on research, library readings, or topics related to the student's area of specialization and approved by the student's advisory committee.

Cr. arr.

Prereq: Nonthesis M.S. option only
A written report based on research, library readings, or topics related to the student's area of specialization and approved by the student's advisory committee.

Cr. arr.

Prereq: Nonthesis M.S. option only
A written report based on research, library readings, or topics related to the student's area of specialization and approved by the student's advisory committee.

Cr. arr.

Prereq: Nonthesis M.S. option only
A written report based on research, library readings, or topics related to the student's area of specialization and approved by the student's advisory committee.

Cr. arr.

Prereq: Nonthesis M.S. option only
A written report based on research, library readings, or topics related to the student's area of specialization and approved by the student's advisory committee.

Cr. arr.

Prereq: Nonthesis M.S. option only
A written report based on research, library readings, or topics related to the student's area of specialization and approved by the student's advisory committee.

Cr. arr.

Prereq: Nonthesis M.S. option only
A written report based on research, library readings, or topics related to the student's area of specialization and approved by the student's advisory committee.

Cr. arr.

Prereq: Nonthesis M.S. option only
A written report based on research, library readings, or topics related to the student's area of specialization and approved by the student's advisory committee.

Cr. arr.

Prereq: Nonthesis M.S. option only
A written report based on research, library readings, or topics related to the student's area of specialization and approved by the student's advisory committee.

Cr. arr.

Prereq: Nonthesis M.S. option only
A written report based on research, library readings, or topics related to the student's area of specialization and approved by the student's advisory committee.

Cr. arr.

Prereq: Nonthesis M.S. option only
A written report based on research, library readings, or topics related to the student's area of specialization and approved by the student's advisory committee.

Cr. arr.

Prereq: Nonthesis M.S. option only
A written report based on research, library readings, or topics related to the student's area of specialization and approved by the student's advisory committee.

Cr. arr.

Prereq: Nonthesis M.S. option only
A written report based on research, library readings, or topics related to the student's area of specialization and approved by the student's advisory committee.

Courses for graduate students:

(1-0) Cr. 1. Repeatable, maximum of 6 times. F.S.


Reports and discussion of recent literature and research.

(1-0) Cr. 1. Repeatable, maximum of 6 times. F.S.


Instruction and practice in giving scientific presentations related to the fields of plant breeding, genetics, or genomics, with an emphasis on effective communication and presentation techniques. An oral seminar and a poster presentation are required, along with analyses of other seminars, and participation in planning and hosting invited speakers.

(1-0) Cr. 1. Repeatable, maximum of 6 times. S.


Reports and discussion of recent literature and research.

(1-0) Cr. 1. Repeatable, maximum of 6 times. F.S.


Reports and discussion of recent literature and research.

(3-0) Cr. 2. S.

Prereq: graduate status in agronomic science, permission of instructor.
Experience in critical communications in exchange of ideas through oral and poster presentations and scientific questioning/evaluation.

(Cross-listed with MTEOR). (3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. F., offered even-numbered years.

Prereq: MTEOR 443 or equivalent-level course in engineering fluids
Atmospheric boundary-layer structure and dynamics. Diurnal and seasonal variations, turbulent fluxes and turbulence kinetic energy. Measurements and empirical relations for wind and temperature near the ground. Numerical simulation and applications to wind energy.

(Cross-listed with A B E, ANTHR, SOC, SUSAG). (3-0) Cr. 3. F.

Prereq: Graduate classification, permission of instructor
Historical, biophysical, socioeconomic, and ethical dimensions of agricultural sustainability. Strategies for evaluating existing and emerging agricultural systems in terms of the core concepts of sustainability and their theoretical contexts.

(3-0) Cr. 3. S.

Prereq: AGRON 521, AGRON 526, AGRON 561, GEN 410
Estimation and interpretation of genetic effects and variances of plant breeding populations, analysis of mating designs, estimation of combining ability and heritability, best linear unbiased prediction, selection indices with and without molecular information, inbreeding and heterosis.

(3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. S., offered odd-numbered years.

Prereq: AGRON 521 and GDCB 510
Evaluation of genetic, molecular, and cellular approaches to crop improvement; gene transfer methods. Application and role of basic plant biology in breeding programs and processes; genome structure and function, gene isolation, expression, regulation, and modification. Integration of molecular and cellular methods in breeding strategies; analysis of alternative breeding methods, regulatory and ethical issues.

(2-0) Cr. 2. Alt. S., offered odd-numbered years.

Prereq: AGRON 553
Evaluation of soil fertility and fertilizers; theory and applications.

(2-0) Cr. 3. Alt. F., offered even-numbered years.

Prereq: AGRON 577 and MATH 266; COM S 207 recommended
The flow and distribution of water, chemicals, and heat in soils. Physical principles and applications.

(Cross-listed with ENSCI, MICRO). (2-0) Cr. 2. Alt. S., offered even-numbered years.

Prereq: AGRON 585
Chemistry of soil organic matter and biochemical transformations brought about by microorganisms and enzymes in soils.

(Cross-listed with BBMB, FOR, GDCB, HORT, PLBIO). Cr. 1. Repeatable.


Research seminars by faculty and graduate students. Offered on a satisfactory-fail basis only.

Cr. 1-2. Repeatable. F.S.SS.

Prereq: Graduate classification in agronomy and permission of instructor
Graduate student experience in the agronomy teaching program. Offered on a satisfactory-fail basis only.

Cr. arr. Repeatable.


Cr. arr. Repeatable.


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