AMHERST, Mass. — The UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture is offering two new classes on ecological pest management this fall. Plant pests include insects, pathogens and weeds. It is estimated that over 40% of the world’s food is lost to insects and pathogens. The cost of controlling pests is a significant part of agriculture and control practices can have a negative impact on our environment. Sustainable pest management focuses on both agricultural production and ecosystem health.
STOCKSCH 290M – Integrated Pest Management will help students learn about current techniques to solve pest problems while minimizing risks to people and the environment. Dr. Elsa Petit will help students think critically about the consequences of management decisions when trying to manage plant pests. As a semester project, students will develop IPM strategies for a specific crop, evaluating current pest management methodologies and proposing improvements for these practices.
STOCKSCH 510 – Management and Ecology of Plant Diseases will help students learn to describe basic plant disease cycles, manage plant diseases sustainably, and understand the fundamental ecological interactions between humans, plants, microbes and other organisms in agricultural ecosystems. This class will help students understand the evolution of plants and plant pathogens as it relates to management concepts such as disease resistance and fungicide resistance. UMass Professor Daniel Cooley is a well-known pathologist who works directly with agricultural producers throughout New England to help them adopt environmentally and economically sustainable production practices.
These are both 3-credit college level classes and maybe used to satisfy the degree requirements for the UMass Sustainable Food and Farming 15-credit Certificate, the 60-credit Associate of Science and/or the 120-credit Bachelor of Science degree programs. Credits may also be transferred to other colleges or universities. The UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture Sustainable Food and Farming program is the only online program in the U.S. that offers 40 online classes that may be taken either individually or toward of one of these three fully online degrees. Both of these classes are taught by full-time professors at UMass Amherst.
The UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture is offering 13 online classes this fall including; Intro to Botany, Sustainable Horticulture, and Organic Vegetable Production. Fall classes begin on September 3, 2019 and registration is now open. For information on all 13 online classes offered this fall at UMass Amherst, please see: https://onlinesustfoodfarm.com/.
–UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture
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