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College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

Agricultural and Life Sciences Graduate Courses & Syllabuses


  • ALS 5155 Global Agroecosystems

    This course focuses on the principles of agroecology and topics that integrate ecological with agricultural principles to optimize resource conservation, productivity, societal benefit, and profitability. There is a need for students trained broadly in agriculture, including agriculture’s role in ecology as farming systems become more complex. This context is found in the “triple bottom line” of economics, environment, and society. This course will emphasize greater understanding of this triple bottom line in agricultural production in an ecosystem context, often termed agroecology. It will focus on the global trends of increasing population and land-use pressure; diminishing soil, water, nutrient, and energy resources; concern over the negative impacts of agricultural production on the environment; and increasing awareness of the potential ecosystem service benefits from agriculture.

    Instructor: Dr. Gabriel Maltais-Landry, Dr. Chris Wilson

    Syllabus: Fall 2020

  • ALS 5156 Agricultural Ecology

    This course introduces students to agricultural systems as ecosystems governed by the same ecological processes governing natural systems.
    Students will learn about the ecological processes controlling soil-waterplant interactions as well as the capture and use of solar energy in the
    biosphere. Students will also examine biotic interactions in agricultural systems and a variety of farming practices in the context of sustainability.

    Instructor: Dr. Jennifer Weeks

    Syllabus: Fall 2021

  • ALS 5905: Climate Change Impacts on Agriculture and Food Security

    The impacts of global climate change on food systems are expected to be complex, widespread, and spatially and temporally variable. This graduate level course provides an overview of current and future anthropogenic climate change impacts on food production. The first half of the course will focus on holistic perspectives of current and future climate scenarios and their impact on food production. The second half will explore case studies from around the world to compare and contrast mitigation and adaptation measures used to reduce negative impacts caused by climate change. This course directly collaborates with faculty from our partner institution, Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (Tropical Agriculture Research and Higher Education Center—CATIE) in Costa Rica, that will provide first-hand case studies and an international perspective.
    Course prerequisite: PLS 3004C (Principles of Plant Science), or equivalent, or approval by the instructor.

    Instructor: Dr. Gerardo Celis

    Syllabus: Fall 2021

    Course flyer

  • ALS 5905: Individual Study

    Instructor: Staff

    Syllabus: Students determine the work completed with the instructor based on their projects.

  • ALS 5905: International Research Immersion

    This course provides students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with international agroecosystems through a collaboration with one of our international partner institutions. Along with their advisory committee, students will define the type of research experience and international location that will best serve their educational and career goals. Students are then placed with a partner institution for a semester (Summer B qualifies), during which they are expected to participate in on-going research with faculty mentors at the host institution. While taking ALS 5905, students may also enroll in distance education classes or attend local classes offered by the host program (at their own expense). At the completion of the course, students are required to give a public seminar describing their experiences at the partner institution. Other course assessments, such as a written summary or blog entries, may be required at the discretion of the advisory committee.

    Term: Fall 2020

    Instructor: Dr. James Estrada and Romain Gloaguen

  • ALS 5905: SWFREC Journal Club

    This course is intended to improve graduate student’s data interpretation and critical review. In this course, the students will critically evaluate most recent scientific papers, discussing the merit, writing style, data presentation, and results, making constructive criticism to improve the manuscript quality and increase scientific writing performance. In order to obtain graduate credit for this course, the students must complete a presentation and a critical review of journal articles in their research area. This will be done at a weekly meeting time and attendance of all SWFREC graduate students is required. To begin, we will meet to discuss how to critically review a recently published article. Then, the instructor will present a critical review to students as an example. The instructor will then help each of the students select articles to present and critically analyze in a journal club format. Active participation of each student will be encouraged.

    Instructors: Dr. Ozgur Batuman

    Syllabus: Fall 2021

  • ALS 5932: Environment and Society

    This course is cross-listed with FOR6934. The purpose of this course will be to provide a broad overview of environmental and natural resource sociology, focusing on the prevailing theories and approaches used to examine the complex relationship between human societies and the biophysical environment. Throughout this course, we will analyze the societal causes and consequences of resource scarcity, environmental degradation, and environmental conflict. Viewing environmental problems as social problems, we will focus on the structural conditions that produce environmental problems and inhibit their solutions. The primary goal for this course is to allow students to develop an understanding of contemporary environmental issues from a social science perspective. Students in this course will explore the intersection of major social and environmental issues through writing, reading, and the development of an environmental project throughout the semester. The class is designed for students of all backgrounds in agriculture and natural resources.

    Instructor: Dr. Alison Adams

    Syllabus: Fall 2020

  • ALS 5932: Plant Communities in the Florida Panhandle

    This course will guide students through Florida's natural communities utilizing the community descriptions of the Florida Natural Areas Inventory (2010) and narrated Power Points. Lectures will cover community structure, indicator species, soils and hydrology as well as fire ecology and other important ecological processes.

    Instructors: Dr. Deborah Miller and Dr. Mack Thetford

    Syllabus: Fall 2021

  • ALS 5932: Root Structure to Function

    The central focus of this course will include an exploration of new techniques that couple studies of root system
    architecture and function, hands-on experience with some of these techniques, and the new approaches to delve
    deeper into the analysis of the resulting data, from modeling to machine learning techniques.

    Instructors: Dr. Lorenzo Rossi and Dr. Diane Rowland

    Syllabus: Fall 2019

  • ALS 5934: Graduate Professional Development Seminar
    Exploring non-technical soft skills to enhance workforce readiness. There is a significant mismatch between graduate training programs and the acquisition of non-technical skills required for success in the workplace. Therefore, the goal of this course is to connect graduate students with key non-technical skills so that they have an advantage when entering the workforce.

    Instructors: Dr. Hector Perez

    Syllabus: Fall 2021

  • ALS 6031: Project Team Research Building Skills in Agrobiology

    Hands-on experience in addressing a real-world problem faced by an agricultural industry partner. Production of a detailed plan, project design, and preliminary data for evaluating and solving the problem. Offered every term.

    Instructor: Dr. Gerardo Celis

    Syllabus: Fall 2021

  • STA 6093: Introduction to Applied Statistics

    Instructors: Dr. Benjamin Baiser and Dr. Denis Ribeiro Do Valle

    This course provides students with a conceptual and practical understanding of the application of statistics in the agricultural and life sciences. This is an online course that will use a combination of lectures, programming demonstrations, data exercises using the programming language R, group discussions, and primary literature to teach introductory statistics at the graduate level. This course is NOT a “go at your own pace” course. Each module must be completed in a specific week. See course syllabus for more details.

    Syllabus: Fall 2021

  • ALS 6166: Exotic Species and Biosecurity Issues

    Study of U.S. policies and programs affecting agricultural biosecurity. Attention is devoted to current agricultural and extension and regulatory programs. Emphasis is on the policies and procedures involved in detecting and reporting non-indigenous species. Students will develop the analytical capabilities to assess the consequences of agricultural biosecurity threats.

    Instructor: Dr. Tolulope Agunbiade

    Syllabus: Fall 2020

  • ALS 6921The Colloquium of Plant Pests of Regulatory Significance

    Learners uniquely explore dynamic plant health regulatory issues and career opportunities through literature review, course discussion, learner student oral presentations, interactions with regulatory professionals, and a professional development field trip. Pending current University of Florida policies and procedures relative to the COVID-19 pandemic, the professional development field trips experience during spring 2021 may be modified into a virtual experience. By the conclusion of the seminar course, student learners will be more familiar with policies and procedures related to plant health regulation, and career opportunities related to plant health regulation.

    Instructor: Dr. Amanda C. Hodges

    Syllabus: Spring 2021

  • ALS 6925: Integrated Plant Medicine

    This course will provide opportunities for students to synthesize and apply the concepts and methodologies of plant medicine to plant problem diagnosis and management. The learning environment will be highly interactive and will include reviews, case studies, and discussions of current literature. 


    Instructor: Dr. Amanda Hodges

    Syllabus: Fall 2021

  • ALS 6935: Consequences of Biological Invasions/Topics of Biological Invasions

    This course provides an overview of non-native species invasions and the environmental effects of these invaders. Students will acquire a working knowledge of important global invaders and develop critical thinking skills for assessing the consequences of biological invasions. This course is oriented toward students majoring in Environmental Management or related disciplines.

    Instructor: Dr. Tolulope Agunbiade

    Syllabus: Spring 2021

  • ALS 6942 Principles of Plant Pest Risk Assessment and Management

    Learners uniquely explore dynamic plant health regulatory issues through lectures, reading assignments, course discussion, class assignments, two substantial written assignments, and course exams. By the conclusion of the course, student learners will be more familiar with policies and procedures related to plant health regulation, and learners will have specifically developed their own pest risk assessment and survey and response plan. This course will also assist students in the pursuit of career opportunities related to plant pest regulation.

    Instructor: Dr. Amanda C. Hodges

    Syllabus: Spring 2021

  • ALS 6943: Internship in Plant Rest Risk Assessment

    Learners complete an immersive, hands-on internship related to plant health or one of the disciplines within plant health (for example, plant pathology, entomology, horticulture, agronomy, nematology or soil science). Topics and experiences are variable; however, pre-approval of the student’s proposal for an approved internship must occur prior to registration. Examples of internships include: a summer semester experience with a private sector company, a specific internship research project with a faculty member, an intensive extension learning experience with statewide specialists or county extension faculty, or an immersive experience with state or federal regulatory agencies.

    Instructor: Dr. Amanda Hodges

    Syllabus: Spring 2021