An open discussion course designed to review and critically analyze contemporary issues in crop production and management.
Academic Department (or campus):
Class Schedule and Location:
Day and time to be determined at first class.
Classes will be held in Room 202 Crop Science Bldg, if possible.
Specific Learning Outcomes:
Critical and Creative Thinking: Students will improve their critical and creative thinking skills and demonstrate competency in effectively summarizing and presenting scientific research, finding gaps in research publications, and writing a detailed summary and assessment of the literature. Students will have high level of competency in synthesizing ideas, and developing and supporting a scientific argument in written and oral formats;
Communicating: Students will develop improved communication skills by preparing and giving oral class presentations, leading and participating in full class discussions, and writing about biotic and abiotic plant stress topics;
Literacy: Students will develop improved research and writing skills through a thorough review of peer-reviewed scientific literature relating to plant stress, and completing a writing assignment;
Global Understanding: Students will read and evaluate scientific research from around the world, and relate this information to the topics for discussion.
The course will cover the major issues of plant response to biotic and abiotic stressors. Areas of focus will include symptom development, recovery, defense mechanisms and effect on growth, development and yield. Students will research the topics in the scientific literature and provide a critical review of the information on plant responses to stress and compare the responses to different types of stress among various plant groups.
Classes will be held during the semester for three hours and will be comprised of student presentations and student-led group discussions of the scientific literature as it relates to the concepts of the causes of plant stress and plant response to stress.
This course is structured as discussion sessions. There will be eight, 3 hour classes during the semester, which will consist of student presentations and discussion of the scientific literature relating to the topic of interest. Each student will choose topics, and select three important papers about the topic, to distribute to the class, for reading prior to class. Each student will prepare a 20 minute presentation on the topic of choice that relates to the overall theme of the course. . Class presentations will be followed by student –led discussion. Each student will present a minimum of twice during the semester and lead two discussion sessions.
There will be one written assignment on plant responses to a specific stress, due near the end of the semester (April 5).
Labs & Seminars:
There are no labs or additional seminars scheduled for this course.
Course Assignments and Tests:
Assignment or Test
Contribution to Final Mark (%)
Learning Outcomes Assessed
In class presentations
40% (20% each presentation)
Critical thinking, Communication, Global Understanding
15% (7.5% each time)
Communication, Critical Thinking, Global Understanding
Participation in Discussion
Communication, Critical Thinking, Global Understanding
Critical thinking, Literacy, global understanding
Marking rubrics will be available on CourseLink.
There is no final examination scheduled for this course.
First chapter of The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan. The book will be available from the Professor.
Article “ The Intelligent Plant” by Michael Pollan. The file will be circulated to the class
The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan will be available from the professor.
There is no lab manual.
Scientific literature, books and some general articles, available through the library.
There are no field trips.
There are no additional costs
All assignments are due just prior to class time and will be submitted in DropBox on Courselink. Presentations will be made in class. Late written assignments will be accepted, with a reduction in mark of 10% for each day it is late, up to 5 days after the due date. Students are expected to read all of the assigned papers, attend each class and participate actively in the discussions.
Course Policy on Group Work:
All assignments are to be individual work, conforming with the university policies of academic integrity.
Course Policy regarding use of electronic devices and recording of lectures:
Electronic recording of classes is expressly forbidden without consent of the instructor. When recordings are permitted they are solely for the use of the authorized student and may not be reproduced, or transmitted to others, without the express written consent of the instructor.
When you find yourself unable to meet an in-course requirement because of illness or compassionate reasons, please advise the course instructor in writing, with your name, id#, and e-mail contact. See the academic calendar for information on regulations and procedures for Academic Consideration:
- For Graduate Students: http://www.uoguelph.ca/registrar/calendars/graduate/current/genreg/sec_d0e1405.shtml
- For Undergraduate Students: http://www.uoguelph.ca/registrar/calendars/undergraduate/current/c08/c08-ac.shtml
- For Diploma Students: http://www.uoguelph.ca/registrar/calendars/diploma/current/c08/c08-ac.shtml
The University of Guelph is committed to upholding the highest standards of academic integrity and it is the responsibility of all members of the University community, faculty, staff, and students to be aware of what constitutes academic misconduct and to do as much as possible to prevent academic offences from occurring.
University of Guelph students have the responsibility of abiding by the University's policy on academic misconduct regardless of their location of study; faculty, staff and students have the responsibility of supporting an environment that discourages misconduct. Students need to remain aware that instructors have access to and the right to use electronic and other means of detection. Please note: Whether or not a student intended to commit academic misconduct is not relevant for a finding of guilt. Hurried or careless submission of assignments does not excuse students from responsibility for verifying the academic integrity of their work before submitting it. Students who are in any doubt as to whether an action on their part could be construed as an academic offence should consult with a faculty member or faculty advisor.
The Academic Misconduct Policy is detailed in the University Calenders:
- For Graduate Students: http://www.uoguelph.ca/registrar/calendars/graduate/current/genreg/sec_d0e1692.shtml
- For Undergraduate Students: http://www.uoguelph.ca/registrar/calendars/undergraduate/current/c08/c08-amisconduct.shtml
- For Diploma Students: http://www.uoguelph.ca/registrar/calendars/diploma/current/c08/c08-amisconduct.shtml
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Course Evaluation Information
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