AGR*4010 Special Studies in Agricultural Science II

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The following description is for the course offering in Winter 2016 and is subject to change. It is provided for information only. The course outline distributed to the class at the beginning of the semester describes the course content and delivery, and defines the methods and criteria to be used in establishing the final grades for the course.

This special study option enables undergraduate students in semesters 5 through 8 to undertake specific projects in agricultural science. The topic of the special study will be examining tropical agricultural systems using Belize as a case study. Students will travel to Belize during Reading Week to study plant and animal systems in a tropical environment. There will be opportunities to visit agricultural enterprises and learn about the limitations of agri- business in a developing country. Environmental and socio-economic issues will also be studied.  Students are responsible for making appropriate arrangements with faculty member prior to registration for the course.


Teaching Assistant:

Credit Weight:


Course Level:

  • Undergraduate

Academic Department (or campus):

Department of Plant Agriculture



Semester Offering:

  • Winter

Class Schedule and Location:

Please refer to Web Advisor for class schedule and location.

Learning outcomes:

At the completion of the course, students will have:
  • improved literacy through research paper preparation
  • knowledge of growth and development of important tropical plant species
  • an advanced understanding of plant and animal systems in a tropical environment
  • an understanding of the environmental, economic and social limitations on agriculture in the tropics
  • a knowledge of how plants can be used for medicinal purposes
  • an appreciation of an interdisciplinary approach to tropical agricultural systems

Lecture Content:

Students will be oriented to international agriculture and travel. Specific reference will be made to Belize and similar regions in Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean. Students will travel to several areas in Belize to study production of tropical crops, livestock production processing facilities, native flora and fauna. Rural development sustainability will be overriding themes during the trip.

Through a series of student lead presentations and discussions, students will gain an overview of tropical agriculture including flora, fauna, ecology, economy and history.

Labs & Seminars:

Students will be encouraged to attend/participate in seminars offered on campus relating to agriculture, rural development ecology, economies etc. in tropical environments and developing countries.

Course Assignments and Tests:

Timing Assignment or Test Contribution to Final Mark


Research Paper





Post Travel

Diary of Trip


Post Travel

Participation and Effort



Research Paper






Final examination:

There is no final examination scheduled for this course.

Course Resources:

Required Texts:


Recommended Texts:


Lab Manual:

Not required.

Other Resources:

Awe, J.J. 2005. The ancient Maya of Belize. Factory Book, Belize City, Belize

Field Trips:

Cost of the trip is estimated at $2350.00 CDN.  This amount covers all aspects of the trip including airfare, airport transfers, admission fees, transportation while in Belize, accommodations and some meals (depends on accommodations).

Additional Costs:

Students are required to pay for most of their meals. This cost is estimated at $200.00 Cdn.

Course Policies:

Grading Policies:

The penalty for late submission of research papers is 2% per business day. Missing a presentation date may result in a grade of zero for the assignment unless alternate arrangements suitable to the class and instructor can be made.

Course Policy on Group Work: 

All of the work will be on an individual basis except for creation of the blog which will be a team effort. Students are encouraged to share resources where appropriate especially to coordinate material for presentations.

Other Course Information:

University Policies

Academic Consideration

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The Academic Misconduct Policy is detailed in the University Calenders:


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