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Applied Biosciences (PSM) - Controlled Environmental Agriculture

Degree or Minor: 
Graduate Degree
UA College: 
Graduate College
Degree/Minor Description: 

Program/Degree

Applied Biosciences (PSM) - Controlled Environmental Agriculture 

Program Description

The Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) subplan of the PSM in Applied Biosciences GIDP is designed to prepare students who wish to possess a graduate-level education that integrates science and engineering-based approach to provide specific controlled environments for plant productivity while optimizing resources including water, energy, space, capital and labor, and more specifically incorporate knowledge in management and business. Graduates of this track will be prepared for careers in controlled environment agriculture industry, academia and government.   

The CEA is an agricultural production practice for year round continuous production of nutritionally high quality foods, with crop yields that can exceed field production by as much as 10-fold, and with the potentials to utilize local renewable energy resources, and optimize water, energy, space, capital, and labor resource use efficiency well above field traditional capabilities. This production technology, can employ crop production systems, provide harvest much less dependent of season, and can generate higher crop yields, quality, safety, nutritional value, with consistency and predictability, while utilizing less land in an environmentally friendly way.

There has been significant advancement in agriculture due to enhanced cultivars by plant breeding, minimized use of chemicals and effects of pests by integrated pest management, improved production quality, produce uniformity and reduced labor via automation and mechanization. These continuous advancements in production practices and technology have maintained an acceptable food quality and low cost food supply, however, resulted in more demand for highly educated and skilled employees. The controlled environment agriculture systems are integrated systems consisting of hydroponics, mechanization and automation, climate control, production management processes which demand continuous system monitoring and control. Thus, technical understanding and crop production skills are needed for specific crop needs and through understanding of plant and microclimate interactions are needed so the systems can be effectively operated and precisely controlled to improve growth, production quality, and resource use efficiency. This necessitates potential graduates to acquire technical, production, management, people, business skills.

Therefore, the CEA PSM track will prepare students for rewarding employment in the controlled environment agriculture sector with technology, science and engineering, business and management oriented education and training to prepare current and future employees to meet the needs of this important industry segment to successfully compete in the global market place.

 

Department/Academic Unit(s)

Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs - http://gidp.arizona.edu/

The Graduate College sponsors several Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs (GIDPs) in addition to the many interdisciplinary possibilities available through regular graduate degree programs. GIDPs transcend departmental boundaries by facilitating cutting edge teaching and research at the nexus of traditional disciplines. The high value placed on interdisciplinary research and education is indicative of The University of Arizona's enthusiasm and commitment to fostering innovation and creativity among its faculty and students.