Apr 13, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Plant Sciences

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Gary Bates, Department Head
William E. Klingeman, Director of Graduate Studies

Bates, G.E., PhD – Georgia
Beyl, C.A. (Dean), PhD – Purdue
Brosnan, J.T., PhD – Penn State
Butler, D.M., PhD – Georgia
Chen, F., PhD – California (Davis)
Collett, B., MLA – Ohio State
Fulcher, A.F., PhD – Kentucky
Hewezi, T., PhD – Toulouse (France)
Horvath, B.J., PhD – Michigan State
Klingeman, W.E., PhD – Georgia
Lockwood, D.W., PhD – Purdue
Mueller, T.C., PhD – Georgia
Pantalone, V.R., PhD – North Carolina State
Sams, C.E. (Austin Distinguished Professor), PhD – Michigan State
Sorochan, J.C., PhD – Michigan State
Steckel, L.E., PhD – Illinois
Stewart, C.N. (Racheff Chair), PhD – Virginia Tech
Stier, J.C., PhD – Michigan State
West, D.R., PhD – Nebraska
Wszelaki, A.L., PhD – California (Davis)
Yin, X., PhD – Purdue

Associate Professors
Bailey, W.A., PhD – Virginia Tech
Bumgarner, N., PhD – Ohio State
Nave Oakes, R., PhD – Ohio State
Raper, T., PhD – Arkansas
Shekoofa, A., PhD – Shiraz (Iran)

Assistant Professors
Richmond, M., PhD – Kentucky
Ross, M., MLA – Texas Tech
Sykes, V.R., PhD – Tennessee
Walters, K.J., PhD – Michigan State

Research Assistant Professors
Millwood, R., PhD – Tennessee

Distinguished Lecturer
Pulte, A.J., PhD – Tennessee

Special Lecturer
Spangler, A.D., MS – Tennessee

Adjunct Faculty
Bentley, M.L., EdD – Virginia
Ott, R.J., MBA – Tennessee

Emeriti Faculty
Albrecht, M.L., PhD – Ohio State
Allen, F.L., PhD – Minnesota
Cheng, Z.M., PhD – Cornell
Coffey, D.L., PhD – Purdue
Deyton, D.E., PhD – North Carolina State
Gwathmey, C.O., PhD – California (Riverside)
Hamilton, S.L., EdD – Tennessee
Hayes, R.M., PhD – Illinois
McClure Thompson, M.A., PhD – Tennessee
Menendez, G.L., MS – Tennessee
Miller, R.D., PhD – Kentucky
Rhodes, G.N., PhD – North Carolina State
Rogers, S.M., MLA – Georgia
Samples, T.J., PhD – Oklahoma State

Butler, Hamilton, Horvath, Menendez, Pulte, Sorochan, C.N. Stewart

Academic programs in the Department of Plant Sciences span the art, science, and technology of plant use in society. Students receive preparation for careers in plant science within seven concentrations: landscape design, biotechnology, horticulture science and production, bioenergy, organic production, public horticulture, and turfgrass science and management. With increasing emphasis placed on plants in urban areas, extensive training is offered in landscape horticulture (planning, implementation, and management for landscapes, turf, and gardens).

Upon entering the department, each student is assigned a faculty advisor for guidance in selection of career specialties and elective courses. The curriculum builds upon the University General Education Requirement with critical courses in botany, soils, and business and adds a set of required departmental courses specific to each concentration. Students are able to customize their program by selecting electives. Students in all concentrations are trained to work knowledgeably in general plant culture. Students are encouraged to earn a minor in a supportive field to further enhance their academic training and professional competitiveness. While firmly grounding students in the knowledge and skills of the plant sciences and arts, our curricula emphasize critical thinking and creative activity. Our students also gain the theoretical education necessary for continuing on for advanced degrees in plant-related fields.

Students should declare a concentration early in their undergraduate program and strictly follow the curriculum described for the concentration. Students who transfer into plant sciences from other colleges or programs must meet the same requirements as those entering the department as freshman. A minimum grade point average of 2.50 is required for all plant sciences courses.

The department utilizes a set of core courses for all concentrations as follows:

Plant Sciences Department Required Core Courses Credit Hours
PLSC 210   3
PLSC 320  or PLSC 321   3
PLSC 180   2
(Menu A) PLSC 410 * or PLSC 415 * or PLSC 430  or PLSC 434  or PLSC 435   3
PLSC 470   1
PLSC 330  3
ESS 231  and ESS 232   4
PLSC 333  3
(Menu B) PLSC 438  or PLSC 443  or PLSC 456  or PLSC 473 ; or EPP 313  or EPP 321  or EPP 410  or EPP 411   3
PLSC 492  or PLSC 499   3

Internship or undergraduate research participation is required for each concentration. Full-time summer internships are available at selected local, regional, and national companies or institutions. Part-time summer or semester internships and research experiences are available from the Department of Plant Sciences, other university departments and laboratories, and local commercial firms.

Our graduates find employment in a wide variety of professions, working for others or within their own businesses. Graduates of the sustainable landscape design concentration design residential and commercial landscapes, select proper woody and herbaceous plant materials for specific sites, restore native landscapes, specify specialty components for landscapes construction (irrigation, lighting, and water features), prepare materials lists and cost estimates for landscape installations, and manage landscape crews. Plant Genetics and biotechnology students are well-suited to directly enter the biotechnology research industry or enter graduate school. Students gain a firm understanding of the importance of plants in the world as well as the knowledge and tools to manipulate their genetics and biology. Our horticulture science and production students choose a variety of careers including production horticulturist, nursery and greenhouse managers, consultants, sales representatives, vegetable growers, orchardists, teachers, winery owners, research, and extension agents. The organic production concentration is offered to those interested in owning or managing organic farms, working with agricultural extension or governmental and non-governmental organizations, joining the Peace Corps or other international agricultural development efforts, consulting, pursuing a graduate education in agronomy or horticulture, or working in other areas of the growing organic foods and agricultural products industry. The public horticulture concentration prepares students for careers in botanic gardens, zoos, and national parks; professional writing, television, and radio; urban forestry; teaching; and municipal and university horticulture. These students graduate with an acute understanding of people-plant interactions and the important role plants play in society. The turfgrass science and management program combines the study of grasses, soils, water, and pests. Graduates have career opportunities in the industries involved with lawn management, athletic fields, golf courses, sales, and park and grounds maintenance.

* Meets Volunteer Core Requirements .

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