The major in Plant Sciences prepares undergraduate students for professional careers in both the public and private sectors. Flexible course requirements allow students to develop individual areas of concentration and prepare for a variety of positions after graduation. In addition, the program provides a solid background for graduate study in several science and policy disciplines.
Freshmen: Introductory courses in horticulture, biology, landscape architecture, mathematics and liberal arts.
Sophomores: Pre-professional and concentration courses in horticulture, prerequisites in arts and sciences.
Juniors: Concentration courses and supporting electives.
Seniors: Advanced concentration studies and supporting electives.
Plant Sciences focuses on the sustainable culture and use of plants to enhance the human environment. Graduates of this program pursue careers as:
|Golf course superintendent||Plant propagator|
|Horticulturist||Nursery owners or operator|
|Landscape contractor||Lawn service firm manager|
|Park systems or arboretum manager||Technical representative|
|Garden centers and floral shop proprietor||Vegetable or fruit grower|
Graduates may also enter graduate school for careers in research and education.
This program of study fulfills certification requirements for the American Society of Agronomy, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, as well as various other certifications in horticulture and arboriculture. The major comprises 120 credits, including 25 credits of pre-professional courses, 50 credits in concentration and supporting courses, and 6 internship credits.
Visit admissions to learn more about URI and how to apply.
ENT286 (=BIO286) Humans, Insects, and Disease (3) Role of insects, ticks, and mites as vectors and as direct agents of diseases in humans; factors affecting the spread of these diseases and their role in our cultural development. (Lec. 3) Not for major credit for B.S. in biological sciences. Instructor: LeBrun. Spring, annual. (2004 syllabus)
ENT385 (=BIO381) Introductory Entomology (3) Introduction to the diverse components of entomology, emphasizing basic principles of insect morphology, physiology, behavior, and ecology. Current topics in insect biodiversity and management strategies. (Lec. 3) Pre: BIO104A or 112 or 102 and BIO 104B or 113 or 101, or equivalent. Instructor: LeBrun. Fall, annual. (2004 syllabus)
ENT386 (=BIO382) Introductory Entomology Laboratory (1) Insect structure, function, and systematics with field studies in ecology, survey, and collection of beneficial and pest insects in their natural environment. (Lab. 3) Pre: 385 or concurrent enrollment in 385. Instructor: LeBrun. Fall, annual.
ENT387 Insects of Turf and Ornamentals (3) Biology, ecology, and management of insects affecting turfgrasses, trees, and ornamental plants. (Lab. 3) Pre: PLS 200 or permission of instructor. Instructor: Alm. Fall, annual.
ENT390 (=AVS390) Wildlife and Human Disease (3)Introduction to the important diseases of humans carried by wildlife, including surveillance, epidemiology, transmission, public health impact, and prevention. Interdisciplinary approach with emphasis on problem solving using real-life examples. (Lec. 3) Pre: BIO 104B or 113 or 101; BIO 262 or ENT 385 or equivalent. Instructor: Mather. Alternate Fall (next 2004).
PLS101 Freshman Inquiry into Plant Sciences (1) Introduction for freshmen to the opportunities, careers, research activities, applied outreach, and educational programs in the Department of Plant Sciences. Interact weekly with faculty. Explore hands-on modules. (Lec. 1) S/U credit. Instructor: Staff. Fall, annual.
PLS150 Plant Biology for Gardeners (3) Fundamentals of plant biology, emphasizing the structure, physiology, and ecology of vascular plants common to gardens and landscaped environments. (Lec. 3) Instructor: Gordon. Fall, annual.
PLS190 Issues in Biotechnology (3) Introduction to modern biotechnologyy in medical, pharmaceutical, forensic, agricultrual, marine, and environmental applications. Consideration of ethical, environmental, health, and social issues. Instructor: 2004, TBA. Fall, annual.
PLS200 Introduction to Plant Protection (4) Basic study of weeds, insects, and disease agents, and the problems they cause. Recognition of important plant pests and application of integrated cultural, chemical, and biological pest management procedures. (Lec. 4) Pre: BIO 104A or 112 or 102, or permission of instructor. Instructor: Englander. Fall, annual.
PLS210 Plant Protection Practicum (2) Introduction to practical aspects of plant protection, concentrating on field diagnostic techniques and development of analytical and observation skills. Diagnostics are primarily an interactive field activity, supplemented by microscopy, report writing, and oral presentations. (Practicum) Pre: prior or concurrent enrollment in 200 or permission of instructor. Instructor: Englander. Fall, annual.
PLS215 (formerly 405) Propagation of Plant Materials (3) Theoretical and practical study of propagation including grafting, budding, cuttage, and seedage. (Lec. 2, Lab. 2) Instructor: Maynard. Alternate Spring (next 2004) (2004 Syllabus)
PLS222 Ecology of the Home Landscape (3) Basics of home gardening with minimal environmental impact including maintenance of the trees, shrubs, lawns, flowers, vegetables, native and invasive plants, composting, water quality, and wildlife and pest management. (Lec. 2, Lab. 2) Instructor: Casagrande. Spring, annual.
PLS233 Floral Art (3) Theory and practice in the art of flower and plant arrangement for the home, show, and special occasions. History, elements, and principles of design and color. (Lec. 1, Lab. 4) Instructor: Siligato. Both semesters (College of Continuing Education)
PLS250 Plant Breeding and Genetics (4) Introduction to the general principles of plant breeding, with emphasis on the application of genetic principles in plant improvement strategies. (Lec. 3, Lab. 2) Pre: BIO112 or 102. Instructor: TBA. Spring, annual (not offered in 2004. TBA for 2005).
PLS255 Horticultural Plant Physiology (3) Fundamental concepts underlying life functions in plants and their horticultural implications and relevancy. Emphasis on energy relations and material transport. Special consideration of photosynthesis, water use, nitrogen utilization, dormancy, and photomorphogenesis. (Lec. 3) Pre: BIO102, PLS150. Instructor: Taylorson. Spring, annual. [ Syllabus Fall-2009 ]
PLS301 Nursery Crop Production and Management (3) Foundation of nursery management and woody plant production practices. History and organization of the nursery industry, land selection and management, plant culture, growing structures and equipment, and recent innovations. (Lec. 2, Lab. 2) Pre: BIO112 or 102 and PLS205 or permission of instructor. Instructor: Maynard. Alternate Spring (next 2005).
PLS305 Population, Environment, and Plant Biology II (4) Solving problems related to the interaction of population growth, environment, cell behavior, and plant productivity, from the perspective of competitive evolution. (Lec. 3, Lab. 2) Pre: 205 or permission of instructor. Instructor: TBA. Not offered at this time. Check later.
PLS306 Landscape Management and Arboriculture (3) culture of new and established trees, shrubs, and vines in the landscape. Practical exposure to planting, pruning, fertilization, and plant protection. Prepares the student for Arborist’s Certification Examination. (Lec. 2, Lab. 2) Pre: BIO112 or 102 or permission of instructor. Instructor: Maynard. Fall, annual.
PLS320 Landscape Design (3) Examination of landscape design principles and practices including introduction to landscape graphics, preliminary design, and planting design. (Lec. 3) Pre: LAR201 or permission of instructor. Not open to landscape architecture majors. Instructor: TBA. Fall, annual (College of Continuing Education).
PLS322 Power Units (3) Principles of operation, maintenance, and adjustment of power units including gasoline and diesel engines and electric motors. Emphasis on tractors and other power units important in farm, nursery, greenhouse, and grounds maintenance operations. (Lec. 2, Lab. 2) In alternate years. Instructor: Sawyer. Alternate Spring (next 2004)
PLS324 Vegetable Crops (4) Study of vegetable crops including the botany and systematics of the vegetables commonly grown in the United States. Includes organic and conventional production techniques for home gardeners and market farmers. (Lec. 3, Lab. 2) Pre: 150 or BIO 102 or permission of instructor. [ Syllabus ]
PLS331 Floriculture and Greenhouse Management (3) The greenhouse environment and its relation to the culture of specific plants. Principles governing the production and culture of plants under controlled temperature, humidity, light, and modified atmospheres. Greenhouse construction and environmental control. (Lec. 3) Pre: PLS205 or permission of instructor. Instructor: Maynard. Alternate Spring (next 2004). (2004 Syllabus)
PLS332 (or BIO332) Plant Pathology: Introduction to Plant Diseases Nature, cause, and control of plant diseases. Use of basic techniques for identification of major types of plant diseases and their causal agents. (Lec. 4) Pre: BIO102 or permission of instructor. Instructor: Englander. Spring, annual.
PLS335 Commercial Floral Design and Flower Shop Practices (3) Advanced floral design including wedding, funeral, church, and holiday arrangements. Flower shop practices, buying, selling, and handling cut flowers and potted plants. (Lec. 1, Lab. 4) Pre: PLS233 or permission of instructor. Instructor: Siligato. Spring, annual (College of Continuing Education)
PLS341 Introduction to Turf Management (3) Fundamental aspects of turfgrass science including identification, propagation, fertilization, pest control, and other soil-plant relationships. (Lec. 2, Lab. 2) Pre: PLS205 and NRS212. Instructor: Sullivan. Fall, annual.
PLS350 Herbacious Garden Plants (3) Identification and use of annnual and perennial berbaceous ornamental plants in the landscape. Emphasis on sustainable landscaping and the use of native plants. (Lec. 2, Lab. 2) Pre: PLS150 or permission of instructor. Instructor: Maynard. Fall, annual.
PLS352 (=ASP352) General Genetics (3) Introduction to genetic principles and concepts leading to an understanding of genes, heredity and the expression of inherited variation. Applications and implications of these concepts to animals, plants, fungi, and bacteria are discussed. (Lec. 3) Pre: BIO104A or 104B, or 112 or 113 or 101 or 102. Not open to students with credit in BIO352. Instructor: Chandlee. Fall, annual.
PLS353 (or LAR353) Landscape Plants—I Identification and description under fall conditions, classification and adaptation of the important trees and shrubs including broadleaf evergreens and their value in ornamental plantings. (Lec. 1, Lab. 4) Pre: BIO104A or 112 or 102. Instructor: Simeoni. Fall, annual.
PLS354 (or LAR354) Landscape Plants—II Identification and description under winter and spring conditions; classification and adpatation of the coniferous evergreens, vines, and groundcovers and their value in ornamental plantings. (Lec. 2, Lab. 2) Pre: PLS353. Instructor: Gordon. Spring, annual.
PLS355 (or ASP355) Genetics Laboratory (2) Basic principles and concepts of genetics demonstrated with microorganisms, plants, and animals. (Lab. 4) Pre: credit or concurrent enrollment in 352 or BIO 352. Not open to students with credit in BIO454. Instructor: Chandlee. Fall, annual.
PLS361 Weed Science (3) Ecological and cultural aspects of weed problems, physiology of herbicide action, selected problems in weed control and plant identification. (Lec. 2, Lab. 2) Pre: NRS 212, organic chemistry recommended. Instructor: Sullivan. Alternate Spring (next 2005).
PLS390 Irrigation Technology (3) A study of the science and technology of obtaining, applying, and managing water as it relates to the culture of field, forage, vegetable, turf, and ornamental crops. (Lec. 2, Lab. 2) Service learning. Pre: NRS 212 and MTH 111. Instructor: Sullivan. Alternate Spring (next 2006).
PLS393, 394 Plant Protection Clinic (3 each) Practical experience in plant pest detection and identification, pest management techniques and equipment. (Lec. 1, Lab. 4) Pre: ENT385, PLS332 or 440, and permission of instructor. Instructor: Wallace. Offered each semester by arrangement.
PLS399 Plant Sciences Internship (1-6) Directed work experience programs at nurseries, turf farms, greenhouses, plant breeding farms, arboreta, research farms, or laboratories. (Practicum) Pre: 150 and permission of instructor. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. S/U credit.
PLS401, 402 Plant Sciences Seminar (1 each) Presentations and discussions of current topics of concern to producers and consumers of plants and plant products, including plant protection. Coordinator: Sullivan. Offered each semester.
PLS406 Senior Thesis Research (3-6) Seniors conduct research approved by a faculty mentor. Research results are written and orally presented to a group of faculty for a grade. (Independent Study) Pre: permission of instructor. May be repeated for up to 6 credits. Not for graduate credit.
PLS436 Floriculture and Greenhouse Crop Production (4) Status of floriculture industry and commercial production of greenhouse crops including scheduling, marketing, and postharvest handling. Student project required. (Lec. 3, Lab. 2) Pre: 331. Instructor: TBA . Alternate Spring (next 2005)
PLS440 Diseases of Turfgrasses, Trees, Shrubs, and Ornamental Shrubs (3) Disease diagnosis, epidemiology, and control measures pertinent to these categories of plants. (Lec. 3) Pre: 332 or equivalent or permission of instructor. Instructor: Mitkowski. Alternate Fall, annual. (next 2005}
PLS441 Plant Disease Laboratory (1) Laboratory and field diagnosis of turf diseases and diseases of trees and ornamental shrubs. (Lab. 2) Pre: concurrent enrollment in 440. Instructor: Mitkowski. Alternate Fall (next 2004).
PLS442 Advanced Turf Management (3) Establishment and maintenance practices for specialty turfgrass areas (golf courses, lawn tennis courts, bowling greens, athletic fields, public parks, industrial and institutional grounds, airports, roadsides). Design and construction specifications, and construction and maintenance budgets. (Lec. 3) Pre: PLS341 or equivalent. Instructor: Mitkowski. Spring, annual. (2004 syllabus)
PLS452(or BCH452) Advanced Topics in Genetics (3) More detailed treatment of topics introduced in the general genetics course (352) including aspects of transmission genetics, molecular genetics, cytogenetics, biotechnology, developmental genetics, and the impact of genetics on society. (Lec. 3) Pre: PLS(=AFS, BCH,BIO)352. Instructor: Chandlee. Spring, annual.
PLS463 Principles of Plant Disease Control (3) The extent and impact of plant disease loss. Disease-causing agents, the nature of disease epidemics, disease forecasting, and strategies for plant disease control. (Lec. 3) Pre: PLS332 or permission of instructor. Alternate Spring. (Next Spring 2005)
PLS471 Plant Improvement—I (4) Plant cell and tissue culture methodologies particularly as they relate to the development and selection of improved plant varieties through the modern approaches of plant biotechnology. (Lec. 3) Pre: PLS205 and 352 or BIO 352. Instructor: Mitkowski. Alternate Fall (next 2005)
PLS475 (or NRS 475) Plant Nutrition and Soil Fertility (4) The plant-soil system. Availability and mobility of mineral nutrients in soil and their uptake, distribution, and function in plants. Plant energy relations and organic nutrition. Laboratory: hydroponic plant culture, ion interactions, radioisotopes, and deficiency symptoms. (Lec. 3, Lab. 2) Pre: 205, NRS 212, BIO 112 or 102, and organic chemistry. Instructor: TBA. Alternate Fall (next 2005)
PLS491, 492 Special Projects and Independent Study (1-3 each) Special work to meet individual needs of students in various fields of plant nutrition, propagation, growth and development, garden design, site planning, plant pathology, entomology, and related subjects. (Independent Study) Pre: permission of chairperson.
- Acquire knowledge and skills necessary to obtain or pursue a professional position in turfgrass management, horticulture or sustainable agriculture.
- Use acquired knowledge, skills, and ingenuity to solve complex problems and demonstrate the ability to work in multidisciplinary teams.
- Interact with managers and work productively in a professional setting using experience based knowledge and develop a practical skill set.
- Understand and apply ethical principles to issues, problems, and professional practices and develop an awareness of global community and ecology in their physical, biological and social dimensions.