Undergraduate and Graduate Courses in Plant Sciences
BIO 310 – Plant Biology (4 credits, lecture/lab)
Examines the structure (morphology, anatomy), function (physiology), reproduction, ecology, and systematic significance of the major groups of plants. Emphasis will be given to the flowering plants and the ecology of the various plant groups. Prerequisites: BIO 200 or PSE 100 or FES 100 or equivalent.
BIO319 – Plant Ecology (3 credits, lecture/lab)
Ecological principles for the science major including environmental factors, population ecology, community ecology and ecosystem analysis. Note: Because of overlapping subject matter, this course is not open to students who have taken SMS 300 or WLE 200. Prerequisites: CHY 122 and BIO 200 or SMS 201, or permission.
BIO 342 – Plants in Our World (3 credits, lecture)
Botany and the role plants play in current and historical human society and ecology. Topics in agriculture and forestry including genetic engineering, biodiversity, and plant-based drugs. Prerequisites: BIO 200 or permission.
BIO 350 – Concepts and Applications of Genetics (3 credits, lecture)
Introductory course that integrates classical Mendelian genetics with the chromosomal, biochemical and molecular bases of inheritance. It also includes concepts of population biology within the context of genetics and current applications of modern genetic technology in everyday life. Intended for students who may not need to take advanced level classes in molecular biosciences. Prerequisites: Grade of C- or better in BIO 100 and Junior Standing.
BIO 432 – Biology of the Fungi (4 credits, lecture/lab)
Ecology, physiology and classification of the major groups of fungi and their impact on human affairs. Laboratory and fieldwork will emphasize current techniques used to study fungi. (This course is identical to BIO 532.) Prerequisites: BIO 100 and BIO 200 or equivalents or permission.
BIO 452 – Plant Physiology (3 credits, lecture)
Physiological processes in plants, with emphasis on water relations, mineral nutrition and physiological ecology. Prerequisites: BIO 100 and one year of chemistry; BIO 200 recommended.
BIO 464 – Taxonomy of Vascular Plants (4 credits, lecture/lab)
The primary emphasis is identification of major families and genera of flowering plants. Topics relating to the origin of plant diversity – phylogeny, evolution, pollination, hybridization, biogeography, and the flora of Maine – are also considered. Prerequisites: BIO 200 or FES 100 or PSE 100.
BIO 476 – Paleoecology (4 credits, lecture/lab)
Explores how paleoecology is used to expand the temporal scale over which ecologists pose and investigate questions. Explores how climate change has affected terrestrial and freshwater systems over the Quaternary, and how lake ecosystems have changed in recent centuries. NOTE: Because of overlap, BIO 476 and BIO 572 cannot both be taken for degree credit. Prerequisites: BIO 319 or BIO 468 or FES 407 or SMS 300 or SMS 352 or WLE 200.
SFR 100 – Introduction to Forest Biology (4 credits, lecture/lab)
Introductory concepts related to forest plants, animals, environment and ecology. NOTE: Because of overlap, SFR 100 and FES 110 cannot both be taken for degree credit.
SFR 107 – Forest Vegetation (4 credits, lecture/lab)
An introduction to the identification, distribution, taxonomy, silvics and utilization of North American tree species. Emphasis on the dominant forest cover types typical of each region of the U.S. together with their associated shrub and herbaceous communities. Site affiliations and the relationships to selected vertebrate wildlife species are included. Prerequisites: Forest Ecosystem Science and Conservation, Forest Operations Science, Forestry, Parks, Recreation and Tourism and Wood Science and Technology Majors only.
SFR 110 – Introduction to Tree Biology (2 credits, lecture/lab)
Introductory concepts for the role of trees in forests and on how trees function. NOTE: because of overlap, SFR 110 and SFR 100 cannot both be taken for degree credit. Prerequisites: Limited to students transferring into Forest Ecosystem Science; Forest Operations Science; Forestry; Parks, Recreation and Tourism; and Wood Science who have a previous course in general biology.
SFR 407 – Forest Ecology (3 credits, lecture)
Biological principles and environmental factors governing the natural establishment and development of forest trees and stands. Prerequisites: SFR 107 or BIO 464 or permission.
SFR 408 – Silviculture(3 credits, lecture)
Theory and practice of controlling the composition, growth, quality and regeneration of forest stands. Corequisite: SFR 407 or equivalent.
SFR 409 – Forest Ecology and Silviculture Field Laboratory (2 credits, lab)
Measurement, assessment and analysis of forest vegetation from a biological and silvicultural perspective.Designed to develop understanding and proficiency in: silvical properties of northeastern tree species; forest regeneration, succession and stand dynamics; prescribing silvicultural treatments; and formulating silvicultural systems.Weekly labs and several one-day field trips. Prerequisites: WLE 200 or concurrent enrollment in SFR 407; Corequisite: SFR 408.
SFR 410 – Forest Regeneration (3 credits, lecture)
An overview of the principles and practices associated with the successful regeneration of forestlands in North America. Topics include natural and artificial regeneration, see collection and handling, forest tree nurseries, site preparation, seedling quality and handling, genetics, disease, vegetation management, animal damage protection, early stand management, and ecological considerations.
SFR 415 – Forest Genetics (3 credits, lecture)
The distribution of genetic variation in forest tree populations as related to processes of natural selection and adaptation to environmental factors and the impacts of forest management practices on genetic variation. Prerequisites: BIO 100 or SFR 100.
SFR 439 – Plant Anatomy Structure and Function (3 credits, lecture/lab)
Examines vascular plant anatomy and structure with a focus on physiological, evolutionary and ecophysiological relationships.Note: Due to overlap, SFR 539 and SFR 439 cannot both be taken for degree credit. Prerequisites: BIO 100 or SFR 100 or PSE 100.
SFR 456 – Tree Pests and Disease I (1 credit, lecture)
Advanced concepts about tree disease and its development, the role of tree disease in forest dynamics, and relevant characteristic of tree pests. NOTE: Because of overlap, SFR 456 and SFR 557 cannot both be taken for degree credit. Prerequisites: BIO 100 or SFR 100.
SFR 457 – Tree Pests and Disease II (2 credits, lecture)
Applies concepts of FES 456 to common disease complexes found in Maine and other regions of North America. NOTE: Because of overlap, SFR 457 and SFR 557 cannot both be taken for degree credit. Satisfies the General Education Writing Intensive Requirement when taken with SFR 456. Corequisite: SFR 456.
SFR 458 – Tree Pests and Disease (1 credit, lab)
A week-long field class where students will learn the process of identifying tree health problems, researching information about the problem, and developing management options to deal with the problem. Prerequisites: SFR 456.
PSE 100 – Plant Science (4 credits, lecture/lab)
Basics of plant anatomy, morphology, ecology, physiology and taxonomy with examples drawn from common agricultural and horticultural plants are discussed. Labs include hands-on investigations of local plants.
PSE 101 – Cropping Systems (4 credits, lecture)
Principles and practices of various cropping systems involving agricultural crops. Basics of tillage, seeding, crop genetic resources, harvesting and storage of vegetables and grains are discussed. Prerequisites: PSE 100 or permission.
PSE 105 – Principles of Sustainable Agriculture (3 credits, lecture)
Basic design principles and examples of environmentally and economically sustainable agricultural systems. Describes the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, but emphasis will be placed on identifying management practices that a) biologically improve soil structure, organic matter content, and fertility; and b) minimize or eliminate the need for chemical interventions for control of insect pests, pathogens, and weeds.
PSE 110 – Introduction to Horticulture and Green Design (3 credits, lecture)
Students will understand the science of growing plants. They will learn to apply botany and soil science to produce horticulture crops. Students will participate in hands-on projects to apply basic science principles including flower arranging, container plant production, and community gardening and they will learn to evaluate scientific articles. Students will also apply the science of horticulture to topics in the green design field such as permaculture, green roof design, and sustainable landscape design and construction.
PSE 203 – Weed Biology and Identification (3 credits, lecture)
This course offers students an introduction to the characteristics and strategies of weedy and invasive plants, followed by study of weed communities in turf and urban landscapes, roadsides and waste areas, and agricultural fields. Students will learn to identify, in the field, approximately seventy-five weedy plant species and will know the principle weedy traits and/or strategies for each species.
PSE 219 – Herbaceous Landscape Plants (3 credits, lecture recitation)
The study of fundamental principles and practices of identifying, growing and using perennial and annual herbaceous ornamental plants in the landscape. Emphasis on identification, selection, landscape use and plant culture. Prerequisites: Grade of C- or better in PSE 100 or BIO 200 or FES 100.
PSE 221 – Woody Landscape Plants (4 credits, lecture/ Extensive outdoor lab)
The study of deciduous trees and shrubs suitable for landscape use in New England.Emphasis on plant identification, cultural requirements, reproduction, and use in the landscape. Prerequisites: Grade of C- or better in PSE 100 or BIO 200 or FES 100.
PSE 227 – Landscape Design and Construction Techniques (4 credits, lecture/studio)
An introduction to landscape design and the physical properties, functional uses and aesthetic values of landscape construction materials, as independent items and as designed elements within the landscape. Current construction practices and installation methods will be investigated. Graphic skills will focus on quick techniques for drawing grading plans, layout plans, and construction details. Prerequisites: Grade of C- or better in PSE 100 and Environmental Horticulture majors.
PSE 325 – Turfgrass Management (3 credits, lecture/lab)
Study of the scientific principles of turfgrass culture. Includes identification, soil requirements, establishment, fertilization, mowing and pest control of grass species used on home lawns, golf courses, athletic fields, parks and low maintenance areas. Prerequisites: Junior Standing and a grade of C- or better is required in PSE 100 or BIO 200 or FES 100. PSE 140 is recommended.
PSE 328 – Landscape Design (4 credits, lecture/studio)
The planning and design of residential sites.Based on balancing the “hands-on” experience with formal design education, by furnishing an overview of the fundamentals of the residential site design process. The students will integrate previous experience and course work in plant material, landscape construction, graphic communication, and general horticultural experiences. Prerequisites: Grade of C- or better in PSE 219 and PSE 221 and PSE 222 and PSE 227.
PSE 396 – Field Experience in Plant, Soil and Environmental Sciences (1 to 16 credits)
An approved program of work experience which contributes to the academic major and for which academic credit is given. Students may work part time or full time for a semester in a job related to their professional career goals, including on-farm internships.(Pass/Fail Grade Only). Prerequisites: Junior standing and approved proposal.
PSE 403 – Weed Ecology and Management (3 credits, lecture/lab)
Ecological principles and their application in non-chemical and reduced input weed management strategies. Prerequisites: PSE 100 (or BIO 200 or SFR 100) and BIO 319 (or SFR 407 or WLE 200).
PSE 410 – Plant Propagation (4 credits, lecture/lab)
Principles and methods involved in the propagation of herbaceous and woody plants by seeds, division, layering, cutting, budding, grafting, and tissue culture. Prerequisites: Grade of C- or better in PSE 100 or BIO 200 or SFR 100, and Junior standing; PSE 140 is recommended.
PSE 413 – Wetland Delineation and Mapping (4 credits, lecture/lab)
Focuses on delineating and mapping wetlands using procedures accepted by the Army Corps of Engineers and the State of Maine. Students will learn to identify wetland boundaries using the 3-parameter approach; soils, vegetation and hydrology, currently required by federal and state laws regulating wetlands. Prerequisites: BIO 319 or SFR 407 or SMS 300 or SMS 352 or WLE 200 and PSE 140 or permission.
PSE 415 – Greenhouse Management (4 credits, lecture/lab)
The study of greenhouse management practices and principles. Specific areas of study will include greenhouse structure, operation, and the use of greenhouses for ornamental plant production. Extensive greenhouse work. Prerequisites: Grade of C- or better in PSE 100 or BIO 200 or SFR 100, and Junior standing. PSE 140 is recommended.
PSE 424 – Plant Production (3 credits, lecture/lab)
Covers the basic techniques for production of woody and herbaceous plants in nursery and other outdoor settings. Specific areas of study will include nursery site selection and construction, retail and wholesale nursery planning, equipments for nursery operation, nursery crop selection, regeneration, culture, and production, personnel management, marketing, and garden center operation. Extensive field lab work at campus nursery and garden. Prerequisites: Junior standing and grade of C- or better in PSE 100.
PSE 425 – Landscape Management (3 credits, lecture/lab)
Designed to provide the senior landscape horticulture student with the opportunity to bring together all aspects of theoretical and applied training. Students develop an understanding of professional practice in landscape management, site management, personnel management to project management. Accomplished through interacting with a variety of professionals, field trips, real life hands-on projects, cumulating with a team-based Capstone Project. Prerequisites: Grade of C- or better in PSE 325 and PSE 328.
PSE 430 – Environmental Horticulture (3 credits, lecture)
Integrates previously covered topics with new information using class discussion, lectures, student papers, presentations and hands-on projects. Some of the topics covered include: soil management for sustaining organic matter and preventing erosion, reducing water use in the managed landscape, incorporating native plants into agricultural and horticultural systems, eliminating invasive plants from the home and farm landscape, and creation/protection of wildlife habitat in the managed land/farmscape. Prerequisites: Senior Standing in Environmental Horticulture or Sustainable Agriculture.
PSE 440 – Environmental Soil Chemistry and Plant Nutrition (3 credits, lecture)
A study of the origin and nature of soil chemical properties and how they influence plant growth and environmental quality. The cycling of nutrients and carbon through soils, the biosphere, the hydrosphere, and the atmosphere is discussed. The impacts of human practices such as fertilization, mining, fossil fuel consumption, irrigation, and waste disposal on the quality of soils in both managed and natural systems are considered. Prerequisites: BMB 208 or CHY 122 and PSE 140.
PSE 457 – Plant Pathology (4 credits, lecture/lab)
Principles of plant disease. Prerequisites: Junior or Senior Standing and either BIO 100 or PSE 100.
SMS 373- Marine and Freshwater Algae (4 credits, lecture/lab)
A comprehensive introduction to the algae (freshwater and marine), including their evolution, physiology, life histories, and ecology. All aspects of the course emphasize the fundamental roles of the algae in shaping the evolution of other life on Earth and determining characteristics of different ecosystems and foodwebs. Laboratory work will emphasize the study of living material and include special projects and field trips. Students will become competent microscopists. Prerequisites: BIO 200 or SMS 201 or permission.
BIO 522 – Plant Reproductive Biology (3 credits, lecture)
Plants are remarkably versatile in their reproduction, with outcrossing, selfing, and asexuality. This course explores this versatility and its consequences for plant genetic diversity and evolution.
BIO 532 – Biology of the Fungi (4 credits, lecture/lab)
The major taxa of fungi are examined in relation to their ecology and physiology.Ecology, physiology and classification of the major groups of fungi and their impact on human affairs. Laboratory and fieldwork will emphasize current techniques used to study fungi. Prerequisites: BIO 100 or equivalent and/or a basic ecology course or permission.
BIO 550 – Biogeochemistry of Terrestrial Ecosystems (3 credits, lecture)
Biogeochemical patterns and processes in forest ecosystems. Comparative data from the ecological literature are used to examine the important processes of element cycling, including atmospheric deposition, canopy processes, plant nutrient circulation, decomposition, animal-insect interactions, soil chemical phenomena, weathering, leaching, gaseous fluxes, forest hydrology and overall watershed biogeochemical responses to disturbance. Prerequisites: BIO 319, one year of college chemistry and permission.
BIO 568 – Advanced Plant Ecology (4 credits, lecture/lab)
Classical and modern perspectives on vegetation ecology, including floristic and ecosystem approaches, classification and ordination of vegetation data, dynamics of vegetation with emphasis on the role of climate change and disturbance in landscape development, paleoecological perspectives, plant population ecology. Weekly field trips. Prerequisites: BIO 319 or equivalent; one year of calculus.
BIO 572 – Paleoecology (3 credits, lecture/lab)
Explores how paleoecology expands the temporal scale of ecology, how climate change has affected terrestrial and freshwater systems over the Quaternary, and how lake ecosystems have changed in recent centuries. NOTE: Because of overlap, BIO 572 and BIO 476 cannot both be taken for degree credit. Prerequisites: An ecology course, e.g. BIO 319 or permission.
BIO 578 – Structure and Function of Plant Genomes (3 credits, lecture)
The course presents an analysis of the factors that drive changes in genome complexity in flowering plants, the molecular mechanisms involved, and how such changes shape the evolution of plant form and function within the context of cellular biochemistry and physiology. Examples of seminal studies and recent advances contributed by the three eminent plant models (Arabidopsis thaliana, Oryza sativa, Zea mays) are highlighted. Prerequisites: BIO 462 or BIO 445 or BMB 400 or equivalent college level genetics course.
BIO 597 – Special Topics in Biology (1 to 6 credits, lecture). As available. Prerequisites: permission.
SFR 520 – Development and Growth of Woody Plants (3 credits, lecture)
Understanding plants as production systems for foliage, fruits, and wood. Structure and function of apical meristems and the cambium, reproductive biology and embryogenesis, developmental changes and control of growth. Resource acquisition and allocation, developmental physiology of organogenesis both natural and in vitro, with an introduction to gene expression as it relates to development. Prerequisites: BIO 452, BIO 453 or permission.
SFR 522 – Physiological Ecology of Plants (3 credits, lecture)
Examines the relationship between plants and their environment through response to temperature, light, water, and soil mineral resources. Topics include strategies for acquiring resources, resisting abiotic stresses, and confronting competition and changing climates.
SFR 539 – Plant Anatomy Structure and Function (4 credits, lecture/lab)
Examines vascular plant anatomy and structure with a focus on physiological, evolutionary and ecophysiological relationships. Note: Due to overlap, SFR 539 and SFR 439 cannot both be taken for degree credit. Prerequisites: Graduate Standing.
SFR 557 – Tree Pests and Disease (3 credits, lecture)
Advanced concepts about tree disease and its development, the role of tree disease in forest dynamics, and relevant characteristic of tree pests. Applies concepts to common disease complexes found in Maine and other regions of North America. Note: Because of overlap, SFR 557 cannot be taken if SFR 456 or SFR 457 have been taken for degree credit. Prerequisites: Graduate Standing.
PSE 503 – Post-Harvest Physiology (3 credits, lecture)
Biochemical and physiological processes associated with ripening and retaining quality of harvested plant products. Includes temperature, humidity, growth regulators, types of storage, handling and physiological disorders. Prerequisites: BIO 452 and BIO 453 or permission.
PSE 509 – Experimental Design (4 credits, lecture/lab). Principles of research in biological sciences, design of experiments, statistical analysis and interpretation of data.
PSE 597 – Special Topics in Plant, Soil and Environmental Sciences (AR, lecture)
Advanced study of topics in plant, soil and environmental sciences. Prerequisites: Permission.
SMS 528 – Advanced Phycology (4 credits, lecture/lab)
Algal ecology, classification, and metabolism, emphasizing discussion of key discoveries (early 20th Century to present) related to topics such as marine and freshwater ecosystems, evolution, theories of primary and secondary endosymbiosis, toxic algae, circadian rhythms, algal genomics, culture technology, and algal biofuels. Lecture and seminar format with laboratory. Prerequisites: SMS 373 or concurrently, or equivalent, or permission of instructor.