PLANT BREEDING FOR DROUGHT TOLERANCE Online course - Fall 2013Colorado State University will offer a one-credit online course in Plant Breeding for Drought Tolerance August 26 to December 13, 2013. Course instructor is Dr. Patrick Byrne, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences.
Course enrollment has reached capacity for Fall, 2013. The next online course will be offered in Fall, 2015, and the next summer field course will be held in June, 2014.
TARGET AUDIENCEThis distance course is targeted to graduate students in the plant sciences, as well as to professionals in the public and private sectors who want to increase their knowledge in this area. It will provide one transferable graduate-level credit.
The course will focus on plant breeding strategies and practices directed toward improving plant performance under drought stress. Concepts for this intensive, one-credit graduate level course include:
• Analyzing the target environment
• Understanding plant response to drought stress and plant adaptation strategies
• Using wild species and landraces as sources of drought tolerance
• Determining which phenotypic traits to use in selection practices
• Detecting marker-trait associations for relevant traits
• Understanding transgenic approaches to drought tolerance
• Learning from successful examples of improving drought tolerance in a variety of crops
The 15-week curriculum is divided into 15 lessons. Each lesson's content will be delivered via a voice-over PowerPoint presentation, a video, a reading assignment, or combinations of these media. Some lessons will require student participation in an online discussion, completion of an online quiz, or submission of a homework assignment. The compiled homework assignments will comprise a portfolio of documents describing an analysis and breeding strategy for a specific crop and environment. There will be a comprehensive final exam administered during the week of December 16.
Participants should have a basic understanding of genetics, plant breeding, and plant physiology. Prior to the beginning of the course, students will review online material on these topics to provide a common background in breeding and physiology concepts.
PROGRAM COSTS AND REQUIREMENTS
The cost of student tuition is US $549 plus a $20 technology fee. Word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software (e.g., Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) is required, as is Adobe Reader. Students are required to have access to a computer and Internet access that meet the general CSU recommendations.
Partial funding to support course development is provided by a grant from the USDA-NIFA-AFRI Plant Breeding and Education Program.
REGISTRATION AND INFORMATION
For questions or registration information, please contact the Program Assistant, Kierra Jewell, at Kierra.Jewell@ColoState.edu. Applications will be accepted through August 1, 2013 or until the class is full (25 students).
Selected student comments from the 2011 version of this course:
"I have never done a distance course but I liked how easy and self-explanatory it was to access lectures and material."
"The voice over powerpoints were very clear, easy to use and understand."
"There was so much information that we could get access to (papers, lectures, etc) and even if I didn't have time to read all of it right away, I can go back to it later."
"I felt the portfolio aspect and the fact that we worked on it week by week was very beneficial and much easier to relay the understanding of the material."