Agriculture & Environment

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Overview
Example classes within this interest area
Example careers
Relevance to Myanmar
What students have said
Undergraduate Majors
Graduate Majors


Overview:

Agriculture is the largest and most diverse industry on the planet. The demand for qualified employees in the agriculture and food production industry is quite high. Agriculture is the scientific study of the interaction between humans, natural resources, and livestock. There are several concentrations for agriculture including agricultural economics and commercial agriculture. The agriculture major may be designed for students who desire a career in management positions in farm-related industries such as livestock and food products.

This major can combine elements of business, agriculture, and agricultural economics. With appropriate choices of elective courses, students can also prepare themselves for positions with financial institutions involved with agriculture industry. Students who major in agriculture have an interest in preserving, studying, and managing many forms of natural resources, particularly those related to farming and animal husbandry. These students may enjoy learning about business strategies, supervising others, and may seek to become managers. These students do not shy away from learning scientific theories or conducting research. Agriculture majors should be strong in the sciences, especially in biology and chemistry.

Increasing pressure by the public about air and water pollution, nuclear waste disposal, the ozone hole and global warming, leads us to view the Earth as composed of many interacting systems. Processes in the biosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and lithosphere are studied to learn how the systems combine and interact. In this way we come to understand how our planet works, its past history, and its likely future.

Environmental studies have emerged as an inter-disciplinary field that promises to provide a new and revolutionary unification of the science of our planet. Applied studies include the study of mineral resources including oil and water; the identification and mitigation of Earth hazards such as earthquakes, landslides, and volcanic eruptions; the identification and mitigation of polluted ground water; and land use planning. Students who have either a general or professional interest in the environment and who wish to be able to evaluate scientific, economic and social aspects of environmental problems will appreciate this field of studies. Environmental studies students should have a proficiency in math and the sciences.

Agriculture and Environment majors may include the following classes:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Agricultural Economics
  • Environmental Science
  • Ecology
  • Farm Management
  • Soil and Crop Science
  • Agricultural Market and Prices
  • Genetics of Livestock and Plant Improvement

Example careers:

  • Biochemist
  • Biologist
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Farm or Ranch Manager
  • Natural Resource Analyst
  • Farmer

Relevance to Myanmar:

Agriculture is the most important part of the Myanmar economy. Myanmar has a long history of agricultural production and currently 70% of the workforce are engaged in agricultural employment. 50% of the Gross Domestic Product can be attributed to agriculture. Myanmar’s agricultural products include rice, pulses, beans, sesame, groundnuts, sugarcane, hardwood, fish and fish products. Much of Myanmar’s export industry is focused mostly on raw products and include gas, wood products, pulses, beans, fish, rice, clothing, jade and gems. Myanmar is also the world’s second largest producer of opium. The sheer scale of agricultural impact cannot be overlooked in the country.

Environmental issues are of great concern to Myanmar. Many environmental laws or requirements are non-existent or are not enforced which will continue to lead to more environmental damage and problems. Current environmental issues include the damming of rivers for hydroelectric power, deforestation due to illegal logging, habitat destruction, and industrial pollution of air, soil, and water; inadequate sanitation and water treatment contribute to disease.

 

Undergraduate Majors:

Graduate Majors:

Undergraduate Major Descriptions:

Agriculture

This program aims to educate students to a scientifically-based sustainable agriculture, to enable them to develop and effectively manage a self-reliant and economically viable agricultural-related enterprise and to prepare them to become professionals with social commitment.

Agricultural Chemistry

Agricultural Chemistry is the study of both chemistry and biochemistry which are important in agricultural production, the processing of raw products into foods and beverages, and in environmental monitoring and remediation. These studies emphasize the relationships between plants, animals and bacteria and their environment. Agricultural chemists work in a wide range of occupations in public and private enterprises. Agricultural chemists are often employed to analyze agricultural and food products to ensure product quality and safety. They may also be engaged in environmental monitoring and remediation. This may involve the development of new technology for the specification and processing of raw products and in the protection of our environment. Employment opportunities in the food and beverage sector include positions in the wine and brewing industries and in cereal chemistry. Research and development into the production of processed products from cereal crops is of increasing importance.

Agricultural Economics

This major is designed for students who desire an entry-level career in management positions in farm-related industries such as livestock and food products. This major combines elements of agriculture, and agricultural economics. With appropriate choices of elective courses, students can also prepare themselves for positions with agriculture industry. Agricultural Economics majors put economic theory into practice. They develop management and financial strategies for the food and farming industries. They focus on understanding and correcting problems in the manufacture, selling, financing, and distribution of food products. They also work to preserve natural resources and the environment. If you major in Agricultural Economics, you’ll forecast market prices, develop marketing strategies for new products and participate in case studies of the successes and failures of real products and real farms.

Aquaculture

Aquaculture, the newest and fastest-growing sector of the agriculture business, is a fancy name for fish farming. Much of the fish we eat is not caught in the wild. Instead, they are domesticated — raised and harvested in controlled environments specifically created for food production. As an aquaculture major, you’ll learn the ins and outs of operating a successful fish farm. First, you’ll learn the fundamentals of aquatic and marine biology, as well as basic fish nutrition and health. You’ll want your fish farm to replicate wild conditions, so you’ll need to know about wild fish, marine plants, and habitats. Next, you’ll learn how to select, culture, propagate and harvest fish, shellfish, and marine plants. Finally, you’ll take classes in the technical and business aspects necessary to work in this field — how to design and build fish farms, breeding facilities and culture beds, and finally, how to market your product.

Botany

Botany is the scientific study of plant life and it is a branch of biology. A botanist studies their individual structures, how plants are alike and how they differ, and how to identify and classify plants of all kinds. Plants play an important part in our culture, and you’ll learn about their many functions and roles in nutrition, medicine, and our ecosystem. You’ll study how plants have evolved and how they have affected us, and in turn, how we have affected them. In this increasingly technological world, advances in the field of botany are many, and your studies may lead you to any number of careers—from a burgeoning field like biotechnology to working for environmental causes or firms. You might study the ways in which we can manipulate the growth of plants and genetically alter them for nutritional or environmental benefits. Or you may get involved in the rapidly expanding study of organic food products and the plants and herbs that make up homeopathic medicines. Your studies will include a great deal of research, field work, and lots of time in the laboratory and possibly a greenhouse.

Ecology

Ecology is a science closely related to biology, psychology, and chemistry. Ecology focuses on the relationships between individual living things, like humans, and the chemical elements within their environment. Given the breadth and scope of ecology, though, it’s often necessary to break it down into smaller categories that focus on different aspects of this relationship. For example there is population ecology, which studies the distribution of animals and plants; community ecology, which studies the ways in which communities of living things are organized and relate to one another; and paleoecology, which studies the ecology of fossils.

Environmental Management

Soil erosion, salinisation and acidification, pollution of waterways, exotic species, and loss of biodiversity are critical issues in Australia. Ecologically sustainable use of natural resources requires environmental managers with a knowledge of the problems … and solutions. This course provides students with a knowledge of land and water degradation causes and issues, water resource management, waste treatment, site rehabilitation, wildlife conservation, land use planning, environmental impact assessment and application of information technology (computer databasing, remote sensing and geographic information systems).

Environmental Science

Increasing pressure by the public about air and water pollution, nuclear waste disposal, the ozone hole and global warming, leads us to view the Earth as composed of many interacting systems. Processes in the biosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and lithosphere are studied to learn how the systems combine and interact. In this way we come to understand how our planet works, its past history, and its likely future. Environmental science has emerged as an inter-disciplinary major that promises to provide a new and revolutionary unification of the science of our planet. Applied studies include the study of mineral resources including oil and water; the identification and mitigation of Earth hazards such as earthquakes, landslides, and volcanic eruptions; the identification and mitigation of polluted ground water; and land use planning. The Environmental Science major combines study in biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics, exploring the relationships between these areas to acquire a greater understanding of how our environment works as a whole. Environmental Science majors work as policy writers and consultants, developers, conservationists, educators, and ecologists.

Fish Business Management

This major is a subcategory of a Fishery major and it is more specifically about the management of the fishery industry.

Fish Processing Technology

This major is a subcategory of a Fishery major and it is more specifically about the techniques of processing fishes before they are sold on the market.

Forestry

Forestry is the science of wilderness management, incorporating the study of trees, crops, soil, wildlife, plant life, park management, and other environmental issues. Forestry majors divide their time between the classroom and the field, and most Forestry programs require an extended stay in a camp setting. Forestry majors work in many areas. Some work for the government as soil scientists, crop specialists, and park and forest rangers. Others work for private firms as growers, assessors, and consultants. As concern for the environment increases, Forestry majors may find themselves in increasing demand.

Horticulture

Horticulture refers to the scientific cultivation of garden crops. This science denotes the study and application of scientific processes, mechanisms and techniques to increase, manipulate and cultivate horticultural crops to the advantage of man. The field of study is inextricably interwoven with subject specific disciplines, especially plant physiology and plant biochemistry. Moreover, the discipline is supplemented by other disciplines such as soil science, botany, genetics, plant protection, and others. Although the practice and application of practical skills enjoy much attention, we place much emphasis on the scientific foundations and principles involved. The discipline entails much more than the breeding, cultivation and taking care of garden crops, generally referred to as horticulture.

Marine Fisheries

The Marine Fisheries major is about raising and selecting marine fishes for food production. A fishery is in fact an established area where fish species are cultivated and caught and the fishery industry processes and sells cultivated fishes on the market.

Plant Biotechnology

The Plant Biotechnology major is designed to prepare students for careers in biotechnology or for entrance into graduate school. Industries, particularly those that have traditionally dealt with agricultural products, are increasingly turning to biotechnology to improve the production as well as the nutritional value of food. These emerging industries are also developing products to lessen the dependence on nonrenewable resources and to restore soil and water quality. Students are trained in plant biology as well as in concepts and techniques in molecular biology. These skills should enable students who successfully complete the curriculum to find challenging careers in the diverse biotechnology arena, academics, industry, or government.

Pre-Veterinary Medicine

Pre-veterinary medicine is for those wishing to enter later a veterinary school. Veterinarians are skilled at caring for animals, diagnosing and treating their health problems. Veterinarians often choose later to work either with small or large animals (such as farm animals). Biology, chemistry, organic chemistry will form a large part of your curriculum, as well as classes in animal science and zoology.

Veterinary Medicine

Veterinarians are skilled at caring for animals—diagnosing and treating their health problems, preventing those problems from happening—basically ensuring these critters’ well-being. Vets often choose between working with small animals and working with larger ones (such as farm animals), but there are plenty of vets who are capable of working with all sizes. Veterinary Medicine programs at most colleges encompass science and math courses. Most veterinary schools have an admission test. Biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, and other courses will form a large part of your curriculum, as well as classes in animal sciences and zoology.

Graduate Major Descriptions:

Agriculture

This program aims to educate students to a scientifically-based sustainable agriculture, to enable them to develop and effectively manage a self-reliant and economically viable agricultural-related enterprise and to prepare them to become professionals with social commitment.

Agricultural Chemistry

Agricultural chemistry focuses on chemical compositions and changes involved in the production, protection, and use of crops and livestock. It is directed toward control of processes by which humans obtain food and fiber for themselves and feed for their animals: to increase yields, improve quality, and reduce costs. Agricultural chemists study the causes and effects of biochemical reactions related to plant and animal growth, seek ways to control these reactions, and develop chemical products that provide help in controlling these reactions. Chemical products developed to assist in the production of food, feed, and fiber include herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, plant growth regulators, fertilizers, and animal feed supplements.

Agricultural Economics

This major is designed for students who desire an entry-level career in management positions in farm-related industries such as livestock and food products. This major combines elements of agriculture, and agricultural economics. With appropriate choices of elective courses, students can also prepare themselves for positions with agriculture industry. Agricultural Economics majors put economic theory into practice. They develop management and financial strategies for the food and farming industries. They focus on understanding and correcting problems in the manufacture, selling, financing, and distribution of food products. They also work to preserve natural resources and the environment. If you major in Agricultural Economics, you’ll forecast market prices, develop marketing strategies for new products and participate in case studies of the successes and failures of real products and real farms.

Agricultural Education

A major in Agricultural Education provides the communication skills, leadership training, and knowledge of technical and agriculture necessary to be certified as a teacher of agricultural education, particularly in high schools and community colleges. You can also find employment in agricultural development, personnel training, and sales positions in various agricultural-related industries. Agricultural teachers need a broad background in agriculture. As such, expect to take courses in agricultural economics, animal science, entomology, veterinary science, and crop and weed sciences. You can frequently choose among several certification areas including horticulture, agribusiness, natural resource management, and agricultural production.

Agroforestry

Agroforestry is a management approach that integrates familiar and new agriculture and forestry practices into land management systems which contribute to diversification and sustainability of production. Agroforestry focuses on the wide range of working trees grown on farms and in rural landscapes. Among these are fetilizer trees for land regeneration, soil health and food security; fruit trees for nutrition; fodder trees that improve smallholder livestock production; timber and fuelwood trees for shelter and energy; medicinal trees to combat disease; and trees that produce gums, resins or latex products. Many of these trees are multipurpose, providing a range of benefits. Agroforestry is new market opportunities: sustainable agriculture, land stewardship, habitat for wildlife, improved water quality, diversified farm income. Agroforestry practices help landowners to diversify products, markets, and farm income; improve soil and water quality; and reduce erosion, non-point source pollution and damage due to flooding. The integrated practices of agroforestry enhance land and aquatic habitats for fish and wildlife and improve biodiversity while sustaining land resources for generations to come.

Agrometeorology

Agrometeorology is the science which studies the influence of meteorological conditions upon the growth and development of field and fruit and wine-growing crops, aiming at determining the needs of an agricultural system or biotope in reaching the optimal biological productivity. The scientific and practical importance of agrometeorology implies the agroclimatic resources management and preservation for the development of agricultural production process, thoroughly study of the weather-crop relation on the basis of integrating the environmental elements and providing of systematic dissemination means towards the users. Agriculture is an important user of the agrometeorological information, its turning to good account combined with other types of specialized information (agricultural, technological, economic, etc.) being achieved in order to prevent and reduce the meteorological risk in agriculture, as well as to establish sustainable development strategies. Between agrometeorology and the other branches of meteorology, particularly the synoptic meteorology and climatology, there is a close interdisciplinary connection based on the processing of meteorological and climatological data and the interpretation of results in order to assess evolution of the most important environmental components. The forecasting and monitoring of severe weather phenomena (drought, downpours, hail, floods, squalls, frost, etc) in order to prevent and reduce negative impact upon the vegetal production are determining elements in creating a food protection and supplying decision-making system.

Agronomy

Agronomy is a branch of agricultural science that deals with the study of crops and the soils in which they grow. Agronomists work to develop methods that will improve the use of soil and increase the production of food and fiber crops. They conduct research in crop rotation, irrigation and drainage, plant breeding, soil classification, soil fertility, weed control, and other areas. Agronomy involves selective breeding of plants to produce the best crops under various conditions. Agronomists study ways to make soils more productive. They classify soils and test them to determine whether they contain substances vital to plant growth. Such nutritional substances include compounds of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. If certain soil is deficient in these substances, fertilizers may provide them. Agronomists investigate the movement of nutrients through the soil, and the amount of nutrients absorbed by a plant’s roots. Agronomists also examine the development of the roots and their relation to the soil. In addition, agronomists develop methods to preserve the soil and to decrease the effects of erosion by wind and water. Researchers in agronomy also seek ways to use the soil more effectively in solving other problems. Such problems include the disposal of human and animal wastes; water pollution; and the build-up in the soil of chemicals called pesticides, which are used to kill insects and other pests. Most agronomists are consultants, researchers, or teachers. Many work for agricultural experiment stations, federal or state government agencies, industrial firms, or universities. Agronomists also serve in such international organizations as the Agency for International Development and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Aquaculture

Aquaculture, the newest and fastest-growing sector of the agriculture business, is a fancy name for fish farming. Much of the fish we eat is not caught in the wild. Instead, they are domesticated — raised and harvested in controlled environments specifically created for food production. As an aquaculture major, you’ll learn the ins and outs of operating a successful fish farm. First, you’ll learn the fundamentals of aquatic and marine biology, as well as basic fish nutrition and health. You’ll want your fish farm to replicate wild conditions, so you’ll need to know about wild fish, marine plants, and habitats. Next, you’ll learn how to select, culture, propagate and harvest fish, shellfish, and marine plants. Finally, you’ll take classes in the technical and business aspects necessary to work in this field — how to design and build fish farms, breeding facilities and culture beds, and finally, how to market your product.

Botany

Botany is the scientific study of plant life and it is a branch of biology. A botanist studies their individual structures, how plants are alike and how they differ, and how to identify and classify plants of all kinds. Plants play an important part in our culture, and you’ll learn about their many functions and roles in nutrition, medicine, and our ecosystem. You’ll study how plants have evolved and how they have affected us, and in turn, how we have affected them. In this increasingly technological world, advances in the field of botany are many, and your studies may lead you to any number of careers—from a burgeoning field like biotechnology to working for environmental causes or firms. You might study the ways in which we can manipulate the growth of plants and genetically alter them for nutritional or environmental benefits. Or you may get involved in the rapidly expanding study of organic food products and the plants and herbs that make up homeopathic medicines. Your studies will include a great deal of research, field work, and lots of time in the laboratory and possibly a greenhouse.

Environmental Education

Environmental education concerns creating informed social change towards improving the management of human interactions with the environment. Environmental education can occur anywhere from schools, to councils and at international levels. It addresses issues of raising awareness and improving knowledge within the community while developing an attitude towards positive change for the environment. This course explores the role and scope of education in the attainment of environmental and sustainable development goals. Students will learn to identify principles of good practice in order to plan and evaluate programs in environmental education and education for sustainable development. Emphasis is also placed on the communication and interpretation process, and effective communication techniques at various local, national and international levels, within formal, informal and non-formal education. This program addresses the needs of education and environmental professionals seeking to diversify their career. Graduates will develop skills and knowledge that are highly regarded by both employers and the community. Students will gain an improved understanding of environmental education and its application relevant at local, national and international levels. Graduates are suitably qualified for work with government agencies, private education and development companies, NGOs, school based educators and international bodies.

Environmental Management

The postgraduate programs in environmental management are multidisciplinary programs designed to enhance the skills and technical expertise of graduates, professional engineers and scientists working in all facets of the environmental arena. The programs aim to produce managers able to address the many issues in the highly complex and changing area of environmental management. This degree is designed for students interested in pursuing careers in environmental policy and analysis, stewardship, education, consulting, or management dealing with natural resource, pollution control and other environmental issues. The program requires course work in both the natural and social sciences, with a particular focus on the complex relationship among science, management, and policy. The ultimate purpose of the degree program is to provide students with a scientific understanding of ecological and social systems, which then can be applied in a policy or management context.

Environmental Science

Increasing pressure by the public about air and water pollution, nuclear waste disposal, the ozone hole and global warming, leads us to view the Earth as composed of many interacting systems. Processes in the biosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and lithosphere are studied to learn how the systems combine and interact. In this way we come to understand how our planet works, its past history, and its likely future. Environmental science has emerged as an inter-disciplinary major that promises to provide a new and revolutionary unification of the science of our planet. Applied studies include the study of mineral resources including oil and water; the identification and mitigation of Earth hazards such as earthquakes, landslides, and volcanic eruptions; the identification and mitigation of polluted ground water; and land use planning. The Environmental Science major combines study in biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics, exploring the relationships between these areas to acquire a greater understanding of how our environment works as a whole. Environmental Science majors work as policy writers and consultants, developers, conservationists, educators, and ecologists.

Environmental Science and Ecosystem Management

The Master of Science in Environmental Science and Ecosystem Management intends to provide professionals with an in-depth technical background in environmental science to be used in the protection of the environment and the proper utilization of human and natural resources. The program provides students with an in-depth knowledge in the theories/principles of environmental science and adequate skills, proper attitudes and values in the practice of environmental management. In addition, graduates of the program are expected to be sufficiently trained to prepare environmental risk assessment and environmental impact assessment and to coordinate with other institutions for collaborative scientific and management researches in environmental issues.

Fish Processing Technology

This major is a subcategory of a Fishery major and it is more specifically about the techniques of processing fishes before they are sold on the market.

Forestry

Forestry is the science of wilderness management, incorporating the study of trees, crops, soil, wildlife, plant life, park management, and other environmental issues. Forestry majors divide their time between the classroom and the field, and most Forestry programs require an extended stay in a camp setting. Forestry majors work in many areas. Some work for the government as soil scientists, crop specialists, and park and forest rangers. Others work for private firms as growers, assessors, and consultants. As concern for the environment increases, Forestry majors may find themselves in increasing demand.

Horticulture

Horticulture refers to the scientific cultivation of garden crops. This science denotes the study and application of scientific processes, mechanisms and techniques to increase, manipulate and cultivate horticultural crops to the advantage of man. The field of study is inextricably interwoven with subject specific disciplines, especially plant physiology and plant biochemistry. Moreover, the discipline is supplemented by other disciplines such as soil science, botany, genetics, plant protection, and others. Although the practice and application of practical skills enjoy much attention, we place much emphasis on the scientific foundations and principles involved. The discipline entails much more than the breeding, cultivation and taking care of garden crops, generally referred to as horticulture.

Plant Biotechnology

This multidisciplinary course encompasses plant physiology, plant biochemistry and plant molecular biology. It brings together the expertise of plant scientists in the Botany and Biochemistry departments and aims to produce graduates with a knowledge of the structure and function of the whole plant and the ability to apply modern molecular and biochemical techniques to the manipulation of plants of agronomic importance.

Plant Breeding

Plant breeding is essentially the study of breeding systems involved in self- and cross fertilising plants, vegetatively propagated plants and hybrids; advanced breeding methods such as recombinant DNA technology, double haploid breeding and mutation breeding; marker-assisted breeding using both protein- and molecular markers.

Plant Genetic Resources

Plant genetic resources for food and agriculture are crucial in feeding the world’s population. They are the raw material that farmers and plant breeders use to improve the quality and productivity of our crops. The future of agriculture depends on international cooperation and on the open exchange of the crops and their genes that farmers all over the world have developed and exchanged over 10,000 years. You will study the ways in which we can manipulate the growth of plants and genetically alter them for nutritional or environmental benefits.

Plant Pathology

Plant Pathology is the science of diagnosing and managing plant diseases. A plant pathologist is a professional who specializes in plant health much as a physician specializes in human health or a veterinarian in animal health. Keeping plants healthy requires an understanding of the organisms and agents that cause disease as well as an understanding of how plants grow and are affected by disease. Through college courses in botany, microbiology, crop science, soil science, ecology, genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology, and physiology, students receive the necessary background for exciting careers in the interdisciplinary science of plant pathology. Plant pathologists are employed by colleges and universities, state and federal government agencies, industrial firms, international institutes, and as private practitioners

Soil Science

Soil Science is the science that treats soil as a natural resource. Through first-rate instruction, an extensive research program and active participation with the agricultural and farming communities information is provided on the origins, classification, geographical diversity and utilisation of the country’s soil; the promotion of sustainable production of plants to supply the food and fibre requirements of the population; and measures to combat deterioration of the environment to ensure healthy living environments for the population and wildlife.

Veterinary Medicine (different specializations)

Veterinarians are skilled at caring for animals—diagnosing and treating their health problems, preventing those problems from happening—basically ensuring these critters’ well-being. Vets often choose between working with small animals and working with larger ones (such as farm animals), but there are plenty of vets who are capable of working with all sizes. Veterinary Medicine programs at most colleges encompass science and math courses. Most veterinary schools have an admission test. Biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, and other courses will form a large part of your curriculum, as well as classes in animal sciences and zoology.