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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Horticulture (HORT)

HORT 150 (GN) Plants in the Human Context (3) An introduction to the many fascinating and vital relationships between plants and human society.

HORT 150 Plants and Human Context (3)

The objective of this course is to expose students to the pervasiveness and essentiality of plants in the human experience. Major topics include 1) human civilization as influenced by plants, 2) a history of food from plants, 3) chemicals from plants, 4) non-food plant uses, 5) current issues in plant production, and 6) current botanical issues of global concern. Specific topics range from botanical pharmaceuticals to global warming/use of biofuels, and from culture-specific rotten foods to genetically-modified plants. Students will be exposed to many basic concepts of plant ecology, ecosystem science, emerging technologies, and the criteria used to evaluate sources of scientific information as a natural consequence of studying the range of topics included in the course. Students completing the course will therefore be in an excellent position to intelligently select from the many botanically- and ecologically-oriented majors, minors and options available to them at Penn State. The format of the course consists primarily of lecture/discussions, and includes one team assignment (making a poster) and three individual projects (one page arguments) in addition to a midterm and a final exam. Student evaluations are based on individual exam scores (50%) and on team (20%) and individual (30%) projects.

General Education: GN
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Summer 2013

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

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