Bachelor of Applied Science in Sustainable Agriculture
To learn more contact
Kent Mullinix, Director, Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security
Join the community of leaders and entrepreneurs who are helping to build our sustainable future. Enroll in Kwantlen Polytechnic University's new degree in Sustainable Agriculture. Through a unique combination of classroom and farm-based learning, the program offers a comprehensive perspective on:
- The science of agro-ecosystem design and stewardship;
- Innovative and ecologically sound crop production methods;
- Sustainable farm business management; and,
- The economic, social, and environmental challenges facing our food system
Sustainable, local food production is a rapidly developing component of communities that is on the minds of the public and governments alike. Program graduates will be sought after in fields as diverse as planning, resource management, politics, government, non-government organizations, related business, and production agriculture. This program offers an exploration of the practical foundations and practice of healthy farming as well as an examination of how food and land builds our communities and ties them together.
The curriculum is designed in recognition of the need for both practical and academic training within the new powerful movement in sustainable agriculture. Students will be immersed in a setting which fosters experiential learning and exploring personal interests. During our four year Bachelor's degree program, will work to to achieve three major learning outcomes:
- The ability to grow fruit and vegetable crops within a sustainable ecological context. A full spectrum of experiential field-based agricultural courses are offered in Year 3 which, by necessity, follows a complete crop cycle beginning in the spring and extending through summer into the fall. These applied courses function as a mechanism to bring the theoretical concepts and principles of sustainable agro-ecosystem design, function and management to practical realization.
- Develop the business, sales and marketing skills necessary to manage a sustainable agricultural farming business. The development of these skills is facilitated by the inclusion of a broad base of foundational courses supplemented by a multidisciplinary business management course in Year Four.
- Develop practical, problem solving and research skills as well as an understanding of government economic and business policies needed to address issues of sustainable agri-food systems as they relate to employment in government and non-government organizations.
During the first two years of the BASc, students will learn about fundamental dimensions of our natural and social environment as well as concepts and dimensions inherent in sustainable agriculture and food systems. The latter part of the program immerses students in a living agriculture laboratory - our teaching and research farm. Through participation in crop and animal production and year-round agro-ecosystem management classes as well community/ land-based research and internships, our undergraduates become confidently knowledgeable of the scientific, practical and business elements of sustainable small scale, human intensive, alternate market farming and food systems. Our multifaceted program imparts the understanding and tools necessary to face the challenges of the future and to build the healthy communities, in which sustainable agri-food systems are inextricably a part of, that we need we need .
Year 1: Student can expect a wide-ranging introduction to the scientific foundations of biology, environmental chemistry and mathematics, geography as well as a primer on the state of agriculture and food today. Agri-food Tour (AGRI 1150) will take you to farms across southern British Columbia to take stock and assess the sustainability of current agricultural production methods and operations as well as the impressive, innovative projects our region.
Year 2: The third and fourth semesters of the program focus on developing the students' understanding of the world around them, both physical and social. They will explore agricultural systems in depth and learn about important scientific elements of the agroecosystem landscapes.
Year 3:Production and farm management become the central focus of these two semesters. Students engage in crop and small animal production and follow the cycle of the agricultural year at our living laboratory farm. Students will develop their knowledge through their research in AGRI 3225 and 3399.
Year 4: In the final year, our students will conclude their in-depth study of agroecosystems development and operation and begin to pair their knowledge of production and farming systems with business management. Through workplace internship and research, students will take their skill outside the program and begin to enter the existing community of agricultural livelihoods, whether in farm businesses or institutions. In their capstone course, AGRI 4298, students look forward to the future of the food system and use their experiences to gain an understanding of the challenges we face as well as solutions to them.
Proposed Program Outline
|Year 1||Year 2||Year 3||Year 4|
|BIOL 2322 Ecology (4)
PHYS 1500 Physics of Env. (4)
GEOG 2250 Urban Geog (3)
AGRI 2190 Plant Science (3)
POST 2100 Environmentalism and Canadian Politics (3)
AGRI 3135 Business of Agriculture (6)
MATH 1115 Statistics (3)
AGRI 3260 Animal Agriculture (3)
AGRI 4298 World Trends in Agriculture (3)
AGRI 3390 Agro-ecosyst. Management II (6)
Note: New courses are in italics. Number of credits, per course and per semester, are in brackets.
Proposed New Courses
PHYS 1400 CR-4 Physics of the Environment
Students will learn the basic principles of environmental physics. They will build, analyze, and critique physical models of environmental processes. They will apply environmental physics concepts to topical problems such as consumer energy use, carbon footprint, and global warming. They will perform labs that illustrate the physical principles underlying common environmental applications. Prerequisites: Principles of Math 11 with a C+ or MATH 1117
AGRI 1150 CR-3 Sustainable Agriculture
Students will study the basic principles of environmental, social, and economic sustainability in the context of agriculture, environmental stewardship and food security. They will study key concepts and elements of and agri-food systems highlighted by case studies, literature review, critical analysis and exercises.
AGRI 1299 CR-1 Agri-food Systems Tour
Students will tour, over one week, selected key agri-food system sites (farms, processing units, research stations, etc) in Southern British Columbia. They will examine and critique operations and their attributes through the lens of sustainable agriculture. They will prepare evaluative reports for each site and consolidate their learning in a field journal.
AGRI 2190 CR-3 Plant Science
Students will study basic crop plant anatomy, morphology, taxonomy, physiology, plant growth and development, reproduction, genetics and improvement. They will also study environmental (biotic and abiotic) and agro-ecosystem management interactions and investigate their ramifications on plant growth, development and productivity. Prerequisites: BIOL 1210
AGRI 2220 CR-4 Soil Science
Students will study the main characteristics of agricultural soils and their management with emphasis on understanding soil as a living system and precious natural resource. They will study soil formation and classification, soil physical and chemical properties, plant nutrition, soil organic matter management, soil water management, biology and ecology of soils, and soil conservation. They will perform practical laboratory exercises focused on soil profile assessment, carbon management, soil biology, composts and composting, physical property assessment, chemical property assessment, plant nutrition, soil water management, soil conservation and others to gain an understanding of soil health and management in agro-ecosystems as the foundation of sustainable agriculture. Prerequisites: BIOL 1210, ENVI 1206
AGRI 2240 CR-3 Ecologically Based Pest Management
Students will study common plant, insect, mite, bacterial, fungal, viral and vertebrate pests and associated injury and disease caused to crop plants. They will study cultural, chemical, physical, behavioural and biological controls with an emphasis on ecologically based methods which enhance agro-ecosystem integrity and sustainability. They will learn how to identify insect and weed species and develop appropriate management strategies and action plans. Prerequisites: AGRI 1150, AGRI 2190, BIOL 2322. Co-requisite: AGRI 2220
AGRI 2230 CR-3 Sustainable Human Economy
Students will learn about economic principles within the context of environmental and social sustainability. They will study key principles and concepts of ecological economics in comparison to classical and neo-classical economics. Prerequisites: AGRI 1150, BIOL 2322, MATH 1117
AGRI 2250 CR-3 Agriculture and Food Systems
Students will study the history of agriculture. They will examine and compare different systems of food production such as traditional, industrial, organic, biodynamic, swidden, permaculture and garden agriculture in their historical, environmental, social and economic contexts.
AGRI 3260 CR-3 Animal Agriculture
Students will learn the principles and practice of animal production relevant to BC in the context of integrated, sustainable agriculture methodology. They will study concepts of animal health, feeding, management and integration into cropping systems for soil and field improvements and health and as an integral aspect of sustainable farming systems. Prerequisites: AGRI 2190, AGRI 2220
AGRI 3280 CR-3 Pomology
Students will learn the principles and practice of fruit and nut crop production relevant to BC. They will study concepts of plant and tree growth and development, site preparation, orchard planning and establishment, nutrition, pollination, canopy management, crop specific pest management, crop maturation and harvest and post-harvest physiology and handling. They will focus on the production of fruit traditionally important to BC such as apple, peach, blueberry, cranberry and raspberry as well as new crops such as persimmon, kiwi, Saskatoon berry, filberts or walnuts. Prerequisites: AGRI 2190, AGRI 2220
AGRI 3270 CR-3 Olericulture
Students will learn the principles and practice of vegetable production relevant to BC. They will study key crop types, cultivars, establishment, growth and development, crop specific management systems, nutrition pest management, season extension and harvest and post-harvest handling. Prerequisites: AGRI 2190, AGRI 2220
AGRI 3290 CR-3 Agro-Ecosystems Management I
Students will study the scientifically based, holistic methodologies for designing, establishing and managing various agro-ecosystems and the cultivation of selected annual and perennial crops. They will learn the practical aspects of crop and stock systems planning and integration, soil and seedbed preparation and management, water management, animal husbandry and resource stewardship and conservation. Students will complete this course as the first in a series of three, where they will study field crop production from planning to harvest over the course of a growing season. Prerequisites: AGRI 1150, AGRI 2220, AGRI 2190
AGRI 3390 CR-6 Agro-Ecosystems Management II
Students will continue their study of the practical aspects of scientifically based, holistic methodologies for agro-ecosystem management and agricultural annual and perennial crop production. They will gain practical experience and learn about crop rotation, cultivation, and integration of small animal agriculture. Students will complete this course as the second in a series of three, where they will study field crop production from planning to harvest over the course of a growing season. Prerequisites: AGRI 1150, AGRI 2220, AGRI 2190
AGRI 3398 CR-3 Crop Physiology and Ecology
Students will learn how crop plants grow and develop in agro-ecosystems, focusing on whole plants and plant communities. They will study the biological processes that control yield with an emphasis on the intimate interactions between plants and their environment. Students will examine primary production including photosynthesis, respiration, nitrogen fixation, nutrient uptake and the utilization of assimilates for growth and yield attainment. Students will investigate how these processes are affected by abiotic and biotic components of the environment. Prerequisites: BIOL 2322, AGRI 2220, AGRI 2190
AGRI 3225 CR-3 Experimental Design and Analysis
Students will study appropriate and widely used experimental methods and designs for field and laboratory experimentation. They will study the commonly used statistical analysis techniques including analysis of variance and linear and non-linear correlation, learn how to use statistical analysis software as well as how to interpret results. Students will design a research project and prepare a formal research proposal. Prerequisites: MATH 1115
AGRI 3399 CR-3 Research Project I
Students will initiate an applied research project of their own design or participate in the conduct of an applied research project. They will establish experimental plots or units and then collect and analyze a preliminary set of data. Students will document their methodologies and the progression of their experiment in the form of a progress report. Prerequisites: ENGL 1100, AGRI 3225
AGRI 3135 CR-6 Business of Agriculture
Students will learn basic principles and practical applications of farm and agri-business planning, financial management, marketing and sales which will be presented in an integrated manner reflective of agriculture business. They will study a range of topics including business planning, record keeping, records analysis, enterprise analysis, partial budgeting, cash flow projection, market evaluation and marketing strategy, and sales with an emphasis on direct producer to consumer approaches such as community supported agriculture, food co-operatives, food security programs, marketing ethics, and others. Students will also acquire an overview of the structure and institutional aspects of the commodity marketing system including global markets, marketing boards, and cooperatives. They will develop skills in organization, communication, leadership, and managerial abilities. Prerequisites: MATH 1117, AGRI 2230
AGRI 4190 CR-3 Agro-Ecosystems Management III
Students will complete their study of the practical aspects of scientifically based, holistic methodologies for agricultural production. They will gain hands-on practical experience relating to crop maturation, harvesting and post-harvest handling cover crops, rotation and fallow systems, fertilizer and compost systems, season extension and winter cropping systems. Students will complete this course as the third in a series of three, where they will study field crop production from planning to harvest over the course of a growing season. Prerequisites: AGRI 1150, AGRI 2220, AGRI 2190
AGRI 4299 CR-3 Research Project II
Students will complete their research project work, analyze final results, and present their findings and conclusions in a formal report, technical bulletin or manuscript as well as in an oral presentation. Prerequisites: AGRI 3399
AGRI 4298 CR-3 World Trends in Agriculture
Students will, in this senior seminar type course, investigate, critically examine and present information in a formal oral presentation about an issue germane to sustainable agriculture and society. They will examine their chosen subject historically and contemporarily to inform discussion regarding its future directions that might or might not advance sustainability of the human enterprise. Students will document their findings in two sequential written reports accompanying oral presentations. Prerequisites: ENGL 1100, AGRI 1150, AGRI 2250, AGRI 2230
AGRI 4295 CR-3 Internship
Students will work and learn in an industry or community based setting (commercial, governmental, or NGO) that supports their personal and professional goals. Students will work in consultation with faculty to identify suitable internships and establish learning experience objectives. Students will maintain a log of activities and submit a final report delineating the achievement of learning objectives as well as additional outcomes and experiences.
POST 1100 CR-3 Sustainability: Analysis and Ethics
Students will study elements of traditional philosophy courses such as critical thinking, philosophy of science, and ethics to provide a detailed analysis of a variety of concepts of sustainability. They will examine sustainability policies and practices related to the environment, social equity and economics.
POST 2100 CR-3 Environmentalism and Canadian Politics
Students will examine debates around environmentalism, ecologism, and sustainability in Canadian politics. They will survey the relationship between green ideas and Canadian political culture, the evolution of the environment as a policy field in Canada, the development and impacts of environmental social movements and interest organizations in Canadian politics, and the ramifications of globalization and other transnational and international factors for Canadian efforts to manage the environment. Students will engage specific debates, such as arguments surrounding climate change, and deepen their understanding of one of the great issue-areas of 21st-century Canadian politics.
In addition to the University entrance requirements, students entering this program must possess the following (or their equivalent) as minimum requirements:
- English 12 with a B
- Principles of Mathematics 11 with a C
- Chemistry 11 with a C+