PSS 112
Weed Ecology and Management

Next Offering: Fall 2017

PSS 112 Weed Ecology and Management focuses on those plants that are usually considered undesirable to man within the context of agricultural, urban landscape and natural settings.  In this course, students will study the biology and ecology of major weed groups and learn the theoretical and practical aspects of integrated weed management.    All weed control strategies will be examined including cultural practices (such as crop rotation, residue management and cover crops), mechanical control (tillage and cultivation), biological control (herbivores, insects, fungi), and chemical control (natural allelopathic compounds and synthetic herbicides).  The course will involve a combination of lectures, reading assignments, "hands-on" activities, site visits to farms, urban landscapes and natural areas, problem solving exercises, quizzes and exams.

Sid Bosworth, Plant and Soil Science Dept., 208 Jeffords Hall
Phone: 656-0478 email:

Location and Time - 
This is a hybrid course with on-line lectures/quizzes/assignments plus a four hour block for field/lab time either on Wednesday or Friday afternoon (depending on which lab section you sign up for)..  Refer to the Registrar  website for specifics.

Three credits in BIOL or PBIO or permission of instructor

Course Topics
The following topics will be covered in PSS 112:

Field and Lab Activities
Much of the lab time will be devoted to weed identification/biology.  There will also be some "hands on" activities involving various site visits in order to observe and assess weeds within variuos disturbed ecosystems.  These usually include variety of production and managed systems (field and forage crop, vegetable, fruit, landscapes, roadways, and natural areas).  Students should always come prepared for inclement weather (old shoes, work clothes, raincoat).
Sampling for Weed Seedbank
Cultivation at the Intervale
Assessing Invasive Plant Species at Centennial Woods
Scouting weeds

Reading Materials and Text:
"Weeds of the Northeast" is an excellent identification and information resource on the major weed species of our region and will be available at the UVM bookstore.  In addition, much of the reading material for this course will be in downloadable format (pdf) that will be posted on the course website.  

Independent Projects
There will be one or two projects/assignments during the course of the semester.  A handout will be given the first day of class for each assignment providing instructions, due dates and grading procedures. Projects may include the following:

Grading and Points
Will be posted at the beginning of the semester.  Generally, grades are based on two or three hour exams plus a final exam, weed ID tests,  assignments, a weed collection, a project and attendence.

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