Graduate Certificate - Ornamentals, Landscape and Turf

Core Courses


Physiological principles and industry practices in the production, moving, care, and maintenance of ornamental trees, shrubs, and ground covers will be explored. Students will develop the career tools to install and maintain woody plants. This goal will be accomplished through the review of the pertinent literature and through class exercises designed to improve the students’ skills and knowledge of woody plant physiology, care and maintenance. This course is designed for students without previous experience in arboriculture.

Plant Nutrition

NCSU - An understanding of the basic mineral nutrition requirements, nutritional monitoring procedures, and fertilizer application methods in horticultural production systems including those for fruits, field vegetables, fruits and vegetables under plasticulture, nursery crops, landscapes, greenhouse flowers and vegetables, interior plantscapes, hydroponics, and organic farming will be gained. TTU - Evaluation and application of theory to plant nutrient management will be used to study plant nutrient needs and nutrient reactions in soil and predicting nutrient need and response. Not open to students having had PSS 4335. UNL - Macro- and micronutrient elements and their function in the growth and development of plants will be the focus. Emphasis is placed on the uptake and transport of mineral elements, the role of single elements, interactions/balances between elements, and nutrient deficiency/toxicity symptoms as they affect the physiology of the whole plant.

Plant Physiology

TTU - Fundamental concepts underlying the science of crop physiology, including crop phenology, canopy development and light interception, photosynthesis and respiration, and dry matter partitioning will be examined. UNL - Fundamental plant tissues and functions, energetics of a plant cell and enzyme mechanisms, components of water potential, factors affecting water potential, and their interactions within plant tissues in different situations will be explored. Additionally solute transport mechanisms; photosynthesis; respiration; lipid metabolism; N, S, P, and cation assimilation; plant secondary metabolites; phytochrome; hormones; circadian rhythms; photoperiodism; vernalization; and plant stressors and their importance in plant structure, physiology, and defense will be evaluated.

Plant Water Relations

Role and function of water in plant growth and development and a comprehensive understanding in relation to achieving genetic yield potential will be gained. Soil-plant-atmosphere continuum and it affects on water supply and demand will also be examined with an understanding of the relative sensitivities of developmental and physiological systems to water stress sought.

Elective Courses

Biological Control of Pests

Utilization of natural enemies and antagonists to manage the abundance of pests (invertebrates, pathogens, and weeds) and reduce economic losses will be examined.

Business Management of Horticulture Enterprises

TTU - Principles of management, marketing, structures, and distribution for retail nursery establishments will be learned. Students will complete a nursery startup proposal. UNL- Entrepreneurial process will be leaned and used to prepare a written business plan for a horticulture-related enterprise and presented in a PowerPoint format with voice-over narration. Basic accounting principles needed to manage a horticulture firm will be gained and used to prepare a marketing plan.

Entomology and Pest Management

The diversity and complexity of integrated management of insects will be learned. The goal is to develop an understanding of the concepts and principles of IPM as a complex mix of practices and technologies to efficiently manage pest populations that are specific to locales.

Environmental Stress Physiology

Current models of the physiological, molecular, and biochemical mechanisms for plant tolerance to environmental stresses such as temperature extremes, drought, salt, pathogens and other plans will be explored.

Management of Horticulture Insects

Identification, biology, ecology and management of insect pests of horticultural crops, including vegetables, deciduous fruits and nuts, trees and shrubs, greenhouse crops, turf and ornamentals will be evaluated. Emphasis will be on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies employed to maintain pests below damaging levels while minimizing the use of traditional insecticides.

Modified Rootzones

Soils and modified rootzone terminology, criteria for growth media for high traffic turf installations, landscape applications such as ornamental containers and other specialized installations, and design considerations for rootzones for specialized applications will be investigated.

Plant Pathology

Historical significance and development of plant pathology as a science and profession; the disease cycle; the affect of pathogens on the physiology of plants; the most current developments in the genetics of plant disease; how pathogens attack plants, and the mechanisms of plant defense and the affect of environmental factors on the development of plant disease will be taught. Additionally, plant disease epidemiology, mechanisms and treatments for the control of plant diseases and environmental factors that cause disease will be learned. Major diseases caused by fungi, prokaryotes, parasitic plants, viruses, nematodes, and flagellated protozoan; their pathogens, disease cycles, damage caused, prevention, and physical characteristics for identification will be examined.

Plant Pathology -Principles & Application

This course provides introductory level information regarding pathogen biology, pathogen-host interactions, and environmental influences. It also examines cultural, resistance, and chemical strategies for plant disease management.

Turf Disease Management

Turfgrasses susceptibility to diseases, biology and life style of some the most common turfgrass pathogens in the northern Great Plains, environmental conditions that trigger diseases, correct disease diagnosis and the basic processes involved in diagnosis, and disease resistance and cultural practices will be investigated. Additionally, fungicide strategies for safe and effective disease management; region-specific information about turfgrass species, cultivars and diseases; and environmentally-rational, sustainable disease management recommendations that integrate the location-specific information will be explored.

Weed Science

Weeds and weed control methods in agronomic and horticultural crops and turf grass with an emphasis on chemical weed control will be studied. History of weed control, weed characteristics, weed competition, and methods of weed control including mechanical, cultural, biological, and chemical will also be learned. Herbicides will be discussed by family with specific regard to their chemical structure, efficacy, mode and mechanism of action, crop selectivity, soil activity and persistence, and cost. Weed seed and plant identification, sprayer equipment, sprayer calibration, herbicide formulations, herbicide labels, crop/weed response to herbicides and injury symptomology, and Worker Protection Standards will also be presented.
University Contact
These campus coordinators can help you navigate Great Plains IDEA. Click on the university name to learn more about how Great Plains IDEA works at that campus. Rachel Ohmes
Breanna Collins
Tristin Campbell
Dan Cotton
University Members
Members of the Great Plains IDEA are universities accredited by a regional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Member universities recruit, admit and graduate students, teach in an academic program and contribute to the leadership and maintenance of the alliance. Membership in the alliance is a selective process that engages institutional leadership at all levels.

– – Trisha Miller, Youth Development Graduate