Plant systems and plant science

Professionals in plant science study the growth and development of plants with an eye toward improving their health and nutritional value.

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Plant systems and plant science discussion guide

Teachers, this discussion guide will help you talk with your students about careers in Plant systems and plant science.

They help farmers and field specialists improve their crop yield and productivity. While it is difficult to say exactly how much demand will increase for plant systems specialists, job outlook for workers in this field is expected to grow faster than average compared to all other career paths. Several factors will contribute to demand for workers, including the changing nutritional demands of the world’s growing population, the need to manage natural resources to meet those needs efficiently, the push for crops that require less fertilizer (such as pest resistant plant species), and the innovation and production of new biotechnology. All of these factors and more will create job opportunities for professionals in plant systems.

Jobs in this field include horticulturists, agronomists, field and crop specialists, and water and soil management experts. These professionals tend to work directly in outdoor environments with plant life. This career area also includes research positions such as plant geneticists and laboratory experts who work in genetic engineering of plant species. Whether you prefer working behind a microscope, in a production facility, or out in the field with plant life, there are diverse work opportunities of all varieties in this growing career area.

Careers in Plant systems and plant science

  • Agronomist
  • Biochemist
  • Biotechnology Production (producer)
  • Biotechnology Researcher
  • Cell Culture Technician
  • Chemist
  • Educator
  • Engineer
  • Farmer/Rancher
  • Fruit and vegetable grower
  • Golf Course Manager
  • Laboratory Technician
  • Marketing Manager
  • Microbiologist
  • Nursery/greenhouse manager
  • Plant Biologist
  • Plant Geneticist
  • Soil and Water Specialist

Plant systems and plant science resources at GNG

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AFNR biotechnology

6 lessons, 7 files
What are the current issues in biotechnology? There is a lot of resistance to genetic modification and the use of genetically modified crops. What is the science? This unit helps to provide some background in cell function and DNA properties, …
unit
unit

AFNR plant systems

5 lessons, 8 files
How do we develop and manage plant systems? This unit helps meet the requirements of the plant systems curriculum standards of AFNR.
industry leader
industry leader

Alex Johnson

Area Team Leader at Beck's Superior Hybrids
agronomist seeds
industry leader
industry leader

Andy Michel

Professor, Agronomic Crops Entomology State Specialists at The Ohio State University
ohio state university agriculture education agronomist biotechnology entomology pest management pests
unit
unit

Are you sterile? Using aseptic technique for food safety

3 lessons, 7 files
How do sterilization techniques affect our ability to preserve and culture organisms? In vitro collecting (IVC) is the process of starting plant tissue cultures with minimal disturbance to the plants when viable seeds are not available. Become the field researcher and learn how to …
career video
career video

Biotechnology

Aug 25, 2017
Watch this video to learn about careers with DuPont Pioneer! Matt Stroud, Product Agronomist and Rebekah Peck, Communications Manager talk about their careers with DuPont Pioneer.
industry leader
industry leader

Dale Ireland

Technical Product Lead at US Seedcare Corn and Soybean
agricultural industry agriculture education agriscience r&d research and development seeds soybean
industry leader
industry leader

Greg LaBarge

Field Specialist, Agronomic Systems at The Ohio State University Extension
ohio state university agronomist extension nutrients plant science water quality
unit
unit

Growing more food: biotechnology

3 lessons, 9 files
How will we feed 9 billion people? Grow soybeans using Round-Up Ready seeds to illustrate how biotechnology can be used as a tool to increase production. Introduce students to different options for growing soybeans, investigate …
industry leader
industry leader

Harold Watters

Associate Professor, Field Specialist for Agronomic Systems
ohio state university extension farming nutrients soybeans water quality
industry leader
industry leader

Laura Lindsey

Assistant Professor; Soybean and Small Grain Production at The Ohio State University; Department of Horticulture and Crop Science
ohio state university commodities extension plant/crop science soybeans
industry leader
industry leader

Leah McHale

Associate Professor, soybean breeder and geneticist at The Ohio State University
ohio state university horticulture pest management plant genetics plant science seeds
industry leader
industry leader

Libby Dayton

Soil Scientist at the Ohio State University
ohio state university nutrients plant science water quality soil science
unit
unit

Maintaining our yield: assessing biotic and abiotic factors

3 lessons, 10 files
How do biotic and abiotic factors affect populations? Create experiments to test how abiotic factors impact soybean germination, go into the field and laboratory to determine the impact of aphid populations on soybeans, and experiment with aphid …
unit
unit

Managing nutrient and pesticide needs in agriculture

7 lessons, 12 files
Why do farmers spend time and money to apply chemicals to their fields? In this threaded PBL*, (an effort to integrate agricultural understandings into the normal sequence of an Environmental Science classroom) students will conduct several “close reads” (reading for und …
industry leader
industry leader

Matthew Stroud

Product Agronomist at DuPont Pioneer
dupont pioneer agribusiness agronomist research and development soybeans test plot
career video
career video

Molecular biology and research

Jul 7, 2017
Are you interested in science, research, development or all of the above? Learn about various areas of study and career paths that are available through The Ohio State University’s OARDC.
unit
unit

Nitrogen fixation and legumes: say what?

2 lessons, 7 files
How do legumes fix nitrogen? If the atmosphere is about 80% Nitrogen (N2), but plants cannot use that form, how do they get nitrogen? In this unit, students plant and care for soybeans under one of five different …
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unit

Photoperiod: the floral initiator

2 lessons, 7 files
What drives plants to flower and reproduce? In this lesson students will plant and care for soybeans under one of three different photoperiod regimes: First month: 16 hours; Second month: 14 hours; third month: 12 hours (control) 16 hours for …
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unit

Plant inhibition

1 lesson, 7 files
Why do some plants grow and some do not? Participate in a simulation that shows how various factors influence plant growth and what role probability plays. Powerpoint with instructions and information included.
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unit

Plant oils matter: agricultural soap

1 lesson, 1 file
What are the ingredients of products you use everyday like soap? Does it matter where they come from? Soap made from soybeans? Sunflowers? Olives? Plant oils have different “fatty acids” that determine the characteristics of your soap—is it creamy? bubbly? hard? soft? It is the oil in plants that makes …
e-learning
e-learning

Soybeans 101

What do you know about soybeans? This course provides an overview of soybeans. Students learn about the parts of the soybean plant and the many uses of soybeans. Information is also provided about the process of growing and exporting soybeans.

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Soybeans: from ballast to biotech

5 lessons, 5 files
What is the future of biotechnology? Create models to understand DNA and the gene transfer process used in biotechnology. Explore questions: Are there harmful side effects of biotechnology? Can biotech solve world hunger? Should GMO …
unit
unit

Soy McCoy coloring book

1 lesson, 1 file
What is a soybean? What value does it have? For younger students, a coloring book that introduces soybeans: the history and the uses in animal agriculture, bioproducts and the local grocery store. This is perfect for ag days, camps or after …
industry leader
industry leader

Tom Fontana

Director of Research and Education at Ohio Soybean Council
education research soybeans
e-learning
e-learning

Water quality

What factors are used to judge water quality? What human activities might lead to cultural eutrophication and harmful algal blooms? Students will learn about the process and effects of cultural eutrophication and describe ways to reduce risk.

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unit

Where does our food come from, anyway? Sustainable ag systems

3 lessons, 7 files
How do growers’ decisions affect the sustainability of agricultural systems? Understand and appreciate food producers through this case study and determine what decisions must be made on a yearly, monthly, or daily basis to maintain an environmental system that will continue …