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Applied Plant Ecology

You can begin this program at an
off-campus site through a satellite campus or regional partner.

Explore the natural world. Learn how ecosystems function. Protect wild places and threatened species.


Program Options

Bachelor of Science in Agriculture - Applied Plant Ecology

  • B.S.A.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

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What is Applied Plant Ecology?

Plants are the keystone of all natural and managed ecosystems. Forestry industries, human and livestock health, and agriculture well being all depend on healthy plant communities and ecosystems. Plant Ecologists study the interactions among plants, between plants and the environment, and between soils, plants and animals. This research is applied to maintain or improve the environment and the health of ecosystems. In the Applied Plant Ecology major, students will learn how to apply ecological principles to ecosystems such as rangelands, forests, wetlands, and croplands for sustainable production.

Applied Plant Ecology: Is it for you?

    Rangeland ecology specialists most often pursue careers managing natural vegetation sites such as rangelands, forests and preserved areas.  This major has a strong focus on conservation of plant resources. 

    AgBio offers a setting that combines the advantages of a full-scale university with the benefits of a small, specialized program.  The small class sizes in third and fourth year and supportive atmosphere allows students to get to know their instructors and fellow students and to build a network of personal and business contacts.

AgBio has one of the campus’s most active and spirited student bodies.  Students can join the Agricultural Students’ Association or an interest group such as the Stockmen and Rodeo Club, Range Team, Dairy Team, Canadian Agri-Marketing Association Student Chapter, Horticulture, Resource Management, or AgBizz Clubs.

As graduates of our programs you will not only leave with excellent industry-endorsed scientific training, but also with a foundation of marketable career skills.

The College's strong ties with industry and reputation for producing well-rounded, quality graduates means that many businesses turn here first when recruiting employees.

Graduates are eligible to receive P.Ag. status for practise in the profession of agrology.

Sample Classes

Principles of Plant Ecology
Designed for students in the College of Agriculture. It considers the nature of ecosystems and of processes associated with energy flow and material cycling within them. Particular attention is given to ecosystems of Western Canada and the effect that man exerts on them, especially through agricultural practices.

Grassland Soils and Vegetation

A five-day field course, plus tutorials early in the term, to study the landscape, soils and vegetation of the prairie ecozone. Emphasis will be on the environmental factors controlling plant distribution, classification and sampling of soil profiles, and characterizing vegetation and its relationships to soils and landscapes. Basic field skills will be taught, including soil and vegetation sampling, field measurements, and global positioning systems (GPS).

Advanced Plant Ecology
In-depth examination of recent developments in plant ecology. Current and emerging research interests in plant population, community, and ecosystem ecology will be studied. Use and practical application of analytical tools for synthesis of research results will be emphasized.

Career Opportunities

A growing demand for scientists and professionals equipped to deal with environmental and natural resource management issues means a wide variety of career choices for graduates specializing in Applied Plant Ecology. There is a steady demand for environmental scientists who have specialized in plant ecology in industry, universities, government agencies, and not-for-profit organizations.

  • conservation agencies
  • parks
  • rangeland management
  • environmental consulting
  • vegetation ecologist
  • forestry

Applied Plant Ecology majors often pursue careers as environmental scientists responsible for managing rangelands, forests, wetlands, and conservation areas. Frequent employers include conservation agencies, national and provincial parks and reserves, agricultural and environmental agencies, as well as environmental consulting firms.

A Stepping Stone

A BSA degree is also a highly useful and marketable background for studies in other areas such as business, communications, marketing, politics, education, journalism or law.

Graduates from these highly-regarded BSA programs also have excellent prospects as Masters students at the U of S and at universities across North America and internationally.