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Plant and Environmental Biotechnology ProgramGilmore 211
3050 Maile Way
Honolulu, HI 96822-2279
Tel: (808) 956-6997
Fax: (808) 956-3706
Biotechnology Area Advisory Committee
H. Ako, PhD (Coordinator)—biochemistry, aquaculture
A. Brown, PhD—complementary medicine, botanicals, herbs
The Academic Program
During the past decade, biotechnology has brought about major changes in agricultural sciences and society. The interdepartmental Plant and Environmental Biotechnology program is designed to train undergraduate students for careers in new and growing areas of the life sciences emphasizing the use of biotechnology in agriculture, environmental clean-up and management, industry, teaching, and other professions. The program provides a strong foundation in molecular biology, biochemisty, genetics, biotechnology, and the life sciences. It serves as excellent and rigorous training for graduate and professional school.
Students tailor the major to meet their needs by choosing one of the specializations as their focus of study: Environmental and Microbial Biotechnology, Plant Biotechnology, Insect and Pathogen Biotechnology, General Biotechnology, or Aquaculture and Bioreactor Biotechnology. Students participate in hands-on laboratory courses culminating in research and a senior thesis. Students could work as genetic engineers developing more nutritious, pest resistant, or otherwise superior crops by genetic engineering. Students can learn molecular diagnostic methods such as PCR, DNA finger-printing, gene mapping, and protein analysis. They could also be restoring parts of the environment by bioremediation, working in the marine biotechnology industry, or entering graduate or professional school.
BS in Plant and Environmental Biotechnology
Students must fulfill the General Education Requirements of the UH and college.
Among the courses they must include in these requirements are:
In addition, students must complete the following major core requirements:
Finally, students must specialize in one of the five options below. They must take the courses indicated.
The Plant Biotechnology specialization uses the tools of molecular biology, genetics, and tissue culture to learn how plant cells work and to develop plants with improved traits. The specialization prepares students to enter the plant and agricultural biotechnology industries, various government agencies, or to pursue an advanced professional degree or a teaching career.
The General Biotechnology specialization is for students who want a broader background covering a variety of different areas of biotechnology. This specialization will prepare students for careers in industry and government but may also be the best preparation for teaching or pursuing advanced graduate and professional degrees.
The Insect and Pathogen specialization prepares students for academic or industrial careers that integrate the traditional disciplines of entomology and plant pathology. The goal is to develop environmentally safe technologies to protect plants and agriculture from pest and pathogen attack.
The Aquaculture and Bioreactor specialization prepares students to participate in the increasingly technology-driven areas of bio-based industries such as aquaculture, marine biotechnology, and large-scale production of valuable organisms and compounds for the agricultural, food, pharmaceutical, and medical industries. The specialization prepares students to enter commercial, university, or government jobs directly, to become entrepreneurs, or to continue on for further graduate training.