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Nematology

Nematodes, or roundworms, live in practically all habitats. They influence soil fertility, food safety, and other aspects of animal or plant health. They are also valuable model organisms in biological research. Thus, it is important to learn about these often overlooked, but widespread and abundant animals.

The Nematology minor supports careers in plant and agricultural nematology, and provides valuable information for careers in animal, plant and soil health.

Medical-Veterinary Entomology

Due to the pathogens and parasites they carry, some of the world’s most dangerous animals are arthropods — mosquitoes, ticks, lice and others. There is a pressing need for people trained in the biology of vector-borne diseases, due to the persistence and global spread of vectored pathogens of humans and animals. These include protists that cause malaria, viruses such as Zika and West Nile, Lyme and other bacterial diseases, filarial worms and many others.

Landscape Restoration

This minor is of particular interest to students majoring in Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology; Environmental Science and Management; Landscape Architecture; Biological Sciences; Evolution and Ecology; Plant Biology; and Sustainable Environmental Design.

The minor is sponsored by the Department of Plant Sciences.

Insect Ecology and Evolution

This minor emphasizes the diversity, ecology and evolution of insects. Not only are insects fascinating creatures, but they have multiple effects on the earth’s biota (including humans). Insects influence numerous ecosystem functions, vector pathogens, consume and pollinate plants, support various predators and more. In turn, the natural world drives insect evolution and diversification.

This minor supports students pursuing careers in the biological sciences, wildlife management, environmental sciences, conservation and more.

Insect Biology

Insects play key roles in ecosystems and in human endeavors due to their immense variety of forms and functions. The goal of this minor is for students to learn about the different types of insects, and it emphasizes the traits that make them such important and successful animals. Insects share many traits with other organisms, and so are widely used as model systems for understanding biology. Their adaptations also determine how they interact as pests, pollinators, recyclers of organic material and vectors of pathogens (among other roles).

Forensic Entomology

Students interested in forensic science and/or legal careers will benefit from this minor. The taxonomy, development, behavior and distribution of arthropods can provide insight and evidence relevant to criminal activity and other matters of litigation. Students will learn basic ecological concepts plus several areas of insect biology and taxonomy. This knowledge will be combined with detailed, ‘hands-on’ lab and field activities in forensic entomology that cover collection and use of insects as evidence in legal cases and forensic entomology research.

Avian Sciences

The flexibility of the program and the close personal interaction between students, faculty, and specialists in the field give students a large role in selecting and designing their own course work.

Independent study, undergraduate research, and internships are emphasized in the Avian Sciences program. Birds for laboratory or special study are housed within the main building as well as at the research farm and the experimental aviary.

Agricultural Systems and Environment

This minor provides the student with fundamental knowledge of issues involving sustainable agriculture production and range management. Agriculture is one of the major industries of California and the world, and plays a central role in human affairs. Linking knowledge of agriculture with the subject matter of the student's major provides a useful and interesting breadth of application in areas involving economics, management, and social and environmental issues.

Agricultural Pest Management

Feeding the growing global population is a perpetual challenge. Some insects, other arthropods and nematodes can devastate crops, while others are valuable natural enemies of these pests. Contemporary pest management stresses effectiveness, environmental protection and economic feasibility.

Students taking this minor will learn basic insect biology and taxonomy, and will take a selection of courses which train them in the concepts and practices of modern pest management. This minor will support careers in agriculture, agricultural systems, horticulture and pest management.