Thursday, February 21, 2013

Biological - Agronomic Courses

Regina from Kenia , my lab partner
University of Trieste - Laboratory
In a few minutes I will be heading out the door to class, but first wanted to make good on a promise to make more of communication. I apologize for the impersonal, and for not spelling out here, any worthy story about life of late; the things I'm cooking or last nights Champions League match, pairing Barcelona & AC Milan. But I will say the words pasta, espresso and studying, and thereby successfully communicate a solid two-thirds of my everyday. 

More stories and thoughts soon, until then, I wanted to simply share a little bit about some of the classes I have and will be studying over the next months.  

The program is a total 60 CFU, or as you read below 'University Formative Credits.' It is divided into three areas of coursework, the first within the field of Biological - Agronomics (15 CFU),  the second in Technological study (12 CFU), and the third, regarding Economics - management principles (30 CFU). The final three credits are awarded through the completion of a company project, and concluded with a Masters thesis, to be presented and defended in September. 

Below I share a description of each of my courses in the Biological - agronomic area; for everyone who asks what exactly my courses look like. I will post part two and three in the coming days. 

Until then, cheers. 

Biological – agronomic area: 15 CFU 

 •  Botany and Physiology (3CFU)
o Systematic of Coffea genus. Morphological and anatomical characteristics of the plant. Phenological stages: germination, development, flowering, fruit development and maturation. General and environmental physiological aspects. Micropropagation techniques. Secondary metabolites in fruits: synthesis, accumulation and effects on human health. Biotic and abiotic degradation (pre- and post-harvest).

 •  Genetics (3CFU)
o Genes and environment. Differentiation Arabica-Robusta. Self-fertility and self- sterility. The genome of Arabica. Varieties of Arabica and genetic diversity. Molecular methods for the traceability. Genetic base and bean quality.

 •  Agricultural Chemistry (3CFU)
o Physical-chemical properties of tropical soils. Soil degradation. Effects of soil management on biological fertility and recycling of crop residues and organic wastes. Nutrient cycling in the soil-plant system. Principles of plant mineral nutrition and plant responses to nutrient deficiency or toxicity. Fertilizers use and management. Mechanisms of action, metabolic breakdown in plants and fate in the soil of the main pesticides.

 • Agronomy, Cultivation and Plant Protection (3CFU)
o Classical propagation techniques. Soil preparation and fertilization. Planting systems. Weed control. Crop evaluation. Harvesting processes. Principles of methodological statistics. Plant protection: principles of integrated control. Insect and pest control. Fungi, bacteria and virus control. Green coffee storage control.

Coffee and sustainable development. Business ethics (3CFU)1
o The pessimistic view in international commodity markets. Coffee marketing boards and commodity market reforms. Quality and vulnerability of small scale farmers. Climate change and coffee production: the Ricardian approach. Ecolabels and standards, fair trade and market failures. Specialties and terroir. Business ethics. Corporate social responsibility and the relationship with the supply chain. 

Masters Class in the Port of Trieste: Coffee Warehouse. 

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