Professional Development Program






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Unit 1: Basic Ecological Concepts and Principles Related to Agricultural Systems


Agroecology is the study of agricultural systems and the natural resources required to sustain them. As an academic field of study, it combines two sciences: agronomy and ecology. Agriculturists tend to focus on specific disciplines such as crop science, soil science, animal science, range science, plant pathology or entomology. Ecologists are more interested in the relationship between organisms and their physical and biological environments. Combining the two fields, agroecologists observe, evaluate and describe agricultural production within the framework of relationships among organisms within the production area, and between organisms and their environment.
The graphic to the right highlights some of the many fields included in the study of agroecology. Click on each circle for more examples.

Physical sciences: soil science, water science, atmospheric science, hydrology, climatology

Biological Sciences: agronomy, biology, botany, entomology, plant pathology, animal science, horticulture, natural resources management, food science

Social Sciences: economics, sociology, anthropology, community and regional planning, political science, agricultural development

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