Michigan State University Offers Greenhouse Horticultural Lighting Course


With the rising environmental issues and woes the world faces today, institutions and organizations are taking their steps into lessening the damage to the planet.

Today, the Michigan State University Extension (MSUE) initiates a non-credit online summer course on greenhouse and horticultural lighting.

About 150 years ago, the start of the industrial evolution massively lead to an increase of greenhouse gases caused by human activities. In the same way, it has significantly led to an increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s surface that may be dangerous for many individuals and for the generations to come.

Hence, the Michigan State University Extension found the need to offer an online course especially inclined to greenhouse and horticultural lighting.

Such course is designed for ornamental plant growers and other plant enthusiasts who are particularly interested in learning about the vital concepts—may it be on how plants respond to light quality or quantity through time.

The course also offers content that is suitable for both beginners and middle-level learners, which are all based on plant activities experimented and examined at Michigan State and Purdue Universities.

Experts in the field are the tasked instructors including Heidi Wollaeger, the Greenhouse and Nursery Extension Educator of Michigan State University Extension.

The said online course has started on June 1 and runs for 3-hours for three months. It contains lectures and demonstrations accessible to anyone at any time and day of their convenience.

It is all throughout divided into seven units which are: (1) an introduction to light; (2) a further discussion on the importance of light for plant growth; (3) light quality; (4) light intensity; (5) light quantity; (6) photoperiod and photoperiodic lightning and (7) low- and high-intensity lighting.

In a nutshell, the first two units tackle the properties of light and its importance for plant growth and development. The third unit then moves on to discussing light quality and how it influences stem extension as well as flowering.

The fourth unit tackles the effects of light intensity to the growth of plants as much as the light availability and the steps on manipulation and measurement of light intensity in the greenhouse.

The fifth unit further discusses how light intensity affects plant shoot, root growth and branching. Unit six is dedicated to discussing photoperiod and long-day lighting strategies—while recent researches on LED are also featured.

The seventh and final unit finally talks about the pros and cons of lamp types and other considerations as to lamp selection for the horticultural application.

Both a pre-test and post-test will be administered to assess students’ learning. Quizzes as well as links to more than 36 articles and necessary learning materials relevant to greenhouse and horticultural lightning will also be provided.

The said online course in total costs only $129; yet, a limited offer of $20 refund is available to students once they have completed their course and have taken up the pre-test, final exam, and the post-course evaluation, making the course cost only $109.

Rob Clark

SchoolCampus.org admin staff managing editor

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