From remote moisture sensors that produce a real-time feed of soil conditions to drones that use optical data to spot plant disease, new streams of data will fuel the next green revolution.
Remote sensing technologies will offer farmers the ability to customize irrigation and fertilizer applications for areas that have unique characteristics within fields, which will reduce ecological impacts and costs. However, putting precision agriculture strategies into practice requires agricultural scientists who are equipped to interpret the data that these sensors generate.
In fall 2018, the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences will launch an Interdisciplinary Certificate in Agricultural Data Science to equip CAES graduate students with the data analysis expertise that they will need to capitalize on this big data revolution.
CAES’ certificate program will be one of the first of its kind in the nation.
Through the certificate, current and future CAES graduate students will plan a schedule of elective and related courses that will complement their agricultural research and expose them to a wide range of principles and practices of data analysis.
“The goal of the graduate certificate is to develop a curriculum that will produce cross-disciplinary and cross-functional, data-smart graduates who can bridge the gaps between the generation, analysis and interpretation of complex data in the agricultural field,” said Harald Scherm, professor and head of UGA’s department of plant pathology. “We’re not looking to train computer scientists, but we want them to be able to discuss data issues and incorporate analysis into their practice.”