Each student receives a PhD degree in an academic graduate program with a minor in Genetic Engineering and Society. All students take four core IGERT courses, and the full curriculum for each student is customized. While maintaining depth and rigor, the core courses are designed so that students from all IGERT disciplines will be able to comprehend the material. These courses are designed to make sure that all IGERT students obtain minimum requisite fluency in all aspects of GPM. The courses are offered each year, so that each IGERT cohort has appropriate course availability.

For a more in-depth description of how our GES graduate program is structured with regard to research objectives, please visit Research.

Course 1: Pest Issues in Developing Nations

This is a summer course that occurs before a student cohort’s first campus classes begin . The first year, this course was taught in Peru, the second year it was held in the Channel Islands off the coast of California, and the third year it was in Mexico. The major goals of this course are: 1) team building and 2) acquiring first-hand knowledge of the environments where many of the products of GPM are targeted for use. The course is held in the last week of July and the first two weeks in August. Nora Haenn and Fred Gould co-coordinate the course and accompany students for the entire three weeks. Other IGERT faculty participate in the course for four to seven days. David Auerbach (Philosophy) developed specific readings and case studies on ethics for participants to discuss during the course.

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Course 2: Principles of Genetic Pest Management

Taught each Fall semester to first year IGERT students. The goal of this course is to give all students an overview of the biological and social issues associated with GPM. Fred Gould (Entomology), Max Scott (Genetics), and Marce Lorenzen (Genetics) coordinate the course and attend all sessions. The format of the course is two 75-minute lectures per week. Ecological, genetic, sociological, economic and communication principles are introduced at a level accessible by all students, but we then move on to primary literature readings.

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Course 3: Emerging Technologies and Society

This course builds on background from the international summer course and on Principles of Genetic Pest Management. It provides all students with a framework for understanding the two-way relationships between emerging and evolving technologies and their social and cultural contexts. Social and cultural factors influence the emergence, adoption and evolution of technologies, while technologies impact society and culture in anticipated and unanticipated ways.

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Course 4: Governance, Systems and Modeling

The first part of the course is largely lecture-based, led by Alun Lloyd (Mathematics and Biomathematics), Jennifer Kuzma (Public Administration), and Zack Brown (Economics). Case studies are team-taught, with guest lecturers drawn from a number of departments providing different disciplinary viewpoints. The second part of the course is a mixture of lecture and computer labs, providing both theoretical and practical, hands-on experience of the processes of model development and utilization. The course culminates with the development of models combining processes and information from different areas.
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