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Interdisciplinary PSP Precision Agriculture – THEMATIC UNITS

HOU > Interdisciplinary PSP Precision Agriculture (ΕGΑ) > Interdisciplinary PSP Precision Agriculture – THEMATIC UNITS

EGA50 Introduction to Precision Agriculture

T.U. Code: EGA50
Academic Credits (ECTS): 7
T.U. Type: Compulsory
Semester in which it is offered: First (1st)
Language of instruction:Greek
Module Outline

Course Content: Precision Agriculture is a new method of farm management whereby inputs (pesticides, fertilizers, seed, irrigation water) and farming practices are applied according to the needs of the soil and crops as they vary in space and time. The main objectives of the EAG 50 module are to provide basic knowledge on (i) increasing crop yields, (ii) improving the quality of the products produced, (iii) using agrochemicals more efficiently, (iv) saving energy, (v) protecting soil and water from pollution.

Learning Outcomes: 

Upon completion of the module “Introduction to Precision Agriculture” students will be able to:

  • know the basic principles, methods and objectives of GA, as well as the problems it has to deal with
  • adopt GA tools to achieve the individual objectives in agricultural production
  • know the purpose that led to the mapping of agricultural production.
  • become familiar with the available systems and technological tools used to measure and record production data on fruit and vegetables and major crops
  • be familiar with the modern available systems and individual sensory instruments used for the collection of ground-based geospatial data and the various parameters for which they allow mapping.
  • be familiar with the systems available for the application of inputs (fertilisers, irrigation and plant protection products) at variable rates and the data which allow each application
  • become familiar with the basic principles and technologies that allow automatic navigation of agricultural vehicles, as well as the available modern commercial systems
  • be familiar with the modern robotic systems available on the market
  • be familiar with the most widespread applications of GA in tree crops around the world
  • identify which systems enable different applications of GM in large crop plants
  • know the basic principles used for modelling agricultural production
  • use new data to develop crop production prediction models

Subjects:

  • Fundamentals of precision agriculture.
  • Basic principles of precision agriculture.
  • Adoption at European and global level and applications in different crops

Prerequisite courses: There are no prerequisites for this T.U.

EGA51 Remote Sensing – Geographic Information Systems

T.U. Code: EGA51
Academic Credits (ECTS): 8
T.U. Type: Compulsory
Semester in which it is offered: First (1st)
Language of instruction:Greek
Module Outline

Course Content: The Thematic Unit aims to familiarize students with the tools, technology, and methods of implementing spatially differentiated cultivation in standard production systems. These tools include: global navigation satellite systems (GNSS/GPS) with application on agricultural vehicle navigation and sampling, remote sensing (satellite and UAV) for documenting crop properties, spectroscopy and towed sensors for recording soil properties, GIS for spatial interpolation of point measurements and spatial analysis.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of the Thematic Unit “Remote Sensing – Geographic Information Systems”, students will be able to:

  • understand the basic concepts of remote sensing, Geographic Information Systems, GNSS/GPS, and know how to implement them in precision agriculture,
  • be familiar with satellite ground observation and UAV systems, and understand their capabilities and limitations,
  • understand the theoretical framework of digital image processing and digital image processing techniques,
  • understand the uses of vegetation indices and image classification,
  • be familiar with the basic principles of spectroscopy and understand the use of spectrometers in precision agriculture,
  • possess the theoretical framework in spatial analysis and be familiar with the main spatial analysis techniques,
  • be familiar with zoning techniques, through the use of spatial data generated by precision agriculture tools
  • produce fertilizer prescription maps

Subjects:

  • Presentation of the basic GIS and geographical analysis principles. Focus on agriculture-related GIS applications.
  • Management of spatial data from sensors used in precision agriculture applications.
  • Basic principles of remote sensing and digital image processing used in precision agriculture applications.
  • Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVS or drones) and very-high-resolution satellites

Prerequisite courses: There are no prerequisites for this T.U

EGA52 Modern Trends in Plant Production

T.U. Code: EGA52
Academic Credits (ECTS): 8
T.U. Type: Compulsory
Semester available: First (1st)
Language of instruction:Greek
Module Outline

Course Content: The unit EGA52 aims to provide students with basic knowledge about the latest developments in Precision Agriculture techniques regarding the cultivation of fruit trees, grapevines, and field crops. Lessons will focus especially on the comparative evaluation of the most widespread cultivation techniques and the solutions to basic challenges of each stage of agricultural production. The prospects of crop production in different regions of Greece are also explored.

Learning Outcomes:

After the successful completion of the Thematic Unit (T.U.) “Modern Trends in Plant Production”, students will be able to:

  • identify new trends in precision agriculture techniques regarding the cultivation of fruit trees, grapevines, and arable crops.
  • adapt crop management and agricultural ecosystems to a constantly shifting environment, in order to limit CO2 emissions and slow down climate change.
  • adopt methods – practices for the sustainable management of land resources.
  • adopt new methods to strengthen the resilience of plants and improve crop production.
  • adopt new pest control techniques in sustainable agriculture systems.
  • update their knowledge on new technologies and approaches on the sustainable use of plant protection products.
  • adopt the best practices for the production of safe and quality agricultural products.
  • document the contribution of precision agriculture to sustainable crop production management.
  • evaluate the results of the implementation of modern plant protection and fertilization systems through the use of new technologies in arable crops and fruit trees

Subjects:

  • Introduction to plant Physiology, propagation, Mineral nutrition, Irrigation, Flowering, and fruiting, Fruit growth and development, Maturation, Harvesting, Integrated Crop and Orchard Management.
  • Modern cultivation techniques in large-scale crops.
  • Modern orchard and vineyard cultivation techniques.
  • Cultivation practices for sustainable farm management

Prerequisite courses: There are no prerequisites for this T.U.

EGA53 The economics of precision agriculture

T.U. Code: EGA53
Academic Credits (ECTS): 7
T.U. Type: Compulsory
Semester in which it is offered: First (1st)
Language of instruction:Greek
Module Outline

Course Content: The unit covers both basic and advanced concepts of the economics of agricultural production, and aims to present the methodology required for the analysis, management, and implementation of Precision Agriculture (PA) and new agricultural technologies. Lessons thus focus on the concept of innovation and business restructuring, and discuss decision-making processes, planning, organization, and financial planning methods for agricultural enterprises. Students will also be taught the methodology of preparing investment plans together with the production cost of agricultural products.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of the Thematic Unit “The Economics of Precision Agriculture”, students will be able to:

  • identify the means of organizing and managing an agricultural enterprise.
  • understand the impact of management methods on the financial results of agricultural enterprises.
  • identify product and process innovation and their impacts on the financial results of agricultural enterprises.
  • contextualize precision agriculture techniques for changing, innovative agricultural enterprise management.
  • understand the changes brought about by precision agriculture applications on farms.
  • document the impact of precision agriculture application on the financial results of agricultural enterprises

Subjects:

  • Basic Agricultural Enterprise Organization and Management concepts.
  • Innovations and Innovation Management.
  • Financial Analysis / Evaluation of Agricultural Enterprise Investments.
  • Applications, financial, political, and environmental impacts of Precision Agriculture

Prerequisite courses: There are no prerequisites for this T.U.

EGA54 Integrated Pest and Disease Management

T.U. Code: EGA54
Academic Credits (ECTS): 8
T.U. Type: Compulsory
Semester in which it is offered: Second (2nd)
Language of instruction:Greek
Module Outline

Course Content: The unit EGA54 covers the use of innovative methods and approaches to predict the occurrence and population densities and manage pests and plant diseases with an emphasis on precise application of selected interventions. The course aims to (a) broaden the knowledge on aspects of pest and disease management of crops, (b) to raise awareness and perform training on predictive population models, their development and use for predicting the occurrence and implement control activities of both pests and diseases that infest the most important crops, (c) use of software to execute plant protection algorithms and decision support systems, and (d) analyze pros and cons of adopting the principles of precision pest management. Students will obtain knowledge related to the development of plant protection programs that are based on climatic data with the goal of reducing unnecessary application of synthetic chemical for plant protection purposes.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of the Thematic Unit “Integrated Pest and Disease Management”, students will be able to:

  • understand the need for plant protection interventions.
  • possess a theoretical foundation on the principles of integrated plant protection, as well as its limitations and advantages.
  • develop integrated crop pest and disease control programs.
  • develop rudimentary predictive models to predict the occurrence of pests and diseases.
  • develop plant protection algorithms.
  • understand the negative impact of plant protection interventions on the environment and human health.
  • utilize computer programs related to precision agriculture applications for plant protection.
  • evaluate the effectiveness of plant protection programs with the use of modern technology

Subjects:

  • Entomology and plant pathology
  • Introduction to integrated pest and disease management. Crop damage, production loss, quality deterioration, and economic loss.
  • Mapping and analysis of infestation populations and spatial distribution.
  • Prognostic models for pests and disease
  • Examples of crop protection applications

Prerequisite courses: There are no prerequisites for this T.U

EGA55 Rational Management of Water Resources in Agriculture

T.U. Code: EGA55
Academic Credits (ECTS): 8
T.U. Type: Compulsory
Semester in which it is offered: Second (2nd)
Language of instruction:Greek
Module Outline

Course Content: The unit EGA55 aims to introduce students to the use of Precision Agriculture tools for the management of irrigation water and fertilizers in agriculture. Lessons will initially focus on providing fundamental knowledge regarding the movement and availability of water and minerals in soil, their absorption by plants, and their role in physiological processes. Subsequent lessons will discuss a wide spectrum of applications and methodologies capable for the precise temporal-quantitative determination of irrigation water and fertilizer needs based on sensor readouts and/or software models.

Learning Outcomes:

After the successful completion of the Thematic Unit (T.U.) “ Rational Management of Water Resources in Agriculture”, students will be able to:

  • understand the need for more efficient use of irrigation water and reduction of the water footprint of crops grown in the current bioclimatic conditions.
  • understand the importance of soil analysis for efficient irrigation scheduling.
  • understand the role of specific equipment to monitor water kinetics in soil.
  • evaluate the importance of water for plant production and the ecophysiological mechanisms of plant adaptation to drought
  • be familiar with modern scientific methods capable for the calculation of crop’s water requirements.
  • Use novel methodologies and tools for increasing irrigation efficiency
  • implement regulated deficit irrigation methodologies according to plant’s phenological stage.
  • understand climate factors that may affect the evapotranspiration of a crop.
  • Understand the irrigation system’s operation and be able to select the appropriate system
  • understand the (negative) impact of irrigation with saline water on crops.
  • adopt new precision irrigation practical applications for tree and horticultural crops, as well as for field crops.
  • understand the significance of irrigation and evaluate the negative environmental impacts of over-irrigation

Subjects:

Prerequisite courses: There are no prerequisites for this T.U

EGA56 Big Data Analysis

T.U. Code: EGA56
Academic Credits (ECTS): 7
T.U. Type: Compulsory
Semester in which it is offered: Second (2nd)
Language of instruction:Greek
Module Outline

Course Content: The impact of data on correct, timely decisions in Precision Agriculture is a factor on which modern agricultural activities and enterprises hinge. Technological progress and applications, such as the use of smart-phones, the installation of sensors etc., result in the production of truly impressive volumes of data, which hold immense potential if analyzed and treated with the objective of improving agricultural support and decision-making.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of the Thematic Unit “Big Data Analysis” students will be able to:

  • understand the basic structures used for modeling, organizing, and storing data in actual data management systems.
  • know the different means and languages used to retrieve data from a data processing system.
  • understand Data Science and how it differs from Knowledge Discovery from Databases, and how it relates to other key fields of Science, such as Statistics, Machine Learning, Databases, Pattern Recognition, Parallel Programming, and Artificial Intelligence.
  • understand the basic stages of Data Mining, as well as the various different or alternative techniques used in implementing each stage.
  • understand the basic tasks that can be implemented through data mining.
  • understand and apply different techniques and algorithms for each of the aforementioned basic tasks.
  • utilize a data mining tool (e.g. R, Rattle, Weka, Knime, etc.) to solve a Data Mining challenge.
  • understand how to evaluate and compare the results of different techniques and algorithms as they apply to different data discovery challenges.
  • know and understand when a challenge may be expressed as a Data Mining problem, how data must be prepared for that particular problem, and what form of task and/or algorithm is most appropriate to solve it.
  • understand that Data Mining is a repetitive, multi-level, and interactive process, the results of which at every stage/level must be evaluated both by objective measures of correctness and validity and by specialized experts/engineers.
  • understand that the models produced by Data Mining are not absolutely accurate, and do not conform to set rules, but often attempt to conform to (what are known as) “opportunistic” data.
  • know that experience is crucial when selecting the most appropriate model (and the parameters that define it) as well as the algorithms that produce it.
  • understand that data quality largely defines the results of this process, while generous time needs to be dedicated to data integration, cleansing, selection, and transformation.
  • understand that the simplest models are often the best.
  • understand that no Data Mining technique is better than all the others in solving a problem.
  • know the properties of big data and understand the different methods of data mining that can deal with each of them.
  • know the different applications and means of utilizing Big Data Mining techniques in Precision Agriculture

Subjects:

Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites for this T.U.

EGA57 Environmental policy/waste management

T.U. Code:EGA57
Academic Credits (ECTS): 7
T.U. Type: Compulsory
Semester in which it is offered: Second (2nd)
Language of instruction:Greek
Module Outline

Course Content: The T.U. aims to provide students the opportunity to analyze and evaluate policies, measures, and projects designed to effectively and rationally manage waste, for the sustainable use of resources and the prevention of environmental degradation, or the preservation, restoration, and improvement of the environment. The T.U. discusses the wider institutional waste management framework in accordance with the directives of International Organizations such as the FAO, US EPA, as well as the laws enacted by the Hellenic Republic according to European Union Directives. Furthermore, lessons will also discuss the Greek policy and legal framework that governs the applications of treated wastewater and sludge in agriculture and the environment.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of the T.U.:

  • Students will know the decisions of international conferences, European Parliament directives on the environment and climate change, and the quality limits in place for the reuse of liquid and solid waste in agriculture.
  • Students will learn the natural, chemical, and biological properties, as well as the toxic compounds, xenobiotics, pharmaceuticals, micro-plastics, and other toxic substances present in wastewater and sludge.
  • Students will know the benefits and potential challenges of utilizing wastewater and sludge, as well as the criteria for crop selection, controlled application of waste and biosolids in agriculture, reducing risks and protecting public health.
  • Students will be able to apply pollution load indicators to assess the extent and density of heavy metal pollution, as well as learn the factors that need to be taken into account for the management systems of treated urban wastewater in agriculture.
  • Students will know the benefits for agriculture of biosolids composting

Subjects:

  • Treated wastewater and sludge composition.
  • Methods of managing and effectively re-using wastewater and sludge to mitigate dangers to soil, plants, public health, and environmental quality.
  • Software for the safe re-use of biosolids waste and wastewater in agriculture.
  • Policy applications and organizing responses to real waste management challenges through the planning of appropriate local-level environmental policy

Prerequisite courses:  There are no prerequisites for this T.U

EGAPA Practical Applications of Precision Agriculture

T.U. Code: EGATLU
Academic Credits (ECTS): 10
T.U. Type: Compulsory
Semester in which it is offered:Third (3rd)
Language of instruction:Greek
Module Outline

Aim of the Course: The unit EAGPA “Practical Applications of Precision Agriculture” aims to analyze, present, and provide students with specialization in Precision Agriculture applications connected with five of the T.U. that belong to the IPSP, namely:

EGA51. Remote Sensors – Geographic Information Systems (GIS /Remote sensing / UAV)

EGA52. Modern Trends in Plant Production

EGA54 Integrated Pest & Disease Management

EGA55. Rational Management of Water Resources in Agriculture

EGA56. Big Data Analysis

 

Additionally, laboratory practical training is provided at the Plant Production Laboratory of the University of Patras.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of the Thematic Unit “Practical Applications of Precision Agriculture”, students will be able to:

  • be familiar with the use of modern scientific instruments.
  • apply modern analytic techniques in the laboratory.
  • deal with challenges that arise during laboratory analyses.
  • evaluate the results of laboratory measurements.
  • be familiar with the use of modern smart agriculture software.
  • adopt modern agricultural applications.
  • be familiar with the installation and use of new field measurement systems

Prerequisite courses: Students may participate in the Thematic Laboratory Unit (T.L.U.) upon the successful completion of all eight (8) T.U. of the PSP

EGADE Postgraduate Diploma Thesis

T.U. Code: EGADE
Academic Credits (ECTS): 20
T.U. Type: Compulsory
Semester in which it is offered:Third (3rd)
Language of instruction:Greek
Module Outline

Aim of the Course: The research objects utilized in writing a thesis are harmoniously integrated into the main orientations of the program, that is, understanding and implementation of tools, methods and technologies of Precision Agriculture.

The director of the program selects groups of related subjects, on the basis of which the prospective students submit a relevant proposal for elaboration. Subsequently, the Board of Directors (as above mentioned) designates the supervising member (First supervisor) and the second member of the Evaluation Committee for each submitted MDE proposal if it meets the basic academic requirements. Then the first Supervisor, in collaboration with the students, finalizes the topic and the basic content of the MDE in the digital education area within the first month of preparation and gives the final approval.

The key subjects of the module are:

In particular, the General Categories of subjects for the Master’s Thesis are, presently, the following:

  • Precision agriculture applications-Robotics
  • Remote Sensing – Geographic Information Systems Soil Science, Hydraulic, Rational Management of Water Resources in Agriculture
  • Economics
  • Big Data Analysis
  • Phytopathology
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Internet of things (IOT)
  • Ecophysiology
  • Environmental Policy / Waste Management

The theory and practice used to further deepen the student’s knowledge is based to some extent on the materials modules. However, for further deepening and acquisition of specialized knowledge and skills, the student, in collaboration with the supervisor, studies work from the relevant literature. This process usually takes 2-3 months. Then the thesis prepared and is checked in its stages both by the supervisor and by a second evaluator.

 

Key subjects of the module is the set of all subjects of individual modules as they are written in the respective outlines.

Learning Outcomes:

The students who will successfully complete the module:

  • they will have obtained a deep knowledge of the subject of their subject to the extent that they will be able to comfortably and fluently read and acquire information on cuttingedge research topics from publications in research journals of the respective research area.
  • They will be able to give high level seminars in which they will be able to explain their subject clearly and to answer related questions from other scientists

For more information regarding the Specifications – Useful Material for writing An MSc Dissertation and submitting it to HOU Repository, please visit the portal http://courses.eap.gr. The General Regulation for the presentation of an MSc Dissertation in postgraduate degree programmes organized on a semi-annual basis is available at https://www.eap.gr/semi-annual-programs/

Prerequisites: Students may present and defend their Postgraduate Diploma Thesis after successfully completing all the Thematic Units and the Thematic Laboratory Unit of the Program.

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