Maryland CTE Career Clusters
Environmental, Agricultural and Natural Resources
The agricultural sector is a highly competitive global industry creating new challenges in identifying global and domestic markets; improving business planning, financing, risk management, and productivity; and reducing costs. Advances in science and technology, in particular biotechnology, will continue to drive innovation and growth in this career cluster. Growing public concerns over natural resources, environmental quality, and public health will continue to expand the role and scope of the natural resource management and environmental services sectors.
Programs of Study
The Curriculum for Agriculture Science Education (CASE) is under development and being field tested during the 2009-2010 school year. The program is a national curriculum project that offers students a rigorous curriculum designed to challenge students to perform at high levels. Through the use of activities, projects and problem-solving, students will explore agriculture subject matter while they learn necessary knowledge and skills. To establish these requirements, CASE incorporates the National Academic Standards and Agriculture Food and Natural Resources (AFNR) Content Standards. The program is a four-course sequence and will offer students the opportunity to earn college credit upon successful program completion.
The Horticultural Services program is based on requirements for the Certified Professional Horticulturist (CPH) certification used by the Maryland 'Green Industry.' Students complete a sequence of courses including: Introduction to Environmental/Plant/Animal Science, Foundations of Horticulture, Plant Production, and Landscape Design and Management. Students have the opportunity to earn the Student-Level CPH certification by taking and passing the curriculum exam.
The Environmental Studies program of study is composed of a four-course sequence that covers environmental, agricultural and natural resource issues and management. Students will engage in scientific inquiry related to local and regional environmental problems and issues in natural resource management. Students will be introduced to a variety of technologies and techniques related to environmental research, including remote sensing, ecological monitoring, and analytic testing. This program also emphasizes environmental ethics involved in making decisions that impact local ecosystems and the ability of communities to live sustainably in the region. All students will participate in a capstone experience that involves the conception, development, and implementation of a research project based on individual interest. Students will have the opportunity to earn college credit through articulation agreements with Maryland colleges.