Learning by Doing

SECOND-YEAR MODULES

Agroecology

Department: Environmental Science and Development
Duration of module: Three weeks

Module description and general objective

The Agroecology module offers the opportunity to experiment and develop strategies based on agroecological principles and human farming. Through a collaborative and horizontal process, it teaches about the techniques, practices and methods that adapt to the conditions of the Mesoamerican Dry Corridor, establishing an agroecosystem of self-sufficient life (food sovereignty). This agroecosystem promotes functional diversity, balance, productivity and resilience of the natural systems of the area. Likewise, the module focuses on agroecology and social processes with community participation and local empowerment as resilient models in the face of current socioeconomic and environmental problems, reinforcing the three dimensions of the agroecological revolution: cognitive, social and technological. At the end of the course, students will be able to propose biodiverse and climate change resilient designs.

Module competencies

• Employ agroecological and human farm principles to develop biodiverse and climate change resilient designs within the agroecological farm.
• Use agroecological designs in the establishment and management of sustainable agricultural systems.

Topography and geographic information systems

Department: Environmental Science and Development
Duration of module: Three weeks

Module description and general objective

The Topography and GIS Learning by Doing module has a duration of three weeks and covers two topography practices (Planimetry and Altimetry). In addition, it provides one practice using GPS receivers (Geodetic survey) and three practices on the use of AutoCAD Civil 3D, Surfer 10 and QGIS Software. (Computer Aided Drawing and Plan Editing). All these practices are based on theoretical explanations and mathematical calculations that reinforce the students’ knowledge. At the end of the module, students will be able to apply the basic procedures in topographic and geodetic surveys and introduce the GIS data in the AutoCAD Civil 3D, Surfer 10 and QGIS programs.

Module competencies

• Apply basic concepts of Topography and GIS in field and laboratory practices.
• Manage equipment and programs in the survey and processing of Topographic and Geographic data.

Plant protection

Department: Agricultural Sciences and Production
Duration of module: Three weeks

Module description and general objective

The Plant Protection module teaches the basics of horticultural production. In the module, students identify, observe and act against the problems caused by pests and diseases in the cultivation of vegetables. Likewise, students face the challenge of creating a  pest and disease control that is friendly with the environment, humans and food production, integrating all types of control: cultural, botanical, biological and chemical. At the end of the module, students will be trained to efficiently and effectively handle the equipment and agrochemical products used in the control of pests and diseases.

MODULE COMPETENCIES

• Properly use personal protection equipment in all activities involving the handling of agrochemicals to carry out safe applications
• Carry out field monitoring in horticultural crops for decision-making in pest and disease control.
• Interpret information included in the agrochemicals for their correct use and handling in applications.

Extensive olericulture

Department: Agricultural Sciences and Production
Duration of module: Four weeks

Module description and general objective

The extensive olericulture module teaches production of a variety of horticultural crops in the open field. The students learn about transplanting, irrigation, fertigation, weeding, cutting, gardening, pruning, thinning and harvesting. At the end of the module, students will be able to identify different horticultural crops, as well as differentiate the best practices involved in their production.

Module competencies

• Identify the advantages and disadvantages of transplantation and carry out the activity.
• Identify the most common weeds in horticultural crops in the area and the different ways of controlling them, carrying out the elimination activity and proposing a way to manage them.

Olericultura Extensiva

Intensive olericulture

Department: Agricultural Sciences and Production
Duration of module: Four weeks

Module description and general objective

Describe the basic principles of horticultural crop production (Tomato, chili and others) under protected systems or greenhouses, which allow the control of climatic conditions to improve and increase production, obtain better quality fruits and plant in unconventional market windows.

Module competencies

• Apply safety concepts in protected crop production.
• Identify basic concepts of protected crop production.

Olericultura Intensiva

Beekeeping plant

Department: Food Science and Technology
Duration of module: Three weeks

Module description and general objective

The Beekeeping Plant Learning by Doing (LbD) module trains students on the basic operations related to the management of apiaries in the field and the processing of the different beekeeping products (honey, pollen, royal jelly, wax and propolis). To achieve this goal, second-year students will develop various activities in the field, beekeeping processing plant and classroom during a three-week period.

Module competencies

• Differentiate the installation and maintenance operations of apiaries to obtain highly productive hives.
• Execute effective processes to ensure top-quality bee products.
• Interpret the basic indicators that define the feasibility of potential beekeeping enterprises.

Planta Apicola

Horticultural/Post-harvest Plant

Department: Food Science and Technology
Duration of module: Three weeks

Module description and general objective

The Post-Harvest Plant is responsible for the conditioning of the fruits and vegetables produced extensively and intensively at Zamorano; such products are destined for internal and external sale. Likewise, it is in charge of acquiring and conditioning all external fruits and vegetables that Zamorano requires for internal consumption. In this module, students will be able to learn and apply the basic concepts of post-harvest handling of vegetables (leaves, fruits, roots and tubers), while identifying the criteria for receiving, washing, classifying and storing vegetables according to their nature and customer specifications.

Module Competencies

• Apply post-harvest processes for the conditioning of fruits and vegetables.
• Manage the appropriate storage conditions for fruits and vegetable.
• Differentiate parameters of quality and safety of fruits and vegetables, pursuant to the standards established by the client.

Planta Hortofruticola/Poscocecha

Horticultural/Processing Plant

Department: Food Science and Technology
Duration of module: Three weeks

Module description and general objective

Practical teaching on the elaboration of products from the 3 processing lines: salty line, sweet line and dry line. In addition, provides training on Good Safety Practices (GSP), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and rational use of resources during processing. Emphasis is placed on the search for quality, profitability and development of new products. At the end of the module, students will be able to use agricultural raw materials (fruits and vegetables) for the processing of various food products with appropriate manufacturing, hygiene and safety practices, while assessing the quality and safety of the products.

Module competencies

• Elaborate products from horticultural raw materials.
• Apply proper manufacturing, hygiene and safety practices during the processing of horticultural products.

Planta Hortofruticola

Biologic control

Department: Agricultural Sciences and Production
Duration of module: Three weeks

Module description and general objective

The Biologic control LbD teaches the students that there are alternatives to chemical control through the production and use of different organisms, fungi, nematodes, mites and insects, in the regulation of different populations of agricultural pests. The students are part of the different production processes, where they learn about the biology and mechanisms of action of the organisms produced, as well as their application or release in the field.

General Objective: At the end of the module, students will be able to apply different forms of production of macro and microorganisms in the laboratory that can be used as natural enemies and biopesticides. They will also know about their biology and application or release in the field, for the effective control of a wide range of pests in different crops.

Module competencies

• Apply techniques for the production of biocontrol fungi produced in the biological control laboratory and conduct proper application in the field.
• Apply production methods of the different natural enemies produced and conduct proper application in the field.
• Apply production techniques for entomopathogenic nematodes produced in the Biological Control Laboratory and conduct proper application in the field so that students learn to produce and apply this type of control.

Planta Hrtofruticola Procesamiento

Biotechnology of animal reproduction

Department: Agricultural Sciences and Production
Duration of module: One week

Module description and general objective

The Biotechnology of animal reproduction LbD module teaches the students about the use of biotechnologies in assisted animal reproduction processes. They learn about semen collection techniques and evaluation of macro and microscopic parameters of semen to determine its quality. Likewise, they are taught about the conservation of male gametes at low temperatures to be used in reproductive processes, such as artificial insemination and in-vitro fertilization. In addition, the module teaches the basic principles of other reproductive biotechnologies (heat synchronization, in vitro fertilization, embryo transfer).

General Objective: Use techniques to collect, evaluate and cryopreserve bovine semen in order to maximize the use of male gametes in assisted animal reproduction procedures.

Module competencies

• Apply the basic principles of male gamete processing including collection, evaluation and cryopreservation.

Control Biológico

Molecular diagnosis

Department: Agricultural Sciences and Production
Duration of module: One week

Descripción y objetivo general del módulo

The Molecular diagnosis module is developed in the Applied Biotechnology Laboratory of the Bean Research Program (PIF), where the DNA of bean plants is analyzed in order to find genes that are resistant to diseases and tolerant to abiotic factors (low fertility in soils, drought and high temperatures). In the module, students also study the pathogenic variability of fungi, bacteria and viruses that cause the main diseases in the region. Likewise, they are trained to handle the equipment, instruments and reagents used to carry out DNA analysis. They also learn about the applications of molecular markers in the genetic improvement of plants by carrying out practices of extraction, quantification and dilution of DNA, PCR and Electrophoresis under the established biosafety standards. At the end of the module, students will be able to analyze plant DNA and make diagnosis regarding the presence or absence of genes for resistance and tolerance to diseases and abiotic factors, assisted with molecular markers.

Module competencies

• Explain the importance of genetic improvement in plants.
• Select promising genetic material assisted by molecular markers (SAM).
• Use laboratory instruments and equipment correctly, avoiding contamination in the process.

Biotecnología de la Reproducción Animal

Tissue culture

Department: Agricultural Sciences and Production
Duration of module: Two weeks

Module description and general objective

Students will learn and put into practice the basic fundamentals of plant tissue culture focused on mass propagation and production of pathogen-free plants. Likewise, they will have the opportunity to apply the knowledge acquired in the classes and modules of biology, mathematics, plant physiology and plant propagation. In addition, they will develop skills typical of working in a plant tissue culture laboratory. At the end of the module, they will be able to carry out the basic tasks of a plant tissue culture laboratory with the aim of massively propagating and producing pathogen-free plants.

Module competencies

• Carry out all the practices maintaining optimal levels of asepsis in the plant tissue culture laboratory in order to micropropagate plants.
• Operate basic equipment, glassware, instruments and plant tissue culture laboratory tools for the production of in vitro cultures as indicated in the good safety practices manual and in the guidelines given by the instructor.

Diagnóstico Molecular

Renewable energy

Department: Environmental Science and Development
Duration of module: Three weeks

Module description and general objective

Involves the construction of a sustainable energy bridge that allows to satisfy the needs of the present and future generations. This requires the implementation of a set of strategies to evaluate the different resources, the efficiency of the technology for transformation of its energy potential and the capacity to adopt such in different regions and/or processes. 

The objective of the Renewable Energy module is to provide a space for the student to develop proposals that integrate renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency in agriculture, applying leadership skills with social and environmental responsibility.

These proposals must contain knowledge of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies applied in agriculture and industry, highlighting biomass, hydroelectric, thermal solar energy, biofuels, geothermal, photovoltaic and wind power. The module has a duration of three weeks, in which the students learn about biodigesters, developing activities such as feeding, sizing, analysis of biogas quality and fertilization of crops with biol as an organic fertilizer. The module also focuses on highlighting the different uses and applications of biogas and identifies the different applications of solar thermal and photovoltaic energy on campus, carrying out activities including the installation of solar panels and use of solar heaters, dryers, and cookers. Finally, the module trains students on knowledge about the design, evaluation and construction of improved stoves operated with firewood. Said learning is subsequently applied in the field through the construction of improved stoves in neighboring communities, thus generating linkages with the university that contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of the beneficiary households.

The learning provided in the module is based on theoretical framework methodologies, “moments of glory” presentations, practices, role play, case studies, tours, manuals, research and use of field notebooks prepared by the students.

Module competencies

• Develop Develop proposals for renewable energy opportunities considering the work context of the different countries.

Cultivo de Tejidos

Environmental Technologies Module

Module description and general objective

Environmental technologies are tools to reduce the impacts and effects of environmental degradation generated by anthropogenic and/or natural activities. Within this category we can find aspects related to efficient resource management, efficient waste treatment and access to energy through renewable sources.

Module competencies:

At the end of the module, students will be able to:

• Develop proposals for the implementation of renewable energy technologies based on the availability of resources, their energy potential and policies adopted in Latin America.
• Apply knowledge in water resources, cleaner production and technologies for wastewater treatment to propose solutions that promote the sustainability of agri-food systems.

Energía Renovable

Forestry Business Module

Module description and general objective

The module teaches Forestry Business Planning based on the principle of Sustainability. First, students learn to identify a product that is required by the market (economic criteria). Once the production objective is determined and defined by the final consumer, the species is studied based on its functional ecology and taxonomy (ecological criteria). Using the above criteria, the current production is calculated and evaluated to determine the growth or harvest available, establishing the actions to be taken in the forest and forest plantations. This enables achieving the maximum expression of its productive capacity based on the installed capacity and at least one minimum value product.

Module competencies

At the end of the module, students will be able to formulate a forestry business plan according to market needs by identifying the productive capacity of a forest or forest plantation. This will lead to the definition of the best investment option with the maximum profitability.

Tecnologías Ambientales

Farm Administration Module

Module description and general objective

The module’s general objective is to develop realistic and practical skills and abilities to effectively manage an agricultural farm.

Module competencies

At the end of the module, students will be able to:

• Plan an agricultural farm with a value chain approach.
• Apply analysis methodologies and strategies for integration and competitiveness of agri-food chains.
• Analyze problems for decision making, detect and analyze opportunities in Agribusiness, and prepare business plans.

Administración Fincas