Dr. Manu's goal as a teacher is to have a positive effect on students' future profession in sustainable management of natural resources by laying a foundation for them to build on and he expects them to derive long-term mutual benefits from their interaction for a semester or two in his classes.
To cater to the different learning needs of students, he has adopted the "Hybrid" form of teaching. He uses the traditional "chalk and blackboard" approach for the benefit of students who prefer and feel comfortable with the one-on-one or face-to-face interaction with instructors. He also takes advantage of ongoing advancement in course development, and information delivery that involve the use of computer-assisted instruction to stimulate students' interest in soil and related sciences. (Watch: "2 minutes with Dr.Manu")
The applied component of the course is a hands-on activity in which students work in small groups to make land use plans according to their areas of interest. Students in Agron 154 apply soil principles to make sustainable land use decisions by delineating suitable areas for the production of row crops (corn and soybean) using reduced tillage, terraces and appropriate rotations to keep soil erosion at tolerable levels.
Students in Agron 155 develop a management plan for horticultural uses and they use their soils knowledge to identify areas for vegetable and flowers production, small fruits and nursery stocks, fruits and nut trees, sod, golf course (fairway, tees and greens) and housing developments.
Agron 154DL - off campus version of Agron 154: This is offered annually during the spring semester as a distance learning course. For this course, material is sent to students on two CD ROMs for speed and flexibility. Telephone, e-mail and letters are used to communicate with students and answer any questions they may have.