AGECO/ENT 457 Course Syllabus

AGECO/ENT 457 Principles of Integrated Pest Management course syllabus

Principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is the integrated study of pest complexes and their management, emphasizing ecological principles drawn from a range of agricultural, forestry, and urban systems. This course is designed for sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-semester students and graduate students.



Dr. Ed Rajotte, Dept. of Entomology
508 ASI Bldg | (814) 863-4641 |
Office hours: By appointment

Dr. Beth K. Gugino, Dept. of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology
204 Buckhout Lab | (814) 865-7328 |
Office hours: By appointment

Teaching assistant:
Asifa Hameed, Dept. of Entomology
544 ASI Bldg |
Office hours: By appointment

Class time: Tuesdays and Thursdays | 9:05-10:20 a.m.

Prerequisites: Two or more of the following: ENT 313, PPEM 405, PPEM 318, or HORT 238


There are two major goals of this course. One is to introduce students to the principles and practices of integrated pest management. This course addresses IPM issues concerning insects, plant diseases and weeds in agriculture, natural systems, and urban environments. Rooted in ecology, IPM also addresses the influence of human social, economic, and regulatory systems in pest management. The overarching goals of environmental protection, economic viability, and social welfare are considered throughout the course. The second goal is to apply IPM knowledge to real-world pest problems by interacting with pest managers in several different systems.


  • To understand the basic tactics and tools of IPM, including biological, cultural, regulatory, mechanical and chemical/biopesticidal, pest monitoring, and decision making.
  • To understand how IPM decisions are made.
  • To learn about IPM program implementation, both domestically and internationally.
  • To apply knowledge gained to solve actual pest management problems.


This course will be a mixture of lectures and presentations by outside speakers supplemented with field trips and team-based projects to provide real-world context for key concepts. The CANVAS course management system will be used to manage this course. Handouts, slides, and supplemental reading material will be made available on CANVAS.

CANVAS student resources

Course credits: 3

Course Text: Norris, R.F., E.P. Caswell-Chen, and M. Kogan. 2003. Concepts in Integrated Pest Management. Prentice Hall.

Web resources: Pennsylvania IPM Program | American Phytopathological Society


Activity %
Midterm exam 20
Final exam 20
Group IPM project (70% report, 25% oral presentation, 5% group presentation) 25
Random quizzes (6-7) 15
Field trip attendace and reports (3 total) 15
Class attendance, discussion, and participation 5

Letter grades will be assigned based on the points that you earn. Class participation, attendance, and other factors can be used to adjust your overall grade.

Grade   %
   A 93-100
   A- 90-92
   B+ 87-89
   B 83-86
   B- 80-82
   C+ 77-79
   C 70-77
   D 60-69
   F <60


  • Field trip reports and discussion. Following each of three field trips, students will be expected to complete a brief report that describes key IPM tactics observed, stakeholders, etc. Reports and observations will inform a post-field trip discussion.
  • Semester-long team project. Students will form into approximately five teams tasked to complete a semester-long group IPM project. Project progress will be reported during the semester with a final presentation and report at the end of the semester.


1 8/23 Introduction
Mgt framework
Rajotte Chp. 1
8/25 Mgt framework
IPM continuum
Rajotte Chps. 18 (p. 471-473)-19
2 8/30 Diagnostics Mazzone Chp. 8 (p. 172-197); online reading
9/1 Preventative strategies Rajotte/Gugino Chps. 15-17; online reading
3 9/6 Semester projects Rajotte/Gugino
9/8 Disease ecology and epidemiology Gugino Chp. 5
4 9/13 Insect ecology; population dynamics, dispersion, and interactions Rajotte Chps. 2 (p. 15-17), 5 (p. 90-122)
9/15 Insects and diseases forecasting Rajotte Chp. 8 (P. 197-202); online reading
5 9/20 Biological control Douglas Chp. 13
9/22 Biotech in IPM All-Student discussion
6 9/27 In-season disease mgt tools Gugino Chp. 11; online reading
9/29 Barriers to adoption Miller-Foster Online reading
7 10/4 Campus landscape IPM strategy Dice
10/6 Campus field trip All
8 10/11 Field trip discussion
Stakeholder ID and problem specification
All: project report back
10/13 Midterm Exam
Field trip report due
9 10/18 IPM, pollination, and ecosystem services Biddinger/Fleischer Online reading
10/20 Weed ecology Curran
10 10/25 Literature review and strategy All: project report back
10/27 Industry IPM perspective Martin
11 11/1 Penn State Research Greenhouse IPM strategy DiLoreto
11/3 PSU Greenhouses field trip All
12 11/8 Field trip discussion
Open/project time
11/10 Mushroom IPM Pecchia Online reading
13 11/15 MRC field trip
Greenhouse field trip report due
11/17 MRC field trip discussion Rajotte/Gugino
14 11/21-11/25 Thanksgiving Break
15 11/29 Student discussion of pest mgt balancing act
MRC field trip report due
Rajotte Supplemental readings to be assigned 11/15
12/1 Int'l IPM Rajotte/Hameed
16 12/6 Group IPM project presentations All
12/8 Group IPM project presentations
Final reports due
17 12/12-12/16 Final Exams Week

Online Reading

Aug 30 Supplemental information about major pathogen groups (Bacteria, Fungi, Oomycetes)
Introduction to the Major Pathogen Groups

Plant Disease Diagnosis
Plant Disease Diagnosis

Sept 1 Plant Disease Management Strategies
Plant Disease Management Strategies

Sept 15 Plant Health Progress article
Cucurbit Downy Mildew ipmPIPE: A Next Generation Web-based Interactive Tool for Disease Management and Extension Outreach

Journal article
The Use and Role of Predictive Systems in Disease Management. Annual Review of Phytopathology 51: 267-289.

Sept 27 Fungicides and Biological Control
What Are Fungicides?
Biological Control of Plant Pathogens

Sept 29 PDF files of these three articles are available on CANVAS:

  • Miller, M.J., M.J. Mariola, and D.O. Hansen. 2008. EARTH to farmers: Extension and the adoption of environmental technologies in the humid tropics of Costa Rica. Ecological Engineering 34: 349-357.
  • Miller, M. and M.J. Mariola. 2009. The discontinuance of Environmental Technologies in the humid tropics of Costa Rica: Results from a qualitative survey. Journal of International Agricultural and Extension Education 16: 31-42.
  • Rogers, E.M. 2003. Chapter 1: Elements of Diffusion in Elements of Diffusion, 5th ed. Free Press, New York, NY. pp. 1-38.

Oct 18 Journal article:
Integrated Pest and Pollinator Management - Adding a New Dimension to an Accepted Paradigm. Current Opinion in Insect Science DOI:10.1016/j.cois.2015.012

Nov 10 Mushroom Production
Six Steps to Mushroom Farming

Dec 1 International IPM
Evaluation of Integrated Pest and Disease Management Module for Shallots in Tamil Nadu, India: a Farmer’s Participatory Approach

Academic Integrity

Penn State and the College of Agricultural Sciences take violations of academic integrity very seriously. Faculty, alumni, staff and fellow students expect each student to uphold the university’s standards of academic integrity both in and outside of the classroom.

Academic integrity is the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest, and responsible manner. Academic integrity is a basic guiding principle for all academic activity at The Pennsylvania State University, and all members of the university community are expected to act in accordance with this principle. Consistent with this expectation, students should act with personal integrity; respect other students' dignity, rights, and property; and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their efforts. Academic integrity includes a commitment not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, plagiarism, misrepresentation, or deception. Such acts of dishonesty violate the fundamental ethical principles of the university community and compromise the worth of work completed by others (see Faculty Senate Policy 49‐20 and G‐9 Procedures).

Academic Integrity Guidelines for the College of Agricultural Sciences

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Contact Information

Beth K. Gugino, Ph.D.
  • Director of Graduate Studies
Phone: 814-865-7328