A New Level of Education in Aquaponics

Aquaponics, an innovative method of agriculture that combines aquaculture and hydroponics, has garnered international attention as people around the world look for sustainable, efficient and highly productive methods of growing fresh food.

| November 18, 2011

University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point (UWSP) Continuing Education, Department of Biology, and the Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility, in partnership with Nelson and Pade, Inc., a Montello, Wisconsin-based company specializing in aquaponics technology, systems and training is now offering a 3-credit, full semester course in Aquaponics.  The course, Introduction to Aquaponics, will first be offered for the Spring, 2012 semester with open enrollment starting in December, 2011.

This private/public partnership and the resulting UWSP aquaponics course is a new stage in the development of the aquaponics industry and in providing comprehensive training in aquaponics at the university level.

The course has been jointly developed by Dr. Chris Hartleb, Professor of Biology, UWSP, Sarah Kaatz, Education Director, Nelson and Pade, Inc., Rebecca L. Nelson and John S. Pade, Nelson and Pade, Inc. Dr. Hartleb, Ms. Kaatz and Ms. Nelson will be the course instructors and will interact with students during the online sessions and the hands-on lab sessions.

The lectures run from March 1 to May 11, 2012 and take place online, each with a self-study session followed by a live chat with one of the three instructors.  The hands-on lab sessions will be held at Nelson and Pade, Inc.’s demonstration greenhouse in Montello, WI, May 21 to 23, 2012.

The course covers an introduction to and history of aquaponics, applications and benefits, system components, water quality dynamics, environmental control, plant crop choices and plant biology, fish selection and fish biology, integrated pest management and biosecurity, daily operation and record keeping, good agricultural practices, economics of aquaponics and marketing.

Rebecca Nelson shares, "I am extremely excited about this partnership and the potential it represents. As the aquaponics industry grows, one of the big issues we face is a lack of trained and educated individuals to fill jobs as aquaponic greenhouse managers and workers. The launch of this course, which I believe is the first of its kind, will help to fill the demand for university level training in aquaponics. "

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