Department Chair's Welcome Statement

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Headshot of Erik Ervin, chair and professor in Plant and Soil Sciences

It’s my pleasure and honor to welcome you to the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences (PLSC) at the University of Delaware. Our department includes many dedicated and talented people with expertise ranging from horticulture and landscape design, to environmental soil science, to plant molecular biology and biotechnology. The impact of our work is felt regionally, nationally and internationally, through the success of our students, staff and faculty.

As you get to know our department and academic programs, you will find yourself in a welcoming and academically rigorous environment. The challenges and potential of positions in our fields of expertise are exciting, as technologies are having a deep impact on how we conduct our work. Given the grand challenge of feeding nine billion inhabitants while preserving environmental quality, both plants and soils in today’s world face tremendous demands. This is creating many and varied job opportunities for our graduates.

I encourage you to explore our website for more information about all that our department has to offer. Our faculty and staff welcome the opportunity to interact with the public and our stakeholders, and if you have additional questions, please contact us directly and/or schedule a campus visit.

Dr. Erik Ervin
Chair and Professor

Our students are trained to excel in a wide array of career options related to sustainable landscapes and food production, the environment, soils, water quality, biotechnology, and genomics. Students with skills in these areas are in high demand, with professional opportunities exceeding the number of graduates. We offer three bachelors of science (B.S.) degree programs: Landscape Architecture, Plant Science, and Sustainable Food Systems with ample freedom to specialize. Learn more about our programs. 

Our department offers master of science (M.S.) and doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in the plant and soil sciences. Our graduate faculty are recognized experts in their fields of study and deeply dedicated to providing comprehensive mentorship to their students. Two graduate areas exist in the department — plant science and soil science. Learn more about our programs. 

Our faculty members are well recognized for research and their scholarly work, including three named chairs and numerous scientific society fellows. We also promote innovative teaching methods and individualized student advising. We’re active in public and professional service, delivering novel and innovative findings and practices to our stakeholders and in our fields of expertise.  Our department has approximately 30 tenure-track faculty, a number of extension professionals, 75 undergraduate students, and 60 graduate students.