What is Sustainable Plant Science & Technology?
Students in the CTEC Sustainable Plant Science & Technology program learn about the progressive field of plant science through practical, hands-on, industry-related experiences, providing students exposure to vertical farming, micro & macro propagation, ecology, sustainability science, plant sciences, production systems, and molecular biology.
The Sustainable Plant Science & Technology program partners with local industry, state and federal agencies and higher education of the Willamette Valley to prepare our students for today’s world and tomorrow’s.
We want our students to be ready to gain employment in entry-level plant production and science jobs or gain successful entry into secondary education programs. CTEC’s Sustainable Plant Science & Technology program prepares students for the ever-changing field of plant science, sustainability, and ecology. The Willamette Valley’s population continues to grow as our climate is changing. Graduates of the Sustainable Plant Science & Technology (SPST) program emerge prepared to operate high-tech plant growing systems that utilize vertical aeroponic and hydroponic systems in a controlled environment. By applying their research and lab skills, performing sustainable growing and harvesting techniques, nutrient management, and environmental/resource monitoring, student technicians graduate prepared for immediate entry into the workforce and success in higher education.
Our students use controlled environment growing technology to cultivate plants using an indoor vertical farm model. Students develop data management skills to manage and track growth production systems. Students in the Sustainable Plant Science & Technology program learn contextualized science and English aligned to the particular projects and skills they develop. Students receive coaching and resources to explore career options they may want to pursue directly out of the program or with continued education. With a foundation of industry-standard skills, relevant and integrated science and English training, and the ability to interact with technical equipment, our students are ready to pursue their aspirations and goals.
- Grow, harvest, and market a variety of fruits, vegetables, and microgreens
- Design, operate, evaluate, and adjust indoor growing systems including hydroponics, aeroponics, and plant tissue culturing
- Apply quality control and food safety standards in the controlled indoor growing environment
- Manage resource use, controlled indoor growing environments, and sustainable materials & methods
- Propose, conduct, and interpret tangible scientific research by following general science and laboratory guidelines
- Create and assess biogeochemical models to grow plants in high-technology environments while maintaining sustainable ecological principles
Joey Corcoran, Sustainable Plant Science and Technology Instructor
Joey Corcoran earned his BA in Environmental Studies from the University of Oregon. Joey was an Outdoor Education Leader for 1 year at Mt. Pisgah Arboretum, and he has been at CTEC since 2019. He was a Sustainability Planner for 2 years for the City of Beaverton and a Vertical Farmer for 1 year at Forward Greens. Joey’s favorite thing about CTEC is “being able to work with and learn from my amazing co-workers while teaching a subject that I am passionate about.” In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, watching & playing sports, hiking, camping & backpacking, photography & anything that gets him outside.
Jasmine Filley, Sustainable Plant Science and Technology Instructor
Jasmine earned her MA in Education from the University of Portland and her B.S. in Wildlife Conservation Policy at Oregon State University. She has been teaching since 2004 and has taught many aspects of learning from adult high school education, learning skills, and high school science and English. She has taught at CTEC since 2017. Jasmine has worked in Career Technical Education for 10 years. As a CTE Regional Coordinator she worked with 10 regional high school CTE programs to help infuse federal grant funds, provide professional development, and align curriculum. Her favorite thing about working at CTEC is the people. Students are curious, hardworking, kind, and welcoming. Teachers are engaging, caring, respectful, and fun. Staff are supportive, responsive, and always happy to see you. When Jasmine is not teaching, she loves being outdoors with her family, hiking, camping, diving, and being near water. She also enjoys reading and listening to books “of which I usually have 2 or 3 going at a time.”
Luis Valenzuela Estrada, Sustainable Plant Science and Technology Instructor
Luis Valenzuela Estrada earned a B.S in Ecology, Ph.D. in Horticulture, and M.A. in Teaching. Luis spent 2 years teaching middle school science in a dual language program (6th, 7th, 8th) and three years as a teaching assistant for graduate level classes at Penn State University. He has been an instructor at CTEC since 2019. Luis worked for 9 years as a research associate scientist in OSU’s Horticulture Department and for 3 years as a research assistant during graduate school at Penn State University. His favorite things about CTEC are his team, his students and the curriculum. When Luis is not teaching, he enjoys swimming, traveling and trying new places to eat.