Foundation of the program
Universities are in a phase of important transformation under the pressures of new demands and challenges that today’s society poses, both locally and globally. The growing economically active population of Mexico will need to function in an increasingly competitive and globalized market, where specialists and scientists play a transcendental role in the face of new and increasingly complex problems.
Knowledge with interdisciplinary, organizational and productive academic themes, related to ecology and biotechnology, must break the existing paradigms of disarticulation of disciplines and institutions: companies-research institutions and higher education-government.
The educational division between the disciplines, fragmentation and separation between research and teaching, as well as a Napoleonic structure based on faculties and institutes and unlinked centers, has constituted the scheme under which, the vast majority of public universities in our country They have worked to date. However, this scheme that perhaps was functional at the time, is currently being tested when we are living in a time full of great challenges, which all universities must face, such as: globalization (economic and cultural) , the environmental deterioration (loss of biodiversity, pollution, overexploitation of natural resources, and global climate change, among others), the decrease in food quality, poverty and the lack of biotechnological and technological development, just to mention a few components.
It has been established that the public university is closely linked to the social, economic and cultural reality of a country, and therefore, has as its main mission, to propose responses to the needs of its social environment. This is how the current university, is being reexamined and reevaluated from its multiple perspectives, that is, from education, the production of knowledge and new technologies, the professionalization of academic activity, its role as an engine of change, reflection of the role of the university on science and technoscience, and the role of academic science in civil society, among others. It is today, when there is a broad movement around the reflection on the university.
In this context, the Universidad Veracruzana has initiated a transition of change in the university paradigm, in which “a true social distribution of knowledge” (Arredondo 20011) is promoted. This change in the university paradigm is intended to be achieved through eleven Strategic Axes, Programs and Lines of Action, where the new role of research is the first Guiding Axis. Research is adopted as a transforming and organizing axis of its tasks and structures, promoting postgraduate studies at the same time (Árias Lovillo 2005-20092). This program aims to catalyze the transformation process, where an academic entity in collaboration with other entities and institutions are given the task of linking research with the training of highly trained human resources. Thus, the Universidad Veracruzana will contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of our society through the responsible exercise of teaching, research, the dissemination of culture and the extension of services (Ladrón de Guevara 2013-2017).
In this sense, at its ten years of foundation, the Institute of Biotechnology and Applied Ecology (INBIOTECA) of the Veracruzana University based on its commitment to develop, adapt and disseminate scientific and technological knowledge through research, technological development , and the training of highly trained human resources in the fields of biotechnology, applied ecology, and forest production (timber and non-timber resources) (University Gazette 20044), presents the Master’s Degree Program in Science in Ecology and Biotechnology.
This Curriculum is the product of an agreement of the Technical Council of INBIOTECA5 and of the collegiate work between the academic staff of INBIOTECA and academic staff of other institutions and dependencies. The integration of this postgraduate document is based on the academic interrelation of professors and researchers throughout various meetings and workshops with all participants, work in commissions created for the development of different sections and the collegiate work of the Basic Academic Core of the Postgraduate (NAB).
The current scheme of development of the towns demands the incorporation of elements that allow to assure the sustainability of the processes of production in economic, ecological and social sense. Scientific research, teaching and linking, with an interdisciplinary approach, are elements that public universities in the country can enhance to contribute to sustainable development. The integration of different disciplines, whether with a holistic or reductionist approach, has exceeded expectations in the generation and application of knowledge. Ecology and biotechnology are two polarized fields from their origins and are currently beginning to integrate. Institutions that originated as ecological have incorporated biotechnology and those that originated as biotechnology have incorporated ecology, in both cases their weaknesses begin to demand integration. One way to achieve this is through the formation of new profiles with the ability to develop research activities with high-level technology that transit between ecology and biotechnology. A professional who is inserted in both disciplines, will be able to respond to the new demands of the society of the 21st century.
In Mexico there is no research center created since its origin, which links two generally polarized disciplines such as Biotechnology and Applied Ecology, and in the world only the Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology of Germany is known (Fraunhofer Institut für Molekularbiologie und Angewandte Ökologie), which is already generating important contributions for the management and conservation of different plant species. The Yucatan scientific research center, recently and in collaboration with the Max-Plank Institut and the Fraunhofer Institut fur Molekularbiologie und Angewandte Ökologie, initiated efforts where it seeks to link biotechnology with ecology to carry out studies that allow addressing and finding solutions to identified problems in the agricultural sector of the Yucatan Peninsula.
The program that we present here will be the first master’s degree in sciences in Ecology and Biotechnology in the country, designed to train human resources in research, linking and transfer of biotechnology that allow to get involved in the problems currently facing the forestry, ornamental, agricultural and agricultural sectors. national conservation New strategies for conservation, exploitation, rescue of plant species and ecological rehabilitation of areas are necessary through the application of biotechnological tools supported by ecological studies of populations or communities, whether natural or man-made (agroecosystems). Ecological studies will be enriched with the biotechnology that allows morphometric, biochemical and genetic or molecular characterization of the populations, individuals or communities under study, as well as the micropropagation techniques that allow massively generated selected individuals for the purpose of reintroduction or establishment of systems of Agricultural, forestry and ornamental production. On the other hand, the biotechnology and molecular biology works will benefit from the ease of carrying out previous evaluations to select the materials to study, characterize or propagate in the different projects, as well as to follow up and evaluate the behavior of the reintroduced specimens to natural habitats or agroecosystems.
There are currently several health problems in the forestry, agricultural and ornamental sectors. Studies are needed for the selection, characterization, improvement and propagation of genotypes that allow better yields, or guarantee the production of individuals free of pathogens or viruses to meet the needs of producers. It is also possible to produce individuals of rare, threatened or endangered species for subsequent reintroduction into natural areas. All this considering both conventional and biotechnological methods. An indispensable part of these projects is the ecological study of the individuals or populations of interest, either to ensure that the best specimens will be taken to the laboratory, as well as to promote the best results once they have returned to their environment. There cannot be a genetic improvement program without adequate monitoring and evaluation of different agronomic aspects and ecological parameters either in nursery, plots or in the field.
A process of traditional genetic improvement in plant species can take 20 to 40 years to generate the first results. However, applying biotechnological and ecological methods can be done in less than 15 years and produce enough individuals to meet demand. In the case of agricultural species the results can be seen in less than 5 years. Ecological studies on the other hand, allow to establish or propose management systems for species in the field to find the best yields and ecologically friendly options.
Train teachers in ecology and biotechnology, capable of applying knowledge based on basic scientific research and its application, that contribute to the development of new methods and technologies for the conservation and management of biodiversity and to promote the development of a productive, social and cultural culture. sustainable of natural resources, and that promote multidisciplinary and inter-institutional cooperation and service to society.
To be a leading graduate at a national level in the short term and international in the medium term in the training of human resources of academic excellence, capable of generating scientific knowledge based, theoretically and practically, on ecology and biotechnology, and focused on conservation and use of biodiversity, and thus promote the development of an environmentally responsible and sustainable culture on natural resources, with a strong social and humanistic commitment.
To train teachers in Sciences with a solid conceptual base in the discipline, capable of performing original scientific work and of high academic quality, and of carrying out university teaching of the highest level, so that they become effective drivers of the development of the discipline, both in its basic aspects and in its applications.
Train human resources capable of planning, directing and executing research work in the different fields of Ecology and Biotechnology.
Contribute to the development of basic and applied research in Ecology and Biotechnology.
Train human resources for activities inherent in the teaching of ecology and ecology at a high level.
Support the different sectors of society in relation to the solution of problems inherent to the environment and natural resources.