NEW! Last Updated: 03/24/2010
Faculty: Lalita Calabria plant biology, taxonomy, phytochemistry
Major areas of study include plant taxonomy, plant anatomy, field botany, and natural history.
Class Standing: Sophomores or above; transfer students welcome.
Prerequisites: two quarters of college-level biology or ecology
With a name, we can discover what is known about the edible, medicinal, ecological, social, and economic roles of a specific plant or group of plants. Plant taxonomy—the science of naming, describing and identifying plants, is central to a scientific understanding of plants. The process of naming and describing plant taxa also informs our understanding of evolutionary relationships among species and is crucial for documenting and preserving biodiversity.
We will explore plant taxonomy, ecology and biology of terrestrial plants through lectures, workshops, labs, fieldwork, seminars, small group projects and an individual research paper. Students will learn how to use standard taxonomic tools—dichotomous keys, microscopes, field journaling and herbaria to deepen their connection with plant communities of the Pacific Northwest. In the field, students will learn to carefully observe and describe plants using a Grinnell-style journal. Lab activities will involve identifying collected specimens to species (when possible) using dichotomous and synoptic keys and other taxonomic literature (e.g. Flora of the Pacific Northwest: An Illustrated Manual by C. Leo Hitchcock and Arthur Cronquist). Seminar will focus on understanding the current scientific literature.
By the end of this program, students will be proficient using technical terminology to describe plants and will be able to recognize a number of common Pacific Northwest plant species on sight. Students will also have opportunities to gain in-depth knowledge of characteristic features of plant families and their native habitats through workshops (including an intensive bryophyte workshop), labs and plant collecting trips. Students with appropriate background will have the opportunity to earn up to 16 upper-division science credits.
Credits: 16 per quarter
Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in plant taxonomy, ecology, field botany, and conservation.
|March 24th, 2010||New program added.|