2011-12 Catalog

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Offering Description

Plants: Nature's Chemical Factories


Spring 2012 quarter

Lalita Calabria botany, phytochemistry, systematics , Peter Pessiki chemistry
Fields of Study
botany and chemistry
Preparatory for studies or careers in
natural sciences, medicine

Plants produce an outstanding number of chemical compounds that function as protection against pests, as colorings, as scent attractants, as hormones, and more.  Many of these compounds have proven to be important for human survival and are utilized by humans for food, medicine, poison, and spiritual ceremony.  This program will explore plants and the chemicals produced by these plants that humans find useful.  We will utilize lectures, labs, and fieldwork to focus on the botany and chemistry of these productive plants.  The chemistry lectures will be based on classes of chemical constituents, and the botany lectures will outline the taxonomy, ethnobotany, and chemical ecology of the major groups of plants as it relates to their chemistry (chemotaxonomy).  Labs will focus on learning how to isolate plant chemicals using techniques such as soxhlet extraction, column chromatography, and distillation. The fieldwork component will take advantage of our unique campus setting and may include wildcrafting, some kitchen-based labs, and utilizing the many gardens on campus in a variety of ways.

Advertised Schedule
6-10p Mon/Wed, 9a-5p three Sat (April 7, 21, May 12)
Online Learning
Enhanced Online Learning
Greener Store
Offered During
Evening and Weekend

Program Revisions

Date Revision
February 14th, 2012 Mon/Wed changed from 9pm ending to 10pm. Changed from 5 Sat to 3 Sat. Dates added for Sat.
October 6th, 2011 Schedule changed to add Wednesday classes.
August 9th, 2011 Schedule changed to add Wednesday evening class times.