Biology | Introductory Biology Lectures
L104 | 0088 | Ramirez-Sosa, C


Course format: Daily lectures: 10:20A-11:35A, JH 239.

Requirements: This is a non-majors course. No biology background is
necessary.

Course description: Topic: Plants and Society: An Ethnobotanical
Perspective. Ethnobotany is an interdisciplinary field, which draws
concepts and methods from both natural and social sciences to
investigate human-plant interactions. Among topics to be covered in
this course are: a basic introduction to the world of plants, the
history of Ethnobotany; plant uses by native people for medicinal,
ritual, shamanism, dietary and many other purposes.

This course also includes an ecological and political point of view
with respect to plant resources, access to genetic resources,
intellectual property rights of indigenous people, and profit sharing
from discoveries using traditional knowledge. Students are introduced
to the latest discussions and controversies on bioprospecting in the
search for new medicines from topical countries like Peru and Costa Rica.

Required text: “Plants, People and Culture: The Science of
Ethnobotany”, by Balick, M.J. & P.A. Cox. “Tales of a Shaman’s
Apprentice: An Ethnobotanist Searches for New Medicine in the Amazon
Rain Forest”, by Mark J. Plotkin.

Weekly assignments: TBA

Exams/papers: TBA