Biology | Summer Flowering Plants
B364 | 4138 | Bowman, M
Course Format: One 50-minute lecture and one 3-hour lab (MTWR). Labs
on Monday and Wednesday will usually involve fieldwork.
Requirements: One introductory biology course.
Course Description: Provides a broad, practical knowledge of the
diversity of summer flowering plants, and an introduction to plant
ecology. Lectures discuss the morphological/taxonomic characteristics
of the approximately 20 most commonly encountered and/or economically
important families of flowering plants in our geographic area,
stressing features useful in recognizing these families. Key topics in
flowering plant ecology are also addressed in lectures and during
field trips. Students collect flowering plant specimens during field
trips, analyze the structures of these plants during lab, and use
dichotomous keys to identify the plants to species. Plant specimens
are preserved as dried herbarium (museum) reference material to
facilitate species identification throughout the course and beyond.
This course is particularly practical for students of ecology and the
environment who wish to know which plant species occupy a particular
environment, for teachers engaged in interpreting and teaching local
flora, and for those who are simply interested in investigating the
wild plant species encountered in daily life for personal enrichment
or other purposes.
Required text: “Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United
States and Adjacent Canada”, second edition, by Henry V. Gleason and
Weekly Assignments: Make a full set of properly identified and dried
herbarium specimens, and be able to recognize and identify these
species. Learn the progressively cumulative characteristics of the
plant families discussed and illustrated in lecture. Master the
ecology topics presented and illustrated in lecture.
Exams/Papers: Three major lecture exams cover lecture/field notes and
assigned readings. Three major lab exams (usually coinciding with
lecture exams) evaluate plant identification skills. Cumulative weekly
recognition quizzes, either in lab or in the field, test students'
knowledge of previously identified plants and families. Students also
write one short library research paper, focused on an approved topic
of interest that is relevant to plant taxonomy or ecology.