Field Plant Taxonomy

Spring 2014 quarter

Taught by

botany, ecology, environmental history


Students must successfully completed Botany: Plants and People or equivalent coursework in introductory plant science which covered a survey of the phyla of Kingdom Plantae. 

This program fosters the skills needed for field work in the fields of floristics and plant ecology particularly vegetation studies. Students will learn how to use Hitchcock and Cronquist's Flora of the Pacific Northwest, a technical key for identifying unknown plants. We will spend time in the field and laboratory discussing diagnostic characters of plant families. Seminar readings will be focused on floristics, biogeography and vegetation ecology. Students will learn how to collect and prepare herbarium specimens and apply this knowledge to a collaborative research project. Students will also learn about herbarium curation.

A multi-day field trip to the Columbia River Gorge will give students an opportunity to learn about Pacific Northwest plant communities in the field, including prairies, oak woodlands and coniferous forests. Students will be expected to maintain a detailed field journal and will be taught basic botanical illustration skills to support this work. Through the field trip, students will learn qualitative vegetation sampling methods and how to analyze their observations. The field trip is required.

Students who successfully complete the course will earn 16 units of upper-division science credit in field plant taxonomy, vegetation ecology of the Pacific Northwest, and floristic research.

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

conservation, ecological restoration, floristic research methods, forestry, natural resource management, plant ecology, plant taxonomy and vegetation ecology.

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day


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Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning

More information about online learning.

Required Fees

$250 for transportation, meals and lodging for a field trip to the Columbia Gorge.

Upper Division Science Credit

Students who successfully complete the course will earn 16 units of upper division science credit in field plant taxonomy, vegetation ecology, restoration ecology, and floristic research.

May be offered again in


Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Spring)

Class standing: Freshmen–Senior; 25% of the seats are reserved for freshmen

Maximum enrollment: 24


Signature Required

Students must email a letter of interest by March 7th  that explains how they have met the prerequisite and how the program will help them meet their academic goals. Signatures will be issued by March 14th.

Course Reference Numbers

Fr (16 credits): 30085
So - Sr (16 credits): 30088

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