Introduction to Plant Biology


Spring 2021
Freshman - Senior
Class Size: 25
8 Credits per quarter
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Virtually all life on Earth that most of us will ever see is made possible by plants. This program will provide a foundation to understand what plants do and how they do it.  While students should be willing to take a scientific approach to the study of plants, this program is intended to be accessible to non-scientists and does not assume a strong background in the sciences.  Although this class is not intended to enable students to recognize on sight every plant they see, we will spend some time on principles of taxonomy and plant identification.

Students will be introduced to fundamental evolutionary concepts, and the relationships and diversity of the major groups of plants. We'll study plant structure and function — how plants acquire resources, grow and develop, and respond to the physical environment. We'll study plants at an ecological level, including population dynamics, interactions between plants and other species, and the role of plants in the global ecosystem. 

Learning experiences will include lectures, workshops, seminars, frequent short quizzes, a midterm and a final exam, and outdoor activity. Students will keep a field journal and write two iterations of a research paper applying their developing understanding of plant biology to their own observations in the field.


Spring 2021 Registration

Academic details

Preparatory For

Environmental studies, botany, ecology

Maximum Enrollment
Online Learning
Enhanced Online Learning - This offering requires access to web-based tools, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.
Class Standing
Upper Division Science Credit

Some upper division science credit may be possible for upper division work. "Upper division" means qualitatively different work, not just more work. Students seeking to earn upper division credit must contact the faculty to discuss options prior to the start of the quarter. 


Time Offered
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule