Botany



Professor:  Siver; Associate Professors:  Jones, Lizarralde; Assistant Professor:  Spicer; Senior Lecturers:  Hardeman, Hine, Suriyapperuma, Warren; Arboretum Director and Adjunct Associate Professor:  Dreyer; Associate Professor Owen, chair

The Major in Botany

The botany major is designed to accommodate a wide range of interests and to prepare students for graduate study in a variety of fields.  The major consists of a core curriculum, as well as electives in mathematics and the physical and life sciences.  Students may opt for the concentration in ethnobotany, which also draws on courses from the social sciences.

Students considering graduate study in botany or other biological sciences should consult with an adviser as early as possible to design an appropriate plan of coursework.  Those planning postgraduate training in landscape design or architecture are strongly encouraged to consider a minor in architectural studies or art.

The major consists of a minimum of eleven courses, at least three of which must be at the 300 or 400 level, and a two-credit departmental seminar.

Advisers:  K. Hardeman, P. Hine, C. Jones, M. Lizarralde, P. Owen, P. Siver, R. Spicer, S. Suriyapperuma

Core curriculum.  All botany majors must take the following courses:

A.  Botany 115 or Biology 105.
B.  Botany 205 and 225.
C.  Botany 117 or 311
D.  One semester of the Biology/Botany Seminar Series (293 or 294).
E.  Chemistry 103 or 107.  (Students with a concentration in ethnobotany may, with permission of the department, substitute Chemistry 101.)

Additional courses for the major.  Students majoring in botany with the general track must satisfy the following requirements:

F.  Biology 106; either Botany 305 or Botany 320, and either Biology 207 or Botany 315.
G. Three courses selected from additional offerings in botany or biology, or from the following list:  Chemistry 104, 204, 223, 224, 303, 304, 324; Environmental Studies 110, 115, 120, 210 (493, 494 with permission of the department); Mathematics 107, 111, 112, 113, 206, 207, 208, 212; Physics 107, 108, 109, 110.  At least two of the courses chosen from this category must have a laboratory component.  Other intermediate or advanced courses in chemistry, environmental studies, mathematics, or physics may be selected with permission of the department.

Additional courses for the major with ethnobotany concentration.  Students majoring in botany with a concentration in ethnobotany must satisfy the following requirements:

H.  Anthropology 104, Botany 308, and Botany 315.
I.  Three courses selected from additional offerings in botany, or from the following list:  Anthropology 202, 234, 245, 260, 319, 380; Biology 106, 207, 208, 307, 314, 320, 322; Chemistry 104, 204, 223, 224, 303, 304, 324; Environmental Studies 308, 312, 313 (493, 494 with permission of the department); Mathematics 107, 206, 207, 208, 317.

The Minor in Botany

The botany minor includes Biology 105 or Botany 115; Botany 205, 225, 305 or 320; and one additional course in botany or biology.

Learning Goals in the Botany Major

The study of botany is important in today′s world that increasingly needs highly skilled scientists to examine changes in ecosystems or habitats, the possible benefits and dangers of genetically modified crops, and the vast potential plants hold for human use.  The major prepares students directly for a career in a botanical field or for graduate study.  This preparation comes from learning essential concepts, from developing critical thinking and observational skills, and from learning to communicate those skills across disciplines.  Students interested in potential careers are encouraged to talk to faculty or to consult the department website.

CONCEPTS

  • Plant Structure, Function and Development:  Students who complete the major should understand, through written and visual information, how the plant body develops and works as a unit to regulate its metabolism, to respond to environmental cues, to obtain water, nutrients, carbohydrates, and to reproduce.
  • Plant Diversity:  Students who complete the major should understand the diverse groups of organisms traditionally studied by botanists, from protists and fungi to higher vascular plants.  This understanding requires students to be able to identify regional plants to species and world plants to families.
  • Plant Ecology:  Students who complete the major should understand the complex relationships plants have with other organisms and their environment, and how the environment affects past, present and future plant habitats. 
  • Plant Uses and Perceptions:  Plants provide medicinal compounds, shelter, fuel, food, ornamentation, and technology for human use and their ecological services.  Students have the option of focusing their major on use and management of plants, with particular emphasis on traditional indigenous people.

METHODS/SKILLS

  • Written:  Students who complete the major should be able to craft concisely written papers in the style of a botanical research paper.  Integral to the paper is a thorough understanding of how to find and read the scientific literature, and a deep understanding of methods to interpret and form graphical, tabular, and pictorial data.
  • Oral:  Students in the major should understand how to prepare and present oral information, either of an assigned topical nature or the results of a research project.  Practice and experience will be through coursework, participation in the botany seminar series, or presentations at professional meetings.
  • Laboratory: Students should have experience with botanical field and laboratory techniques, such as ecological sampling, plant preservation, data recording, microscopy techniques, and traditional indigenous technology replication.  Students will have opportunities to develop deeper skills in selected methods of their choice.

Courses

BOTANY  115  INTRODUCTION TO BOTANY  Introduction to the biology of plants, with emphasis on their importance, currently and historically.  Topics will include characteristics of major plant groups, internal and external controls of growth and development, ecology of native vegetation, plant uses in horticulture, ethno-botany, and modern uses of plants for food and medicine, including genetically modified plants.  Registration is also required in Botany 115L.

               Open to freshmen and sophomores; and to others with permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 16 students per section.  This course satisfies General Education Area 1.  R. Spicer

BOTANY  115L  INTRODUCTION TO BOTANY LAB  Registration is also required in Botany 115.

BOTANY  117  INTRODUCTION TO ETHNOBOTANY  An examination of the relationship between human beings and the plant world, along with the corresponding impact on human existence.  Specific focus on how plants serve as sources of medicine or food, as well as providing technological and ecological resources.  The course considers issues relating to culture and geography in the context of prehistorical and historical data, as well as other relevant topics of current interest.  This is the same course as Anthropology 117.  This course may include an optional section that will meet for an additional hour each week to discuss supplemental readings in Spanish.  Students participating in the foreign language section will receive one additional credit hour, pass/not passed marking.

              Enrollment limited to 40 students.  M. Lizarralde

BOTANY 117f INTRODUCTION TO ETHNOBOTANY (In Spanish)  This optional section will meet for an additional hour each week to discuss supplemental readings in Spanish.  Students participating in the foreign language section will receive one additional credit hour, pass/not passed marking.  Students electing Course 117f must concurrently enroll in Anthropology/Botany 117.  M. Lizarralde

BOTANY  205  PLANTS, PROTISTS AND FUNGI  A survey of the major groups of organisms comprising plants, protists and fungi.  The primary morphological, reproductive and physiological characteristics, ecological significance and evolutionary concepts of each group will be studied.  Laboratory work will include growing specimens from each group of organisms, greenhouse experiments and field trips.

               Two lectures; four hours laboratory work.  Prerequisite:  Either Botany 115 or Biology 105.  Enrollment limited to 12 students.  P.A. Siver

BOTANY  207  SEMINAR ON INDIGENOUS USE OF TROPICAL RAINFORESTS  Emphasis on the uses of rainforest plants and animals by indigenous peoples and their potential ecological and economic applications.  Discussion on the readings of recent research will provide a rich array of data and insights into these resources and their application in community development, rainforest conservation and western economies.  This is the same course as Environmental Studies 207.  This course may include an optional section that will meet for an additional hour each week to discuss supplemental readings in Spanish.  Students participating in the foreign language section will receive one additional credit hour, pass/not passed marking.

            Prerequisite:  One course in biology or botany or one course in anthropology or permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 12 students.  M. Lizarralde

BOTANY  207f  SEMINAR ON INDIGENOUS USE OF TROPICAL RAINFORESTS (In Spanish)  This optional section will meet for an additional hour each week to discuss supplemental readings in Spanish.  Students participating in the foreign language section will receive one additional credit hour, pass/not passed marking.  Students electing Course 207f must concurrently enroll in Botany/Environmental Studies 207.  M. Lizarralde

BOTANY  209  BIOENERGY  An introduction to the range of fuels derived from plant biomass, including biodiesel, bioethanol, and advanced synthetic fuels like ″biocrude.″  We will use lecture, literature research, and group discussion to explore the environmental consequences and social and political implications of large-scale bioenergy programs.  This is the same course as Environmental Studies 209.

               Prerequisite:  One of the following courses, Biology 105, 106; Botany 115; Environmental Studies 113/Physics 113.  Enrollment limited to 30 students.  R. Spicer

BOTANY  225  SYSTEMATIC BOTANY AND THE LOCAL FLORA  The distinguishing characteristics of the principal families of ferns, conifers, and flowering plants; their geographic distribution and evolutionary relationships.  Includes numerous field trips to local areas to familiarize students with the natural flora of southern New England.

               Two lectures; four hours laboratory work.  Prerequisite:  Biology 105 or Botany 115.  Enrollment limited to 12 students per section.  C. Jones

BOTANY  293, 294  BOTANY/BIOLOGY SEMINAR SERIES  Lectures and discussions on current research in the life sciences.  Presentations by visiting scientists, Connecticut College faculty, and student researchers.  Preparation of pre-lecture questions through background readings and post-lecture summaries required.  This is the same course as Biology 293, 294.

               One meeting per week throughout the semester.  Two hours of credit, marked as pass/not passed.  These courses may be taken for a maximum of four credits.  Prerequisite:  Junior or senior status and two of the following courses:  Biology 105, 106, 207, 208, or Botany 115.  Enrollment limited to 40 students.  Offered every semester.  Botany and Biology Faculty

BOTANY  305  PLANT STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION  An integrated examination of the physiology and anatomy of vascular plants.  Topics covered include uptake, transport and use of water and mineral nutrients; the development, photosynthesis and respiration of leaves; reproduction.

               Six hours of combined lecture and laboratory work per week.  Prerequisite:  Botany 115, Biology 105 or 106; and Chemistry 103 or 107.  Enrollment limited to 12 students per laboratory section.  P. Owen

BOTANY  308  METHODS AND THEORIES OF ETHNOBOTANY  An advanced perspective of methods and theories in the science of ethnobotany.  The course introduces students to a wide variety of approaches, including cognitive, ecological, and economic.  Both quantitative and qualitative methods will be studied.  This is the same course as Anthropology/Environmental Studies 308.

               Prerequisite:  Botany 117 and either Botany 115 or Anthropology 104.  Enrollment limited to 30 students.  M. Lizarralde

BOTANY  311  ETHNOBOTANY OF SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND  An introduction to Native American plant uses in southern New England.  Field work in the Arboretum and elsewhere will introduce students to ethno-botanical field methods in addition to historical and other ethnographical materials.  Class projects will require collection, analysis and presentation of field and other data.  This is the same course as Anthropology/Environmental Studies 311.

               Three hours of integrated lecture, discussion, field and laboratory work.  Prerequisite:  Botany 225 or permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 12 students.  M. Lizarralde

BOTANY  315  PLANT ECOLOGY  The relationships of plants to other organisms and the abiotic environment.  Factors controlling the distribution and dynamics of plant populations, the structure and function of plant communities, and energy flow and nutrient cycling through ecosystems are explored through the study of regional vegetation.  Vegetation sampling, analytical techniques, and the ecological consequences of human activities are also considered.

               Two lectures; four hours of field or laboratory work.  Frequent field trips.  Prerequisite:  Biology 207 or permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 12 students.  C. Jones

BOTANY  320  ENVIRONMENTAL PLANT PHYSIOLOGY  A study through laboratory exercises of how plants work and interact with their biophysical environment.  Topics include photosynthesis, respiration, water relations, phloem transport, and plant chemical defense.

               Six hours of combined lecture and laboratory work per week. Prerequisite:  Biology 105 or 106, or Botany 115; Chemistry 103 or 107 (Chemistry 101 with permission of the instructor).  Enrollment limited to 12 students per laboratory section.  R. Spicer

BOTANY  402  ADVANCED CELL BIOLOGY  Current research on cell structure, function, and dynamics of eukaryotic cells.  Topics include cell phenomena such as apoptosis, compartmentalization, transport and trafficking, and motility.  Emphasis on papers from the primary and secondary literature.  This is the same course as Biology 402.

               Prerequisite:  Biology 106.   Biology 302, 309, or Botany 305 recommended.  Open to juniors and seniors.  Enrollment limited to 16 students.  Staff

BOTANY  410  MARINE AND FRESHWATER BOTANY  A survey of marine and freshwater algae.  Planktonic and periphytic as well as microscopic and macroscopic forms will be covered.  Primary features of each group will be studied from ecological, morphological, physiological, ultra-structural, life history and evolutionary perspectives.  Algal adaptations to major functional ecological units, survival strategies and distribution along ecological gradients also will be considered.  Laboratory includes both field and laboratory exercises.

               Three lectures; three hours laboratory.  Prerequisite:  Biology 105 and one additional course in biology or botany, which may be taken concurrently.  P. Siver

BOTANY  493, 494  SEMINAR IN BOTANY  A seminar dealing with current topics in botanical research.  Student reports, papers, discussion.

               Open to junior and senior majors, and to others with permission of the instructor.  Staff

BOTANY  493A, 494A  CONSERVATION BIOLOGY

BOTANY  493B, 494B  GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS  This course will explore scientific, technical, social and economic issues surrounding development and use of agricultural plant biotechnology, in particular trans-genetic crop varieties.  Focus will be on implications for both mechanized crop production and more traditional agriculture.  Topics will include potential impacts on human nutrition and natural ecosystems.  This is the same course as Biology 493I, 494I.

               Prerequisite:  At least three courses in biology, botany or environmental studies.  Also open to upper division anthropology and economics majors with permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 15 students.  This is a designated Writing course.  Staff

BOTANY  493K, 494K  ECOLOGICAL RESTORATION  This is the same course as Environmental Studies 493K, 494K.  Refer to the Environmental Studies listing for a course description.

BOTANY  493M, 494M  SUSTAINABILE AGRICULTURE  An overview of current topics of food production systems in both the developed and developing world.  The subject matter covered will include soil salinization, desertification, soil nutrient management, fair trade, immigrant labor, pesticide issues, biological control, local food, biotechnology, and loss of agricultural biodiversity.  There will also be field trips to local agricultural operations for observation and hands-on learning.  This is the same course as Environmental Studies 493M, 494M.

               Enrollment limited to 16 students.  Staff

BOTANY  493N, 494N  BIOFUELS  An examination of the use of biofuels by comparing various plant sources (e.g., algae, sugar cane, poplar, switchgrass) in terms of environmental impact and economic feasibility.  Discussions will draw from the fields of plant biology, biogeography, global climate change, environmental economics, and industrial chemistry.  This is the same course as Environmental Studies 493N, 494N.  Students may not receive credit for this course and  Botany/Environmental Studies 209.

               Enrollment limited to 16 students.  This is a designated Writing course.  R. Spicer

BOTANY  291, 292  INDIVIDUAL STUDY  Independent field and/or laboratory research work with a faculty member.  Offered by individual arrangement.  Course may be taken for either two or four credits.

BOTANY  391, 392  INDIVIDUAL STUDY  Independent field and/or laboratory research work with a faculty member.  Offered by individual arrangement.  Course may be taken for either two or four credits.

BOTANY  491, 492  INDIVIDUAL STUDY  Independent field and/or laboratory research work with a faculty member.  Offered by individual arrangement.  Course may be taken for either two or four credits.

BOTANY  497-498  HONORS STUDY