Botany for Beginners - with Vanessa Beauchamp - Six Sessions
Join us for a six session class on Botany for Beginners. No prior botanical or scientific knowledge is necessary to enjoy this course. We’ll start out by covering basic plant structure and function and discuss topics like plant growth and movement of materials like water and sugar. From there we’ll move to a survey of the plant kingdom and the evolutionary changes that have given us a diversity of plant types. We’ll finish up with an optional field trip to Rawlings Conservatory to get an up close look at some of the plants and adaptations we’ve studied. The course will combine lecture and hands-on workshop components to introduce you to the fascinating world of plants.
Week 1 – Wednesday, March 22, 7-9 pm: Plant Cells and Tissues – Learn about cell components that make plants unique from animals. We’ll cover the basic plant tissues and talk about how plants move sugar and water. Parenchyma, collenchyma and sclerenchyma, oh my!
Week 2 – Wednesday, March 29, 7-9 pm: Stems, Roots and Leaves – Learn more about basic plant structure and explore some adaptations that help plants survive in challenging environments.
Week 3 – Wednesday, April 5, 7-9 pm. Growth Up and Out – If you put a nail in a tree trunk, where will that nail be in ten years? We’ll find out the answer and learn more about how plants grow.
Week 4 – Wednesday, April 12, 7-9 pm. Classification and Non-vascular Plants - We’ll talk about the major groups of plants and cover a bit of plant reproduction, with a focus on the non-vascular plants like mosses.
Week 5 – Wednesday April 19, 7-9 pm. Spores and Seeds - Learn about how evolutionary advances gave us plants like ferns and pine trees. Don’t know what lycopodium, equisetum or psilotum are? You’ll find out here.
Week 6 – Wednesday, April 26, 7-9 pm. Flowers and Fruit – Strawberries and blackberries are not really berries, but tomatoes are. Intrigued? We’ll talk about flowers, pollination and the development and classification of different fruit types. Bring your favorite fruit to share!
Optional field trip Saturday, May 6 – Rawlings Conservatory in Druid Hill Park. Suggested donation of $5 per person. Details forthcoming.
Instructor: Vanessa Beauchamp, Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Towson University
Cost: $144 - Pay online only at www.marylandnature.org/events.
Suggested resource: Botany for Dummies, by Rene Fester Kratz – The title is unfortunate but this is a good, inexpensive, beginner-level resource. It covers much more than we will be able to in our six-week session.