Upcoming events

    • 22 Mar 2017
    • 26 Apr 2017
    • 6 sessions
    • The Natural History Society of Maryland, 6908 Belair Road Baltimore, MD 21206
    Registration is closed

    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

    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. 

Past events

25 Mar 2017 Moss Workshop
27 Feb 2017 Maryland Mammals - with Kerry Wixted - Five Sessions
25 Feb 2017 Moss Workshop
28 Jan 2017 Moss Workshop
31 Dec 2016 Moss Workshop
26 Nov 2016 Moss Workshop
06 Nov 2016 Fossil Trip: Stratford Cliffs, with John Nance
29 Oct 2016 Moss Workshop
16 Oct 2016 Fossil Trip: Scientists Cliffs, with John Nance
13 Oct 2016 October 13 Mushroom Walk
04 Oct 2016 Maryland's Geology - with Martin Schmidt - Six Sessions
24 Sep 2016 Moss Workshop
21 Sep 2016 WILD PLANT WORKSHOP SERIES: demonstrations for using wild plants for a variety of techniques and applications
20 Sep 2016 volunteer night
27 Aug 2016 Moss Workshop
20 Aug 2016 Wild Edible Field Trip with Nick Spero
17 Aug 2016 Wild Edible Field Trip with Nick Spero
30 Jul 2016 Moss Workshop
17 Jul 2016 Wild Edible Field Trip with Nick Spero
13 Jul 2016 Wild Edible Field Trip with Nick Spero
22 Jun 2016 Wild Edible Field Trip with Nick Spero
18 Jun 2016 Wild Edible Field Trip with Nick Spero
28 May 2016 Moss Workshop
21 May 2016 Spring Bird Walk - Cromwell Valley Park
30 Apr 2016 Moss Workshop
26 Mar 2016 Moss Workshop
20 Mar 2016 A Celebration of Song with Wil Hershberger
27 Feb 2016 Moss Workshop
20 Feb 2016 William Hamilton Gibson: Naturalist, Artist, Author
17 Feb 2016 May the Quartz Be With You
30 Jan 2016 Moss Workshop
16 Jan 2016 History of Life Through Fossils
26 Dec 2015 Moss Workshop
28 Nov 2015 Moss Workshop
24 Oct 2015 Moss Workshop
17 Oct 2015 Basic Botanical Drawing with Mary Ellen Carsley
14 Oct 2015 History of Life Through Fossils
10 Oct 2015 Listening for Bats with Shannon Pederson
28 Sep 2015 What's this plant?
26 Sep 2015 Maryland Fish - In the River with Stan Kemp
26 Sep 2015 Moss Workshop
14 Sep 2015 What's this plant?
29 Aug 2015 Moss Workshop
24 Aug 2015 What's this plant?
10 Aug 2015 What's this plant?
06 Aug 2015 Songs of Insects with Wil Hershberger
27 Jul 2015 What's this plant?
25 Jul 2015 Moss Workshop