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Botany Field School

Mountainous scene with people examining plant life

Biol 4499/5599 – 3 credits of upper-division botany.

  • Week 1: June 13-18 – Idaho State University, Pocatello Campus

  • Week 2: June 19-25 – Field Camp - Mackay, Idaho

Idaho State University/Idaho Museum of Natural History is offering a 2-week, 3-credit botany field class for summer, 2021. The first week will be based from the ISU campus in Pocatello, and entail a mix of classroom time and field trips. A private cabin north of Mackay, Idaho will serve as our base for the second week, which will include daily field trips and group plant identification sessions. The course focus is acquiring field plant identification skills and the collection and preparation of botanical specimens. The course will be valuable for individuals interested in botany, ecology, conservation, education, or related careers.

Course instructors are Michael Mancuso ( and Trista Crook (

Join us for exploring and learning the Idaho flora!

The course is open to students from ISU and elsewhere and to non-degree seeking individuals and professionals. Enrollment limited. Preference will be given to students who register by April 30, 2022. Students should expect to spend at least half of their time on field trips to a variety of locations and habitats. Students should be prepared for outdoor physical activity, including hiking and being in rocky terrain.

Course Goals:

Through a combination of class time lectures, plant identification/keying sessions, and time in the field visiting different habitats and collecting plant specimens you will:

  1. Learn to sight-recognize plant families important in the Idaho/Pacific Northwest/Intermountain West regions.
  2. Learn to identify unknown plants using keys, regional floras, and other resources.
  3. Learn how to make plant collections for scientific use.
  4. Be introduced to field techniques to measure selected vegetation attributes.

The Botany Field Camp will satisfy 3 upper division botany credits for the following Biological Sciences majors:

  • Biology B.S. with Integrative Organismal Biology
  • Biology B.S. with Ecology and Conservation Biology Concentration
  • Biology B.A. with Natural History Concentration
  • Biology B.A. with Biology Education Concentration

What You Will Need:

Required Book:

  • Students will provide their own copy of Flora of the Pacific Northwest 2nd edition, by C.L. Hitchcock and A. Cronquist (University of Washington Press).

Recommended Book:

  • Plant Identification Terminology, An Illustrated Glossary by J.G. Harris and M. Woolf Harris (Spring Lake Publishing) is highly recommended.

Other Supplies:

  • 10x hand lens
  • Plant collecting tool (optional)
  • field notebook (rite-in-rain notebooks work great and can be purchased at the Idaho Museum of Natural History store) for the class.

Supplies Provided:

  • Plant presses 

How to enroll:

Enrollment is limited. Priority preference will be given to students who apply by April 30, 2022. Later applications will be considered until spots are filled.

Students will be accepted based on instructor approval.

  • Recommended prerequisites: BIOL 1102 (Biology II), BIOL 2213 (Fall Flora), or BIOL 2214 (Spring Flora).
  • For non-degree seeking individuals, some prior introduction to plant biology OR a strong interest in learning about the Idaho flora would be needed.

Costs: The class is 3 credits of upper division botany. There will be an additional fee of $700.00. This fee will pay for field trips transportation, board and room at the private field camp, and supplies.

Scholarships are available. For more information contact Samantha Hutchinson (, Administrative Assistant for the Department of Biological Sciences.

Once registered, you will receive periodic emails as new information related to the class becomes available. Please email the instructors if you have any questions regarding this course and with any food allergies or other existing conditions that the instructors will need to know about. 

Register at: Registration Page, Class Schedule > Biological Sci > Course Number = 4449/5599 > Course Name = Botany Field Camp, 32443/32444

About the instructors: