Botany Field School
Biol 499/599 – 3 credits of upper division botany.
- Week 1: June 17-21 – Idaho State University
- Week 2: June 22-30 – Field Camp - Mackay, Idaho
Idaho State University/Idaho Museum of Natural History is offering a 2 week, 3 credit botany field class for summer, 2019. The first week will be based from the ISU campus in Pocatello; the second week from the Lost River Field Station north of Mackay, Idaho. Both weeks will be a mix of field trips and classroom time. The course focus will be 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 Janet Bala and Michael Mancuso
Join us for exploring and learning the Idaho flora!
Through a combination of class time lectures, keying sessions, and time in the field visiting different habitats and collecting plant specimens you will:
- Learn to sight-recognize plant families important in the Idaho/Pacific Northwest/Intermountain West regions.
- Learn to identify unknown plants using keys and regional floras.
- Learn how to make plant collections for scientific use.
- Be introduced to basic ecological concepts relevant to field botany.
- 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: Integrative Organismal Biology, Ecology and Conservation Biology, It will also satisfy upper division botany credits in the Bachelor of Arts, Natural History, and Biology Education.
What to expect:
- 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 carrying equipment over rocky terrain.
- Appropriate attire and gear should include hat, rain coat, insect repellent, sunscreen, sturdy footwear, and long sleeve and long pant clothing.
- You will need to bring a 10x hand lens, plant collecting tool, and a field notebook (write-in-rain notebooks work great and can be purchased at the IMNH store).
- Plant Identification Terminology, An Illustrated Glossary by James G. Harris and Melinda Woolf Harris is highly recommended.
- Plant keys and plant presses will be provided.
How to enroll:
Enrollment is limited. Priority preference will be given to students who apply by April 30, 2019. Later applications will be considered until spots are filled.
Students will be accepted based on instructor approval.
- It is recommended that students have taken Biology 1102, or Biol 2213/2214 Fall or Spring Flora, but not mandatory.
- For non-degree seeking individuals, some prior introduction to plant biology OR a strong interest in learning about the Idaho flora would be needed.
You will be able to register once approval is received from the instructor. Once registered, you will receive periodic emails as new information related to the class becomes available.
To be accepted, you will need to email instructor, Janet Bala, with your information and a brief paragraph about why you would like to take the class, including a brief description of any past field botany experience you may have.
Costs: The class is 3 credits of upper division botany. There will be an additional fee of $700.00. These fees will pay for field trips transportation, board, and room at the Field Camp, and supplies.
About the instructors:
Janet Bala has been the Life Sciences Collection Manager at the Ray J. Davis herbarium, IMNH since 2009. Before that she taught BIOL 1101, 1101L, Biology I and Lab, BIOL 2213 Fall Flora, BIOL 2214 Spring Flora, BIOL 4412L Systematic Botany Lab and BIOL 4491, 4492 Senior Seminars.
She has a double degree in Biology and Botany from Idaho State University, and a M.S. in Biology, with a Botany emphasis from Idaho State University. Her master’s research focused on the effects of nutrient limitations on sex allocation in gynodioecious Geranium richardsonii (GERANIACEAE). These days her current work is focused on collections for the Ray J. Davis herbarium and identification of Idaho’s flora.
Michael Mancuso is a freelance botanist based out of Boise with over 25 years of field experience with the Idaho flora. Most of his work involves conducting rare plant species surveys, designing and implementing rare plant species and vegetation monitoring plans, and other projects supporting plant conservation efforts in Idaho and adjacent states. He has taught Systematic Botany Lecture and Lab (Botany 305) at Boise State University. Before 2006, he was a staff biologist/botanist, botany program leader for the Idaho Conservation Data Center within the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. Mike received his Bachelor of Science in Microbiology at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado. He received his Master of Natural Science with a concentration in botany at University of Idaho.