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Idaho State University

As Idaho State University continues to monitor and respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, a decision has been made regarding summer sessions. With the safety and well-being of our campus community in mind, all first session summer terms will move from face-to-face courses to distance-based instruction options. As Botany Field School cannot be moved to distance-based instruction we have made the hard decision to cancel but hope to offer again next year.

Botany Field School

Biol 499/599 – 3 credits of upper-division botany.


  • Week 1: June 15-19 – Idaho State University
  • Week 2: June 20-27 – Field Camp - Mackay, Idaho

Idaho State University/Idaho Museum of Natural History is offering a 2 week, 3-credit botany field class for summer, 2020. The first week will be based from the ISU campus in Pocatello; the second week from a private cabin 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 Michael Mancuso and Janet Bala

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, 2020.

Course goals:

Through a combination of class time lectures, 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 and regional floras.
  3. Learn how to make plant collections for scientific use.
  4. Be introduced to basic ecological concepts relevant to field botany.
  5. 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. 

About the instructors: