Botany Field School
Biol 4499/5599 – 3 credits of upper-division botany.
Week 1: June 14-19 – Idaho State University, Pocatello Campus
Week 2: June 20-26 – 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.
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, 2021. 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.
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:
- 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:
- 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:
- 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).*
- Plant Identification Terminology, An Illustrated Glossary by J.G. Harris and M. Woolf Harris (Spring Lake Publishing) is highly recommended.
- 10x hand lens
- Plant collecting tool
- field notebook (rite-in-rain notebooks work great and can be purchased at the Idaho Museum of Natural History store) for the class.
- Plant presses
*1st edition copies of Flora of the Pacific Northwest will be provided if the student does not want to purchase their own book.
How to enroll:
Enrollment is limited. Priority preference will be given to students who apply by April 30, 2021. Later applications will be considered until spots are filled.
Students will be accepted based on instructor approval if they have not taken Biology 1102 or 2213/2214.
- 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.
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.
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. A pre-class planning meeting will provide an opportunity to review materials, gear, and clothing needed or recommended for the class.
Register at: https://www.isu.edu/registrar/, Class Schedule > Biological Sci > Course Number = 4499
> Course Title = Botany Field Camp.
About the instructors:
Michael Mancuso is a freelance botanist based out of Boise with 30 years of field experience working with the Idaho flora. Most of his projects support rare plant species and plant community 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 B.S. in Microbiology at Colorado State University. He received his Master of Natural Science with a concentration in botany at the University of Idaho.
Trista Crook has been the Life Sciences Collection Manager at the Ray J. Davis Herbarium at ISU since March 2020. She has extensive experience conducting botanical surveys and plant ecology field research throughout the western United States and in Wisconsin. Highlights include mapping invasive plants at Death Valley National Park, conducting vegetation monitoring and a lichen flora in southeast Arizona, mapping plant communities in Boulder County Parks and Open Space in Colorado, mapping a rare endemic plant and collecting rare plant seed in New Mexico, participating in a project documenting the flora of a state park in Wisconsin, and conducting vegetation monitoring for the Northern Colorado Plateau Inventory & Monitoring Network of the National Park Service based out of Moab, Utah. She has also worked for herbaria in Colorado, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. She holds a BA in Environmental, Population, and Organismic Biology from the University of Colorado and an MRes (Master of Research) in Ecology from the University of Nottingham. Her primary interests are in conservation biology, botany, and lichenology.