Monday, July 2 - Thursday, July 26
8:30 - 11:00 a.m.

Room 112 Jeffords Hall

Instructor Contact Information:
Dr. Catherine A. Paris
  308 Jeffords Hall
802-656-0426 (office)
802-338-0312 (cell)

Course Overview

Welcome to Plant Biology 006, The Green World!  This course, designed for students whose main interests are outside of the life sciences, will introduce to you the fascinating world of plants.  Plants, as you know, are the basis of our planet’s life support system.  Understanding their use (and abuse!) is fundamental to understanding human cultures.  Over the course of the next four weeks, we will explore how plants live, grow, and reproduce; how humans have used plants for food, medicine, clothing, and shelter; and many other topics of interest today. 

The course includes two main topic areas, Basic Plant Biology and Plants and Human Affairs.  We will spend approximately half the course on each topic.


The lecture sequence in this course generally follows that of Levetin and McMahon's Plants and Society, ed. 5.  A reading assignment is given for each topic on the lecture schedule: please prepare for class by reading the assigned material ahead of time.   Several copies are on reserve in the Bailey/Howe library.  You can doubtless find used copies on the web (be sure to look for edtion 5).  Alternatively, you can buy access to a digital version of the textbook by going to 


What is Blackboard? – Blackboard is a software package that provides students with online access to course content.  We have used it to create a web site for PBIO 006 – only those students registered for the course can access it.   Students in PBIO 006 are expected to become familiar with the website and to use it regularly: it is an integral part of the course.

How will we use Blackboard in PBIO 006?  In many ways: to begin with, the syllabus and lecture schedule are posted on the website.  It is also where you will find the slides used in class, extra readings, and your course grades.  Class announcements, reminders about upcoming exams, occasional quizzes, and other course information will appear on the web site throughout the semester.

How do I access the PBIO 006 Web site? – It’s easy!  You can access the site from any computer that has an Internet connection by logging on using your UVM NetID and password.


You will take three exams in Plant Biology 006 over the course of the next four weeks, two hourlies and a final.  The final will be cumulative.

  • Exam 1: July 12
  • Exam 2: July 20 (Note: this is a Friday, a makeup day, as we have no class on Independence Day)
  • Final Exam: July 26

  • Quizzes

    A quiz will be posted every day on Blackboard.  These will be short and will cover recent course material.  Quizzes will not be given on exam days.


    One of the goals of PBIO 006 is to engage you in closer observation of the green world than you may have done before.  To facilitate that observation, each student will focus on a particular flowering plant and track it through the four weeks of the course.  More details will be provided soon, but this will get you started: 
    Need ideas?  Some of the flowering plants that you can look for include basswood (a tree), clovers and vetches, wild strawberry, and white campion.  Cultivated (garden) plants blooming around this time of year include certain lilies, clematis, delphinium, foxglove, tomatoes, and sweet pea.  The gardens planted around Jeffords Hall may contain just the plant you need!


    Your final grade will be calculated as follows:

    Hourly exams (15% each) ---------------- 30%

    Final exam ---------------------------------- 25%

    Quizzes -------------------------------------- 20%

    Project ----------------------------------------15%

    Attendance, participation ----------------- 10%

    Academic Integrity

    Academic integrity is expected of all UVM students.  The University of Vermont has a strict policy concerning academic integrity; violations of this policy will not be tolerated.  Consequences for violation range from a zero on the test or assignment to expulsion from the University.  The UVM policy on academic integrity can be found at:

    Course Etiquette 

    Please adhere to the following guidelines:

    Thank you for your participation!
    Cathy Paris