Dr. Don Stratton is one of the friendly and helpful faculty advisors for Plant Biology and Integrated Biological Sciences students.

First Year Advising

Students can major in Plant Biology through either the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) or the College of Arts and Science (CAS). Requirements for the major are the same regardless of your college, but the distribution requirements for CALS and CAS are each a little different. First-year students in both colleges are assigned a specialized first-year advisor within the college's Dean's office. These exclusive first-year advisors are well poised to help beginning students navigate the many options before you while staying on track for your major.

Plant Biology Major Advising

After your first year, Plant Biology majors are assigned a faculty advisor in the Plant Biology Department who will guide you through the rest of your academic career. Plant Biology faculty are experienced academic advisors who are regularly available to work with you to design a program of study that matches your interests and talents. You and your advisor will work together to design your undergraduate major, make a plan to complete the course requirements for your degree in Plant Biology, and choose your courses each semester.

In addition to helping you navigate course requirements for your degree, your faculty advisor is an invaluable resource in directing you to opportunities for student research, internships, and summer enrichment. Advisors also help develop junior-year-abroad plans and advise you on next steps after UVM. If you cultivate a rich relationship with your advisor during your time at UVM, you’ll be able to request a letter of reference from someone who has followed your path as a college student and knows you well, which can be important in landing your first job or your acceptance into graduate school.

When do I meet with my advisor?

It is your responsibility to request meetings with your advisor. You should meet with your advisor at least once each semester, and more often if you feel the need. You generally set up meeting times by email. When meeting with your advisor, come prepared with your ideas about program of study and courses you may take, as well as any questions you have. Advisors also do a lot of communicating with students via email to answer the many questions that come up during your time as a Plant Biology major.  The partnership between you and your advisor is important in supporting your success as a Plant Biology student at UVM.

You can find your advisor assignment in the myUVM portal. If you wish to switch to a different faculty advisor at some point during your studies, you can make that request by emailing the department staff at plantbio@uvm.edu.