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Plant Biology: SU: Plants on the Move

PBIO 095 OL1 (CRN: 61617)

3 Credit Hours—Seats Available!

About PBIO 095 OL1

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Related Program

High School & Pre-College Programs


Dates: May 24 - June 18, 2021

More Information

Section Description

The course covers topics in basic plant biology such as plant life history and growth, taxonomy and ecology but will use plant invasions as a tool to study basic plant biology. In addition, the topic of plant invasions will allow for an exploration of the socio-economic costs of invasive plants, the various agencies (local conservation groups, state agencies, National and International policy groups) that are involved in studying and trying to eradicate invasive plants. We cover several topics in the course that directly relate to the theme of sustainability including the role of current trade practices on the spread of invasive plants, how climate change may make the world more weedy and the role that human movement and immigration has had and will continue to have on invasive plant species. We will also study several of the worst invasive species in Vermont including Japanese knotweed, which is listed as one of the 100 of the world’s worst weeds. The course will include topics on how human behavior can both promote and stop the spread of invasive species and also how cultural biases may affect what species are considered invasive.

Section Expectation

The student will be able to explain the causes and consequences of plant invasions and learn how human societies are contributing to their abundance. Students will be able to identify the common invasive plant species in the Northeastern United States and the students will become familiar with where these species occur Students will learn what local, state, national and international agencies are involved in regulating invasive plant species. Students will gain skills in persuasive writing through an Op-Ed piece. Students will increase their writing skills through the weekly posted written assignments.


Major Assignments: 1. Invasive Plant Identification online: Students will be required to research invasive plants online and identify the 10 most invasive plants in New England. 2. Invasive Plant Identification in the field. Students will be required to visit natural areas to find and document with photos invasive plants growing in local areas. 3. Ecosystem Assessment: Each student will be required to visit a wetland and compare a wetland that is not invaded to a wetland that is invaded. 4. Risk Assessment: Each student will be required to carry out a risk assessment for an invasive species. 5. Essays:Each student will be responsible for reading/watching the assigned material for the week and handing in weekly essays. 6. OpEd: Each student will be responsible for writing an Opinion editorial that is suitable to be published in a local paper on one of the issues that we discuss in class. 7. Online discussion. Students will be evaluated on their individual discussion entries as well as their comments on the discussion postings of others.




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