Botany 2005 - Workshops

Learning From Plants
Austin, Texas
August 13 - 17, 2005
Workshop Descriptions


W-1 Writing Floristic Treatments: A Workshop for Authors, Based on the Flora North America Experience
Time: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Presenter: Dr. Nancy R. Morin, The Arboretum at Flagstaff, AZ

This workshop will sharpen authors' skills in preparing and writing treatments for major floristic projects such as the Flora of North America project. Included will be considerations for consulting herbarium specimens, on how to organize information for large taxa, on nomenclature and bibliography, and on how to provide information for illustrators. Furthermore, the entire editorial process (used by FNA) as it affects authors will be covered, from initial submission through composition. The workshop is open to all authors of floristic treatments, actual or prospective, even though the emphasis will be on FNA approaches. Participants are encouraged to review the latest FNA Guide for Contributors, as it appears on the FNA web site.

W-2 Activities & Ambassadors: Using Living Collections to Teach Schoolchildren through Field Trips
Time: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Presenter: Matthew Cole, Director of Education, Green Bay Botanical Garden, WI

The living collections in college and university gardens, greenhouses and arboreta can be a great resource for schools. Through field trips and public visits, you can promote the importance of your work, the mission of your institution, Botany, Science and the beauty of the plants themselves. School groups can be your outreach to the community, give your students experience in teaching or even serve as a revenue stream, but today's school teachers have specific needs. Teaching to standards or benchmarks alone may not convey the value of your collection or the excitement students can find in plants. Learn how to make your collections (and botany) accessible to visitors through an ambassadors and Activities field trip model. After exploring examples, participants will have a chance to work on tours that would fit their own institution. If they choose, participants can develop an outline for Ambassadors and Activities visit appropriate for their collection.

W-2 a Educating the Educator Workshop
Time: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Presenters: Stephen Brueggerhoff, Peggy Murphy, F.M. Oxley, and Marco Pinchot, IV

Come play with the Wildflower Center! During this fun, interactive workshop, educators will have the opportunity to learn about the Wildflower Center’s native plant curriculum, Exploring the Native Plant World. Wildflower Center educators will lead participants through the curriculum, illustrating selected concepts from each grade level and engaging participants in hands-on activities that demonstrate each concept.

W-3 Keep Your Biology Class Alive with Fast Plants
Time: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Presenter: Paul H. Williams, Atwood Professor Emeritus, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison & WFP Program Director, Wisconsin Fast Plants Program • University of Wisconsin – Madison, WI

Students grasp the concepts working with a life cycle of Fast plants; portable take-home experiments; techniques for producing your own seed; variation, inheritance and evolution; meet the home team of Fast Plants, known for their intensive, hands-on workshops.

W-4 Technical Writing I
Time: 8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Presenter: Beth E. Hazen, Ph.D., Production Editor, American Journal of Botany

Learn how to tighten and polish your writing, conquer the comma, identify “red flags,” and more. Pertinent grammar, punctuation, terminology and word usage, style, tables and figures. Emphasizes frequent problems and examples from manuscripts submitted for publication.

Receive reference handbook written for plant scientists, expands on workshop topics, includes problems and writing resources, premailed to participants for review and problem solving.

W-5 Teaching Through Inquiry

Time: 8:00 am - 10:00 am
Presenter: Gordon Uno, University of Oklahoma

Inquiry, which has been recognized as the method to drive science education reform, helps students discover and construct an understanding of scientific concepts on their own under the guidance of the instructor. This workshop will introduce participants to different kinds of inquiry and the general techniques of inquiry instruction using a variety of short, hands-on activities and information about the Introductory Botany course at the University of Oklahoma, which is taught using this method. In addition, participants will learn how to develop “discovery” activities on their own and how to make traditional laboratories more inquiry-oriented. We will also address the most common problems in teaching biology today, with suggestions and examples of how to deal with or overcome these problems. This workshop will introduce participants to a new biology education initiative from the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS); ideas for the initiative will be solicited.
Workshop will include an introduction to the BSA Sci program.

W-6 BSA Sci-Π: Seeds of Change in the Classroom
Time: 10:15 am - 12:15 pm
Presenter(s): Bill Dahl, Beverly Brown, Claire Hemmingway, The Botanical Society of America

The Sci-Pi project, recently initiated by the Botanical Society of America, provides an innovative and well-resourced way to address common standards of learning for science using plants. The project involves the hands-on approach of sprouting seeds to teach inquiry and the scientific process. In this project, students conduct experiments on seed germination and seedling growth, and receive feedback from peers and plant scientists. Classes across the country will be linked via a web site that facilitates discussions among students at multiple levels, including middle school, high school, and undergraduates. When students have more advanced questions, experts in the field are available. The web site includes a “Teachers Only” section where teachers can share successful approaches and access detailed supporting material for both the botanical content and using a guided inquiry or inquiry-based approach. The project is low cost and does not require specialized equipment. The activity addresses several of the National Research Council's National Science Education Standards including life cycles of organisms, structure and function in living systems, reproduction and heredity, diversity and adaptations of organisms, and interdependence of organisms. There are also many ways to create interdisciplinary links, particularly with mathematics and chemistry. It is our hope that by attending this workshop you will see the benefits of participating in our on-line scientific exchange and bring the excitement of experimenting with sprouts to your classrooms.

W-7 Writing for ESL Authors
Time: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Presenter: Beth E. Hazen, Ph.D., Production Editor, American Journal of Botany

Articles and prepositions for authors whose native language is not English.

W-8 Implementing a Cooperative Group Learning Environment in Hands-On Biology Labs for Non-majors: Lessons from the Trenches

Time: 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Presenter: Dr. Staria Vanderpool, Department of Biological Sciences, Arkansas State University

A hands-on workshop for people who may be considering modification of lab experiences for non-majors biology lab from a traditional confirmatory/demonstration model to an investigative model. Our non-majors biology program is typical of mid-size and large institutions, with high enrollment of students in a required course that is staffed by graduate teaching assistants under the supervision of an instructor. Our typical annual student enrollment in the lab is 1500 students so there are significant logistical problems involved in developing, staffing, and managing an open-ended, investigational laboratory environment. Solutions to some of these problems include using a cooperative learning method, multi-week labs, and concentration on the process of scientific investigation. Student response has been positive as we resolved implementation problems. Assessment of the effectiveness of the change indicates significant increase in the student’s overall interest in science, understanding of the use of science reasoning, and the role of science in non-science careers, thus validating the role of laboratory sciences as part of the general education component of the undergraduate degree program.

W-9 The Tree of Life
Time: 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Presenters: Brent D. Mishler, Director, University and Jepson Herbaria
Kirsten M. Fisher, Dept of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley

Reconstructing the tree of life is evolutionary biology’s greatest challenge. This workshop will provide an introduction to the concepts behind “tree thinking” and phylogenetic principles, and will review our most current understanding of the overall tree of life. We will introduce the basic methods of phylogenetic analysis and conduct a hands-on demonstration of classroom exercises appropriate for grades 9-12 and introductory university level biology classes. The green plants are emphasized, because of their utility in teaching these concepts, but the workshop will also introduce the general principles behind the algorithms that are used to build phylogenetic trees in computer analyses, and will provide an interactive demonstration of computer-based tree reconstruction. These basic exercises will provide the basis for understanding the principles behind reconstructing the tree of life, and we will discuss the practical importance of understanding the evolutionary relationships of organisms.

Target Audience: High school and introductory undergraduate biology teachers.
Sponsored by three National Science Foundation supported projects:

Deep Gene
The Green Tree of Life

W-10 C-Ferns in the Classroom
Time: 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Presenter: Whitney Crispen Hagins, Lexington High School, Lexington, MA

C-FERN of Ceratopteris is a genus of ferns that are found in many tropical and subtropical regions. They are an ideal model plant system for teaching many aspects of botany and genetics. The concept of alternation of generations actually comes alive with C-ferns since the students can see each of the generations and follow their development. Students can see the chemotactic response of sperm swimming towards the archegonia. Genetic exercises with C-FERN actively involve students in acquiring data, testing hypotheses and manipulating the organism. For example, students can follow a trait that is expressed phenotypically in 2 distinct generations (gametopyhte and sporophyte). After collecting data on F1 segregation in the gametophyte generation, students initiate and visualize fertilization by adding water to the cultures. C-FERNS are easily grown in the classroom with minimal equipment. Their relatively short life span makes them ideal organisms for student investigations. Participants will learn how to grow C-FERNS and will receive copies of investigations.

W-11 Technical Writing II
Time: 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Presenter: Beth E. Hazen, Ph.D., Production Editor, American Journal of Botany

Learn how to tighten and polish your writing, conquer the comma, identify “red flags,” and more. Pertinent grammar, punctuation, terminology and word usage, style, tables and figures. Emphasizes frequent problems and examples from manuscripts submitted for publication.
Receive reference handbook written for plant scientists, expands on workshop topics, includes problems and writing resources.

Questions About Botany Meetings should be directed to: BSA Meetings Manager:
Johanne Stogran
Botanical Society of America Meetings Office
2813 Blossom Ave
Columbus, OH 43231
Tele: (614) 899-9356 - Fax: (614) 895-7866 - E-mail:
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