Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
BI 202
Course Title:
Botany: An Introduction to the Plant Kingdom
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

A laboratory science course designed to have students develop knowledge about plant anatomy, physiology, how humans interact with plants, and particularly taxonomy with an evolutionary focus. Areas covered include mosses, ferns, conifers, and flowering plants. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Recommended for students interested in agriculture, horticulture, ethnobotany, and general botany. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

1. Fieldwork Statement
Fieldwork is a professional competence in many areas of Biology. Standard field practices include measurements of abiotic and biotic components. Fieldwork includes use of all the senses to make observations in natural and built environments. Field training may include developing skills in site characterization, measurement and data collection, application of key terms and concepts, species identification, and observation. Certain protocols may require use of equipment, chemicals, and expensive gear. Field training is experiential often leading to unique sets of observations/data in particular locations. Fieldwork may include inherent risks (uneven terrain, off-trail work with map & compass, variable weather, insects, environmental irritants, travel, stress, etc.). Fieldwork can be physically challenging and may require overland travel on foot or unusual means to field points, carrying field equipment (as well as food, water, and safety equipment), taking measurements under duress (learning new protocols, requiring remaining in an unusual posture or position for a length of time, timing pressures for certain procedures, holding organisms, variable weather, etc.), survival skills, orienteering, and so on.

2. Evolution Statement

To clarify the teaching of evolution and its place in the classroom, the Portland Community College Biology Departments stand by the following statements about what is science and how the theory of evolution is the major organizing theory in the discipline of the biological sciences.
Science is a fundamentally nondogmatic and self-correcting investigatory process. In science, a theory is neither a guess, dogma, nor myth. The theories developed through scientific investigation are not decided in advance, but can be and often are modified and revised through observation and experimentation.
The theory of evolution meets the criteria of a scientific theory. In contrast, creation "science" is neither self-examining nor investigatory. Creation "science" is not considered a legitimate science, but a form of religious advocacy. This position is established by legal precedence (Webster v. New Lenox School District #122, 917 F. 2d 1004).
Biology instructors of Portland Community College will teach the theory of evolution not as absolute truth but as the most widely accepted scientific theory on the diversity of life. We, the Biology Subject Area Curriculum Committee at Portland Community College, therefore stand with such organizations as the National Association of Biology Teachers in opposing the inclusion of pseudo-sciences in our science curricula.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Biology 202 students will be able to:
*give oral and written plant-oriented tours of natural and built environments using appropriate vocabulary to explain ecosystems, plant interactions with other
species and abiotic components of the environment, and plant classification.
*employ, individually and collaboratively, established taxonomical schemes used in identifying, classifying, describing, and studying plants.
*apply humans' historical and cultural connections with plants to current economies, art, city planning, home uses, agricultural practices, and international
* collect data about ecosystems in various natural areas (from preserves, arboreta, and city and state parks to more technological urban/suburban
environments) for comparison, understanding of individual plant needs, ecosystem health, biodiversity assessment, and planning stewardship needs.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessment tasks may include:

  • Major independent projects, such as, botanical collections with ecosystem reports, experiential learning plus journals, written papers that require library research, and field journals.
  • Open-ended essay questions and multiple-choice exams.
  • Classroom assessments such as quizzes, one minute summaries, etc.
  • Scientific papers that follow standard scientific format presenting independent investigations and may include peer-review(s).
  • Oral presentations of botanical information, positions on contemporary issues that involve plants, laboratory results, and/or major independent projects.
  • Design and interpretation of field studies.
  • Scientific article critiques.
  • Laboratory exams and quizzes.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes and Concepts may include any subset of the following and each subset will include historical and cultural contexts:

  1. An introduction to plant anatomy and morphology.
  2. An introduction to plant cells and physiology.
  3. Life cycle and characteristics of the phyla Bryophyta, Hepatophyta, and Anthocerophyta.
  4. Life cycle and characteristics of the phyla Lycophyta, Psilophyta, Sphenophyta, and Pterophyta.
  5. Life cycle and characteristics of the phyla Ginkgophyta, Cycadophyta, and Gnetophyta.
  6. Life cycle and characteristics of the phylum Coniferophyta.
  7. Life cycle and characteristics of the phylum Anthophyta.
  8. Taxonomic features of the common Pacific Northwest plant families.
  9. The use and construction of phylogenies and dichotomous keys.
  10. The meaning of phylogenetic reconstruction and evolutionary relationships.