Botany Beginners: Exploring Iowa's Native Plants

Monday, June 8, 2020 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Event Type: 

Note: this is a series of six 1-hour sessions in June; this calendar event is for the first session only. Webinars can be viewed at your convenience, but it may be helpful to participate live to ask questions. You will also benefit by visiting natural spaces nearby to practice plant id.

Event Description

At the University of Northern Iowa’s Tallgrass Prairie Center, we identify plants in order to monitor and troubleshoot prairie plantings and evaluate the results of experiments. Also, we just love native plants! In recent years, we have trained undergraduate research students and AmeriCorps service members during a 3-week “Botany Boot Camp.” With the advent of the COVID19 pandemic, we found it necessary to provide their initial training some other way. We thought that others across the region might also want an introductory plant ID course and the opportunity to practice with some expert guidance. We have tried to create a worthwhile learning experience for a broad audience, using a combination of remote teaching strategies.  

Who should take this course? 

This course is designed for anyone who wants to learn how to identify native plants of the tallgrass prairie region, including a few common weeds and woodland species. This course is for beginners, and the emphasis is on learning how to learn the plants, and becoming more self sufficient through guided practice. Once students can learn the names of the plants they are interested in, it can open up a whole new world to explore. Please join us!

  • The course is free: to sign up for the Lesson 1 Webinar, click here to register                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
  • Click here for a peek at the syllabus, for details about your instructors, six webinar topics, four virtual field events                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
  • Required Textbook: Newcomb's Wildflower Guide (1989), available at bookstores and online for about $15.00                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
  • To join the Facebook group, search for "Botany Beginners" and simply request to join the group. It's a place to share photos, questions and answers with instructors and fellow students