Instructor: Dr. L. S. Jernigan, Jr.
Office: 2231 Oxendine
Phone: 910-521-6884

Course Description

This course is an introduction to the theory and practice of field botany, focusing on higher plants. Topics will include basic taxonomy, collection of field data, monitoring and sampling techniques, physiological and population ecology, and a general treatment of the plant communities of North Carolina..

Course Objectives

As a part of the General Education curriculum, this course assists with development of critical thinking and problem solving skills as well as providing a general knowledge of principles and concepts that assist with understanding and appreciation of the plants around us.

This course should enable you to understand key concepts, general principles, and terminology fundamental to field botany. You should gain a working knowledge of the techniques used to study plants in the field. We will examine ecological processes that affect plants communities and discuss both abiotic and biotic factors involved in the interactions between plants and their environment. Field and laboratory exercises will give you hands-on experience working with plants and applying field botany techniques.


Class attendance is required and will be monitored. Regardless of the reason, when a student is absent from class, he/she is still responsible for any material covered, announcements, handouts, or tests. Students are allowed absence from two weeks of class meetings or two labs without a penalty. Two weeks of class meetings are defined as 4 class periods for a TR class. Excused absences do not exist. Tardiness and leaving early will result in penalty absences (2 late arrivals, 2 early departures or a combination of the two that totals 2 will equal 1 absence). For each class period missed in excess of the above mentioned allowance, 1.5 points will be deducted from the student’s final average. For each lab period missed in excess of the 2 allowed, 5 points will be deducted from the student’s final average.

Course Requirements and Evaluation

Always bring your textbook to class. Students should complete assigned readings prior to the topics being covered in class. Student participation during lectures is expected and encouraged.

Student performance will be evaluated via 3 lecture exams (45%), a comprehensive final exam (25%), and a lab project (30%). Details of lab project will be given later. Lecture exams will include lab information. Make-up of a missed exam will be allowed for reasonable excuses and will only be given at the end of the semester. Attendance, attitude, and evidence of effort will be considered in determining final grades in borderline cases. You should read and be familiar with the UNC-P Honor Code in the Student Handbook.

Exams will cover lecture notes, assigned readings, and any additional handouts. The format of the exams will be multiple choice and discussion questions. Students will be expected to interpret data and to draw conclusions from their interpretations.

The course grading scale is as follows (same as the university):

A = 93 - 100 A- = 90 - 92
B+ = 87 - 89 B = 83 - 86 B- = 80 - 82
C+ = 77 - 79 C = 73 - 76 C- = 70 - 72
D+ = 67 - 69 D = 63 - 66 D- = 60 - 62
F = below 60

Disability Support Services

Any student with a documented disability needing academic adjustments is requested to speak directly to Disability Support Services and the instructor, as early in the semester (preferably within the first class week) as possible. All discussions will remain confidential. Please contact Mary Helen Walker, Disability Support Services, DF Lowry Bldg., 521-6695.

This syllabus is available in alternative formats upon request. Please contact Mary Helen Walker, Disability Support Services, DF Lowry Bldg., 521-6695.

Texts: Plant Identification Terminology, 2nd Ed., by James G. Harris and Melinda Woolf Harris

Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas, by A. E. Radford, H. E. Ahles, and C. R. Bell (recommended but not required)

Reference books will also be available in the laboratory.

Lecture: Oxendine 2237 Lab: Oxendine 1111

Dr. L. S. Jernigan, Oxendine 2231, Phone: 521-6884

Week Beginning

Lecture Topic

Text Chapters

Lab Assignment

18 Aug

Syllabus; Introduction


No Lab

25 Aug

Roots, Stems, and Leaves HOFB p.1-9; PIT p. 137-164 Veg. Morph.

1 Sep

Labor Day Holiday = No Monday Class; Flowers and Fruits

HOFB p.10-21
PIT 164-202
Flowers & Fruits

8 Sep

Flowers and Fruits cont'd; Review VPT p.67-76 Pressing Tech.

15 Sep

Exam 1; Plant Collecting; Plant Classification; Dichotomous Keys HOFB p.22-47
Keys & Plant Identification

22 Sep

Plant Distributions; NC Plant Communities (Coastal Plain) Handout Coastal Field Trip(1)

29 Sep

Review Plants from Coastal Field Trip; NC Plant Communities cont'd.; Review Handout Lumber River

6 Oct

Exam 2; NC Plant Communities (Piedmont & Mountains); Mid-semester Break Handout Carolina Bay (2)

13 Oct

Quantitative Plant Sampling


20 Oct

Quantitative Plant Sampling cont'd.; Plant Succession - Climax & Stability HOFB p. 48-54 Quant. Sampl. I

27 Oct

Plant Succession cont'd.; Review

Handout Quant. Sampl. II

3 Nov

Exam 3; Winter Twig ID I.D. of SE Trees in Winter Winter Twig I.D.

10 Nov

Disc. of Plant Sampling; Pteridophytes MVFC and VPT Raven Rock (1)

17 Nov


MVFC and VPT Collections Due

24 Nov

Angiosperms; Thanksgiving Holiday (Wed - Fri) MVFC and VPT  

1 Dec

Angiosperms cont'd.; Review; Dec 5 = Last Day of Class    

FINAL EXAM - DEC 9 (TUES) 10:45am    

(1)All day week-end field trip

(2) Field Trip uses lecture and lab time