NS 346 - Plant Science and Lab  


This course focuses on the fundamental aspects of plant science, including plant growth and development, plant structure, reproduction, propagation methods, physiological plant ecology and plant evolution, with an emphasis on both the role of plants in natural and disturbed ecosystems. The class connects the applications of basic plant science to agriculture, horticulture, forestry and natural history. Lab exercises are integrated with concepts presented in class. Prerequisites NS 205 Environmental Science and NS 254 Biology.

Plant Science and Lab Syllabus 

Spring 2013  

Instructor: Dr. Charlotte Rosendahl, 586-7711 (ext 109), crosendahl@steringcollege.edu

Required Text: Stern's Introductory Plant Biology by James Bidlack, Shelley Jansky, Kingsley Stern. 

                            The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World by Michael Pollan  

Assignments and grading policy:

There are a total of points in this class - 700. 

Transplant Journal: We are going to grow all the transplants for the Sterling College Garden this year and each of you will have a set of transplants that you will be responsible for. In a journal, you will be required to keep track of the health and growth of these transplants. This project will be done in collaboration with the Garden Manager and the Garden Crew. Total 50 points.

The Plant Proposal: This project will give you an opportunity to explore what it means to do research with plant. In this project you will be asked to propose a new research project to be done with a particular plant, but not actually do it. This process with have a peer-review component and will be treated as if you had really written a grant to actually conduct this research and apply for money.  Total 100 points.

Laboratory Reports: Each week we will have one formal lab session on Friday and you will be required to turn in a lab write up the following week (most weeks). Total 10 x 20 – 200 points

Exams: There will be 4 quizzes on the Botany of Desire (each 25 points) and 2 exams (midterm and final) (each 100 points).  Total of 300 points.

The Fun and Helpful Quizzes: Those of you that have taken classes from me before have had these end of chapter quizzes. They are purely for you to review the material and assess your learning. You will gain extra credits for the questions that you get right and will not be punished by the questions you answer wrong.

Expectations of students:

Students are expected to have read the written material provided before coming to class.  If you are not prepared for class or is tired please to do not come to class. Students are responsible for the contents of the text assigned and the contents of the lectures.  Inappropriate behavior such as being quiet, showing up late and other disruptive behavior will result in a dismissal from the class. Late assignments are NOT accepted and make-up tests are not possible except in the event of serious injury or illness (note from doctor is required), family death, court appearance or official College activities.


Grading Scale:

A   = 93-100    A= 89-93       B+=86-89

B   = 83-86      B-  = 79-83       C+=76-79

C   = 73-76       C-  = 69-73       D+= 66-69

D   = 63-66      D- = 60-63       F   = < 60

There will be no curving of the grades. A straight percentage scale will be used.

Academic integrity:

Scholastic dishonesty will not be tolerated and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent. You are expected to have read and understood the current issue of the student handbook regarding student responsibilities and rights, and the intellectual property policy, for information about procedures and about what constitutes acceptable on-campus behavior. 

Students with disabilities:

Students bring a variety of learning styles to class.  We do our best to support different learning modes by mixing lecture, discussion, hands-on work, and visual information.  Please feel free to let us know what mode works best for you—we will do our best to accommodate your learning style.   If you have a learning challenge or documented disability, please check in with Leland Peterson, Learning Support Coordinator. Leland can help you determine accommodations that can be helpful in this course.


Information contained in this syllabus other than the grading, late assignments, makeup work and attendance policies may be subject to change with advance notice as deemed appropriate by the instructor.