Medical Ethnobotany is a subject of study that rests at the intersection of several different social, biological and physical science disciplines. As such there are many different ways to consider it. In this course we will attempt to develop holistic perspectives of human interactions with environments that are focused on health care through three major paradigms/views: 1) Molecular view (how does a molecule see things?), 2) Botanical view (how do plants see things?), and 3) Cultural view (how do people see things?). Each of these is multifaceted.

This course employs a "problem-based learning" strategy for developing skills, learning new materials and concepts, and discussing the discipline of medical ethnobotany. For students who are accustomed to memorizing their way to examinations this may be an unexpected and difficult change of pace. However, for students planning to attend medical school or to work within a research environment, this is an opportunity to practice the skills that will be needed in the future.