Laboratory Syllabus - Fall 2006

LOCATION: Rm. 004, Butler Hall (Next to Heldenfels Hall)

LAB COORDINATOR: Monique Dubrule Reed - Rm. 009, Butler Hall (845-8650)

TEACHING ASSISTANTS:      Darren Henrichs
                                                 Rick Hammer

TEXTS:  Lab Handouts--packet #2735 and Lab Key--packet #2736 from Copy Corner, near junction of George Bush Drive and Texas Ave.  It would be useful to bring your lecture notes packet (#2732) as well.

MATERIALS: You are required to provide your own set of laboratory tools for floral dissections. A basic, minimum kit would include:

      (For better tools, you may wish to look at our recommended sources page.)

A note about the course text Botany 301 used to rely on Walters D. R. and Keil, D. J. 1996.  Vascular Plant Taxonomy (W&K) (4th or 5th  edition).  It is a great reference, and while it is not required for the course, you will probably find it very, very useful as a reference and a source of images and diagrams.  Therefore,  the page numbers in W&K are listed for each lab below.  We will have copies of the text in the lab which you may consult.

(wk of)
Readings W&K
4th Ed.
Readings W&K
5th  Ed.

28 Aug
Exercise in Key Construction
3-8, 13-24, 50-55
1-6, 11-21, 77-82
 4 Sep
Vegetative Characters/Campus Walk
 29-41, 67-77
25-37, 113-122
11 Sep
Using the Key - Reproductive Characters
 18 Sep
Family studies - Magnoliidae/Hamamelidae
179-197, 375-392
221-242, 300-301,
327-331, 334-338
25 Sep  Family studies - Caryophyllidae
 2 Oct
Family studies - Dilleniidae
313-316, 332-333,
 339-342, 385-387
 9 Oct
use index to look up
specimen prep pp.
 16 Oct
Family studies - Rosidae  (First 5 Collection specimens due)
203-231, 237-260
269-297, 306-310,
 317-324, 406-407
23 Oct
Family studies - Asteridae 
265-94, 301-12
373-378, 394-403
30 Oct
FIELD TRIP  - Lick Creek Park 

  6 Nov
Family studies - Liliopsida I 401-428  434-435, 452-465
13 Nov
Family studies - Liliopsida II  401-428  432-433, 436-451
20 Nov
Work Week--bring collections to work on during any 301 section
Full Collections due by noon Wed, as well as field logs and presses.  Thanksgiving break

27 Nov

Lab attendance is required. Please make every effort to attend your assigned lab section.  If you must miss a lab, please contact Monique, your TA, and the TA whose section you can attend for a make-up, preferably BEFORE you miss it and definitely within 48 hours of the missed lab. No make-ups on missed graded work without a University approved excuse (illness, death, University Authorized activity.)  Note that University Sponsored events are not approved excuses--you must discuss these with your TA.  Please see the TAMU rules on this subject. Insert link to new absence policy here.

PLANT COLLECTION: 20 complete specimens of 20 different species of flowering plants.  These must represent 15 angiosperm families. All material must be collected this semester for this course.  No specimens from cultivated areas.  DO NOT PUT OFF WORKING ON YOUR PLANT COLLECTIONS.  Five specimens will be due during your lab during the week of 16 October, but we encourage you to turn these in earlier. These will be graded and returned so you can check your progress.  The final collection of 20 plants (15 new plants plus the first 5) is due during the week of 20 November, but we'll gladly take them earlier. Plant presses will be issued in lab during the second lab period.  Your lab handout packet will have full instructions.

KEY QUIZZES: Short Quizzes will be given during most lab periods, testing your ability to key out any unknown plant using your lab-manual key or one that we will give you. While you cannot study for these, keeping up with the lab, working with your collections, and learning to recognize plant families will help you do well. We will take the best 10.

LAB QUIZZES: There will be at least five unannounced lab quizzes.  These questions will cover topics discussed in lab.  We will take the best 5.

GRADING: Lab Practical I    50 
  Lab Practical II    50 
  Key quizzes  100 

Lab quizzes   50
  Plant Collection  100
   Total:  350


Always bring all text materials to lab.  This includes lab practicals and field trips. The hand lens is a necessity for the field trips.

To access the course website use 'botany 301' as a search term at the "Quick A&M Web Search" on the TAMU homepage ( the first page listed will be the course home page.  The computer in 005 is there for your use.

We strongly encourage you to look over lab material over BEFORE you come to lab. 

Room 004 will be closed while not in use. However, we want you to have as much access to it as possible, so if you need to get in, just find Monique (rm. 009) and she will be glad to unlock the door for you. There will be no access to room 004 during the lab practical weeks. Instead, a review will be set up elsewhere.

BE PREPARED for field trips. Wear sturdy shoes or boots and long pants; be aware of the sun, the weather, insects, and snakes. A little caution and planning can make the field trips one of the best parts of the course.

KEEP IN MIND: We will be stressing your ability to use a taxonomic key and to identify important families and genera on sight. We assume no prior experience and we EXPECT some problems at the beginning of the semester. Keep up with the labs and make good use of our facilities, materials, and expertise to develop your knowledge and skills.

Plant presses must be returned at the time plant collections are due. Failure to return a press results in a grade of 'Incomplete' and the blocking of fees and registration for the following semester. Grades are restored and blocks removed when the press is returned.

If you have any problems or questions related to the course or lab, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Wilson, Monique Reed, or your T.A. You can also leave a note with the Biology Department Secretary, Ms. Ann Harris in Butler rm. 100 (845-3346).

Return to Botany 301 home

Last updated 25 July 2006 by MDR