Laboratory Syllabus - Spring 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
                                                 Shannon Huizar
                                                 Daniel Tarin                           

TEXTS: Walters D. R. and Keil, D. J. 1996. (4th edition) Vascular Plant Taxonomy (W&K). Lab Handouts--packet #126 and Lab Key--packet #127 from Copy Corner, near junction of George Bush Drive and Texas Ave.

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 We specified the 4th edition of  Walters and Keil's Vascular Plant Taxonomy, but apparently the bookstores are pushing the 5th edition, which utilizes a vastly different classification system.  If you can't find a copy of the 4th edition, don't panic-- the 5th will do, but realize you may not quite match up with 4th edition assigned readings.  The equivalents below are as good as we can make them, but there is some difference in coverage between the two books.  Your best bet, once we get to family treatments,  will often be to look up the families mentioned in the varoius labs in the 5th edition index and read the appropriate pages.  We did not know the 5th edition was out yet, so the pageand figure numbers in the lab handouts refer to the 4th edition.
Readings W&K
4th Ed.
Readings W&K
5th  Ed.

17 Jan Exercise in Key Construction
(Section 501 will do this as homework or come to another section)
3-8, 13-24, 50-55
1-6, 11-21, 77-82
23 Jan Vegetative Characters/Campus Walk
 29-41, 67-77
25-37, 113-122
30 Jan
Using the Key - Reproductive Characters
 6 Feb Family studies - Magnoliidae/Hamamelidae
179-197, 375-392
221-242, 300-301,
327-331, 334-338
13 Feb  Family studies - Caryophyllidae
20 Feb Family studies - Dilleniidae
313-316, 332-333,
 339-342, 385-387
27 Feb
use index to look up
specimen prep pp.
 6 Mar Family studies - Rosidae  (First 5 Collection specimens due)
203-231, 237-260
269-297, 306-310,
 317-324, 406-407
20 Mar Family studies - Asteridae 
265-94, 301-12
373-378, 394-403
27 Mar FIELD TRIP  - Lick Creek Park 

  3 Apr Family studies - Liliopsida I 401-428  434-435, 452-465
10 Apr Work Week--bring collections to work on during any 301 section  

17 Apr Family studies - Liliopsida II
Full Collections due at start of period, as well as field logs and presses
432-433, 436-451

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 approved activity.)

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 7 March, 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 18 April, 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  125
   Total:  375


Always bring all text materials (W & K, Lab Handouts, Lab Key) 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 at the back of rm. 004 is there for your use.

Readings are assigned to complement the lab exercises. We strongly encourage you to look this material over BEFORE you come to lab. While we will not cover every family that is in the book, checking to see what the textbook has to say about the families we will be covering in lab will give you a big advantage. We have not assigned the study questions as reading, but the ones that pertain to the families we cover would be useful.

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. Manhart, 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).

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Last updated 17 January 2006 by MDR