Course Information and Syllabus for
Biological Sciences 490: Plant-Human Connections
Professor: Dr. Kurt Schulz
Office: Science 3313, 650-3005 Lab: Science 3229
Office hours: 1:00-2:00 MT, or by appointment. (Please don't assume the instructor is always available for drop-in visits)
Class Meeting Times: lecture 10:00-11:00 MWF, lab 1:00-3:00 R
Text: Simpson, B. and M. Connor-Ogorzaly. 2001. Economic botany: plants in our world, 3rd ed. McGraw-Hill, Boston.
1. Explain and reenforce the scientific method as an objective mechanism for learning and knowing.
2. Develop an appreciation of evolution and natural selection as the unifying principles in biology.
3. Emphasize the inseparable relationship between human life and plants
Grades and Examinations:
A total of 450 points will be distributed as follows:
50 points each for two lab practicals
150 points, 75 points each for two lecture exams
100 points for the final exam
50 points for a PowerPoint presentation on an important medicinal or poisonous plant of your choosing
50 points for a research paper on the role of a "keystone" plant species in any modern or ancient culture
50 points for the presentation of your research results in a PowerPoint talk
All papers and talks will be graded on an A-F scale, with intermediate grades denoted as AB, BC, etc. Letter grades will be assigned point values (e.g., A = 95% or 48 of 50 points; AB = 90% or 45 points) for computational purposes.
No extra credit will be given. Please don't ask.
The following grades are guaranteed:
90-100% = A
80-89 = B
70-79 = C
60-69 = D
< 60 = F
1. Students are expected to attend every class unless sickness, family emergency, or religious observances prevent attendance. The instructor will not assist students who cannot provide evidence of an acceptable reason for missing class. Do not plan vacations or other activities that conflict with class meetings.
2. The instructor must be notified in advance for students to postpone examinations. The instructor may demand evidence that the absence was legitimate.
1. Just as a fishing license is not a promise of catching a fish, paying tuition is not a promise of a specific grade. What you take from this course is largely of your own making.
2. Course notes are a custom-made tool which connects the themes in lecture to the details in the text. Use them to organize ideas and provide a context for factual material. A looseleaf binder is the flexible way to keep notes and handouts together.
3. Acquire the discipline of promptly reviewing and correcting course notes. Good notes not only record important information, but provide clear indications of what was stressed in lecture. Make it a habit to spend time after each lecture reviewing and correcting notes. Additional time will be required for reading the text and studying exams.
4. Read the text and other assigned materials.
Ethics in the Classroom
Cheating and plagiarism are academic crimes. Don't tolerate or engage in cheating. Please see page 14 of the Fall Class Schedule for details.
|Week||Lecture Topics||Lab Topics||Readings||Notes|
|August 24||Plant anatomy and biology; manipulation of plants by people.||Plant anatomy; collection of fiber sources||SC-O, ch. 1|
|August 31||No class Monday
Origins of agriculture
|Cahokia field trip||SC-O, Ch. 2; Smith|
|September 7||Grasses||Grass anatomy, morphology, taxonomy||SC-O, Ch. 5 Judziewicz|
|September 14||Fruits and nuts||Collecting and processing native fruits and nuts||SC-O, Ch. 3-4|
|September 21||Fruits and nuts||Collecting and processing native fruits and nuts; Legume flowers, nodules, forage crops, tofu||SC-O, Ch. 3-4|
|September 28||Legumes||Practical I||SC-O, Ch 6.||Friday, Exam I|
|October 5||No class Monday.
Foods from roots, leaves, stems
|Harvesting storage roots in Typha; tropical fruits and vegetables||SC-O, Ch. 7|
|October 12||Spices and herbs||Missouri Botanical Garden Field Trip||SC-O, Ch. 8|
|October 19||Oils, waxes, hydrogels and other goo||TBA||SC-O, Ch. 9-10|
|October 26||Medicinal plants, drugs, and poisons||Student presentations||SC-O, Ch. 11-12|
|November 2||Beverages||Beer brewing||SC-O, Ch. 13-14||Friday, Exam II|
|November 9||Fibers||Refining fibers; dying cloth||SC-O, Ch. 15|
|November 16||Wood||Economic characteristics of wood; paper making||SC-O, Ch. 16|
|November 23||Wood||Forestry||SC-O, Ch. 16. Additional readings|
|November 30||Thanksgiving Break|
|December 7||Student research presentations: keystone plants in societies||Practical II|
|December 14||Final Exam, Monday, Dec. 15, 10:00-11:40|
N.B. Minor schedule changes will be made to accommodate course objectives.