Botany, the study of plants, is a scientific branch of biology concerned with understanding the evolution of plants, their form and function, and their interactions with each other and their physical environment. The study of plants has led to many ground breaking scientific discoveries including the discovery of cells, genes, mutations, transposons, and DNA recombination. Today, botanists work to solve some of our most pressing problems like how to feed an ever-growing human population, as well as pushing forward the cutting edge of molecular biology.
What Will I Learn?
Exploring the Wild Side of Botany
An emphasis of the botany minor is on exploring the connection of plants and people. You will gain an appreciation of the economic importance of plants through field trips to local businesses including a local coffee roaster, winery and microbrewery. You will also gain hands-on experience learning the traditional uses, including sustainable harvesting and preparation techniques, of the wild edible and medicinal plants of our region.
Two Flagship Facilities
You will have the opportunity to make use of the greenhouse and herbarium, two flagship facilities of the biology department. The greenhouse houses a permanent living collection of plants and provides ample space and support for research and independent study projects. The herbarium is a museum of plant life that houses over 2,000 dried plant, moss, and lichen specimens, many from our region. The herbarium is an invaluable scientific resource that provides a historical snapshot of our natural heritage and thus can be used to study the impacts of climate change, expansion of introduced species, evolution of populations and much more.
What is Unique About Our Program?
At the Core: Experiential Learning and Professional Development
The botany minor provides you with numerous experiential learning opportunities including field courses that explore plant diversity from Lake Champlain to the summits of the high peaks, mentored research, regular trips to the Montreal Botanical Garden, and an open invitation to participate in a thriving Botany Club. The botany minor is also designed to help you develop the skills and knowledge you will need to take the next step in your professional career like applying to graduate school or an entry-level position at a government agency or environmental consulting firm.