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Northern Ecology

Basic Botany for Wild Crafters, Ecologists, and Herbalists

Course Overview

Take your botanical chops to the next level with plant taxonomic skills—the foundation of any plant-based practice. A weekend intensive designed to provide plant hobbyists and natural resource professionals with a solid basis in botanical science. Through the course, you will learn terms for key plant structures, characteristics of common plant families, and how to use dichotomous keys. We will spend part of the day in a lecture-lab setting, then visit wild areas in the Grand Marais area to observe and study plant structures in a natural setting. This course is geared towards students interested in learning technical botanical terms, plant taxonomy, and using botanical keys. A knowledge of local flora, experience identifying plants with image-based field guides, or similar experience will be an asset but is not required. Students should have the ability to sit in a classroom setting for 2-4 hours (with breaks) and walk several hundred feet or more into a forest, bog, or other settings off-trail over uneven terrain.

 Required Tools

  • A 10x hand lens. A few options are:

       -Wanapure 10× Metal Jewelry Loop Magnifier, Jewelers Eye Loupe: $15

      -Ade Advanced Optics 10x21TB-A Triplet Professional Loupe: $25

      -BelOMO Jewelers Loupe 10x Triplet Magnifier 21mm (.85"): $40

  • Clipboard and paper, or hard back notebook to take notes in the field.

  • Sturdy boots

  • Hat, long pants and long sleeve shirt to protect from sun and bugs

  • Rain gear

  • Backpack to carry water and snacks

  • Insect repellent and head net

Optional Tools

Recommended for plant professionals: 

Plant Identification Terminology: An Illustrated Glossary, by James G. Harris and Melinda Woolf Harris

  • Camera or phone to take photos

  • Baggies to collect plant samples

Currently Scheduled Sessions

No sessions currently scheduled for this course.

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