This intermediate level course covers the biology of two common, easily recognizable but often overlooked members of terrestrial ecosystems, lichens and bryophytes. Lectures and assigned readings will cover the morphology, life histories, physiology, and ecology of these intriguing organisms. Particular emphasis will be given to field and laboratory methods of identification, including field recognition of important genera, micro-habitat preferences of selected species, collection techniques, use of keys, and methods of identification and proper curation. A major goal of the course is to assist students in developing the “hands on” skills and confidence necessary to identify these organisms to the species level. Two all-day Saturday field trips are planned, one during the first week of class and another mid-term, to introduce students to the diversity of microhabitats in which these organisms are generally found and to introduce students to proper collection techniques, writing accurate field notes, and starting their personal collections. Students will be evaluated on: class participation (10%), demonstrated capacity for doing independent work (20%), performance on bi-weekly quizzes (30%), and a student final project consisting of a properly identified and curated collection of 20 species of lichens and 15 species of bryophytes excluding taxa identified in class as part of group keying exercises (40%).
A college level introductory biology or botany course and permission of instructor.
Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.