Course code:



I - Introductory

Class size limit:


Meets the following requirements:

  • ES - Environmental Science

Lab fee:


Typically offered:

Every other year

Green plants power the Earth’s ecosystem and make possible the existence of life as we know it. Because they lack obvious movement, it is easy to dismiss plants as passive beings without behavior or intelligence. Yet plants integrate environmental signals and respond in subtle, remarkable ways that increase their Darwinian fitness. Understanding plant behavior and plant intelligence requires a shift of perspective into the world of plants. This class explores their evolutionary origins, metabolism and physiology, anatomy and morphology, life cycles, and their modern-day diversity. The last third of the class focuses on the ecological roles of plants and their relationships with other organisms in their environment. Designed for students with no science background beyond high school biology, this course offers an overview of important topics in the study of plants and a window into their fascinating lives. Through lab work and field trips, we will explore the diversity of plants and the structures and adaptations that allow them to thrive in an enormous range of environments. Students will be evaluated based on quizzes and take-home exams, a brief in-class presentation, and a field/lab notebook.



Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.