Course Design: Plant Science

Plant Science: Core Concepts and Global Scope

Course Creator: Michael Gallagher


Credit rating: 20 credits, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE). This course is designed to parallel a fully accredited CIHE semester long course.


Course Description:

To understand the plant sciences, students will investigate the core concepts, terminology, organizations, and movements at work in this multidisciplinary field. This investigation will include vocabulary, standards, and communities of practice, as well as a political, economic, social explorations. This course gives both a theoretical and applied grounding in the plant sciences and their related concepts for undergraduate students.


This course begins by exploring the foundational elements of plant science, including terminology, related disciplines, and modes of conduct and tools for practitioners. The course then introduces a broader understanding of plant science, including the history, geography, and distribution of plants, as well as the affects of colonization on these facets. The course then focuses on conservation movements and organizations, as well as the use of plants as economic, social, and political agents. The final section of the course explores intellectual property, patent structures, and indigenous plant knowledge.


Course Introduction:

With increased interest in global biodiversity stemming from recent conservation efforts such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and 2010 being celebrated as the International Year of Biodiversity, the need for global critical thinkers to supplement these efforts is important. Plant science, the core disciplines involved in these conservation efforts, is renewing its importance to our modern world. This importance is often hampered by the lack of educational materials that stress its significance. We are left with the perception of plant science as being an archaic discipline out of pace with the modern scholarship. Nothing could be farther from the truth.


Plant science encapsulates not only the biological structures on which biodiversity is based, but also greatly affects economic, political, and social elements of global interaction. This course design attempts to explore both these biological and social structures simultaneously. Plant Science: Core Concepts and Global Scope is an exploration of the foundations of plant science from a multidisciplinary perspective. It is also a conceptual framework for critically examining global biodiversity as an economic, social, and political entity. This course design actively pursues this exploration collaboratively and views knowledge creation as a social construct; as such, it provides considerable opportunities for student-led discovery and self-regulatory practices. 


Course Learning Outcomes:

On completion of the course you will be able to:


Indicative Reading



Course Sections