Abstract Detail

Education and Outreach

Clevinger, Jennifer [1].

Teaching Field Botany:  Online But Still Outside.

For the past 10 years I taught a 4-week field botany course during the month of May. This course met for 3 weeks on-campus with local field trips followed by a 1-week trip to field botany camp. There was a service learning component which included leading science outreach for a local elementary school and pulling invasive garlic mustard at field botany camp. This year, the Covid-19 pandemic caused the entire class to be shifted online. Lectures were delivered synchronously on Zoom every morning. Daily assignments including watching videos featuring naturalists and botanists in the field from Ohio and beyond. They ranged from pandemic educational videos posted by park naturalists and science museum staff on social media to Dr. Chris Martine’s YouTube series, “Plants are Cool, Too!”. Students went on to make their own educational field videos which replaced our outreach project at the local elementary school. Video topics included plant identification, plant morphology, invasive plants, and citizen science. These videos can be viewed on the Walsh University Field Botany YouTube channel. I was able to keep the garlic mustard removal service project, but it shifted from a group effort at camp to student driven within their community either pulling in public parks or private land. Students also had daily assignments to use plant identification keys to identify wildflowers and trees out in their community. While identifying, they were encouraged to text questions and photos to the instructor and then they submitted the scientific name, photo, and steps for identification for a grade. An antidotal benefit to the students identifying plants in their home communities was that they reported interacting with their parents and grandparents who were interested in the outdoors and nature. Students were also required to press and dry 5 plant specimens with labels and to submit 12 plant photographs with identification which will be curated by Walsh University Museum Study students this fall for a botany art exhibit on campus. The final exam was offered as a one-on-one test using identification keys to identify seven unknowns either in the field or on Zoom (student’s choice). Online learning made students more independent at plant identification and allowed them to explore their own community’s natural areas. Next year I hope to have a blended class with 3 weeks of online learning culminating with bringing the class together for a traditional week of field botany camp.

Related Links:
Walsh University Field Botany YouTube Channel

1 - Walsh University, Division Of Math And Sciences, 2020 E Maple St NW, North Canton, OH, 44720, United States

field botany
service learning
online learning
garlic mustard.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: EO1, Education and Outreach II: Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs), COVID
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2020
Time: 1:15 PM
Number: EO1004
Abstract ID:453
Candidate for Awards:None

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