students examining poppies in the field.

Botany and Plant Biology

Classes with a focus on plant biology and botany are listed here. Included are both lecture only classes and classes with a lab.  Classes are on-campus, field courses, or presented online.

  • Spring and Fall semesters. Instructor:  Eric Wise (online),  Jennifer Maupin (on campus). 
    Plant Biology covers plant structure and function, and the diversity and evolution of plants and plant-like organisms.  It is a 4-unit course consisting of two 80 minute lectures and one, 3-hour  lab per week.  You must attend lab as it is an integral part of the course.  Prerequisites are MATH 107 or MATH 111. Skills Advisories are Eligibility for ENG 110 or ENG 110H or ENG 110GB. This course is required for the Biological Sciences major and it satisfies the SBCC General Education requirement in Natural Sciences.   Sample syllabus

    Course Objectives:
    1. Explain and interpret the basic principles of biology.
    2. Describe the structure and function of plants and plant-like organisms.
    3. Explain plant development, physiology, and ecosystem structure.
    4. Describe diversity and evolution of the major groups of plants on earth.
    5. Explain scientific method and critical thinking.
    6. Perform an analytical approach in examining data and ideas.
    7. Describe and explain scientific equipment and techniques.
    8. Analyze the scientific literature.
    Student Learning Outcomes:
    1. BIOL 101 SLO 1 - Explain the anatomy and morphology of plants and plant-like organisms as well as the functional characteristics of these organisms including their physiology and adaptation to the environment.
    2. BIOL 101 SLO 2 - Describe the diversity of existing and fossil plants and plant-like organisms including life cycles and relationships with one another.
    3. BIOL 101 SLO 3 - Discuss, from a scientific perspective, the molecular nature of living organisms including their chemical composition, replication, and growth.
  • Spring and Fall semesters.  Instructor: Matt Kay
    Concepts of Botany is a 4-unit course consisting of lecture and lab.  This course is intended for students with no previous science experience as well as for those with some high school science.  This course is not intended for students who are currently biology majors. If you are, or plan to be, a biology major you should take Biology 101. Topics covered in BOT 100 include plant structure and function, plant evolution, diversity, self defense, familial relationships, and the role of plants in the biosphere and society.

    At the end of this course, successful students will be able to describe the biology of plants and plant-like organisms. As a student, you should absorb this information by reading your text, attending lectures, taking notes, attending lab, performing experiments, studying the material, and generally getting involved with appreciating plants on a daily basis. Sample syllabus.

    Student Learning Outcomes:
    1. BOT 100 SLO 1 - Describe fundamental processes operative throughout botany and plant biology, including evolution via natural selection, sexual reproduction, photosynthesis, basic chemistry, and biochemical processes (cellular respiration, fermentation, photosynthesis)
    2. BOT 100 SLO 2 - Describe the anatomy and physiology of plants and plant-like organisms
    3. BOT 100 SLO 3 - Compare and contrast the major evolutionary lineages of plants and plant-like organisms, including important structural features of each lineage, ecological importance, and human uses
  • Online.  Taught Fall and Spring semesters and one of the summer sessions.  Instructor: Bob Cummings. Sample syllabus

    By the end of the semester, the successful student can:
    1. Summarize the fundamental molecular and cellular principles critical to an understanding of plant biology.
    2. Describe the history, characteristics and utility of plants that have been used in agriculture and medicine.
    3. Describe the functional anatomy of non-vascular and vascular plants including reproduction and development, primary and secondary growth, and movement of water and food within the plant.
    4. Describe the evolutionary history and characteristics of the four major floras that have occurred since the transition of plants to land.
  • Spring only.  Instructor: Matt Kay.
    BOT 122 is a 3-unit lab science class. Students MUST complete 4 units of Physical Science or an additional course in Biological Sciences to complete the units required in IGETC Area 5.  Sample Syllabus 

    This course explores flowering plant diversity and identification in California and beyond.  Goals of the class are:
    • Become comfortable using The Jepson Manual, 2nd Edition  and other references useful for plant identification.
    • Test these plant ID skills in the field (on local field trips during class time).
    • Achieve familiarity with many common and “important” (ecologically and economically) plant families in California (which are also common/important worldwide).

    Lab sections focus on using The Jepson Manual, 2nd Edition. Lecture periods provide an opportunity to build vocabulary and gaining a knowledge base of the plant families identified in lab.

  • Fall only. Instructor Matt Kay
    Bot 123 is a 3-unit lab science class. Students MUST complete 4 units of Physical Science or an additional course in Biological Sciences to complete the units required in IGETC Area 5.    Sample syllabus.

    This course explores many of the native plant communities of  the California landscape. California is a remarkably diverse region so the frequent field trips will visit creeks, deserts, beaches, dunes, woodlands, valleys, and mountain tops. You will learn to identify >100 species of dominant native plants, and recognize the communities to which they belong. In the context of natural selection, we'll discuss how these plants are adapted to climate (and microclimate), weather, disturbance, soil, and other ecological factors that shape the distribution and appearance of the plant communities in which they occur. You will also learn how to recognize some of the more common plant families, and how to collect and prepare plant specimens for preservation in an herbarium.

    Student Learning Outcomes:
    1. BOT 123 SLO 1 - Describe relevant factors that shape plant evolution, adaptations, and plant community structure in California.
    2. BOT 123 SLO 2 - Record data, observations, and species descriptions in a scientifically precise way in a field notebook
    3. BOT 123 SLO 3 - Identify dominant plants of major CA plant communities