Student Originated Studies: Pacific Northwest Plant Identification

Summer 2023 Full Session
Sophomore - Graduate
Class Size: 10
4 8 Credits per quarter
Variable credit options, see below
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 This 100% online, full summer session SOS (student-originated study) program is designed for advanced botany students who would like to gain skills in plant identification using dichotomous keys. Through lectures and active-learning group workshops students will learn about the classification and diversity of plant families with an emphasis on flowering plants native to the Pacific Northwest. Virtual plant identification labs will serve as a foundation for students to work through dichotomous keys to identify an unknown plant and for students to develop fluency in plant identification terminology. Weekly quizzes will help students assess their growing knowledge. By the end of the quarter, students will have the skills to identity 20 plant families by sight, which will be assessed via a final sight recognition exam.

Students will have the option to enroll in up to 4 additional credits (for 8 total) to deepen their explorations of topics in plant ecology and plant conservation. Students enrolled in the 8-credit option will write a research paper on a topic in plant conservation, restoration and management, or a PNW ecosystem or plant species of interest. This paper may incorporate self-guided field work and/or primary literature research. This portion of the program will also include asynchronous plant conservation seminar discussions based in the peer-reviewed literature, popular media including documentaries, podcasts and more.

To successfully participate in this program, students will need a computer and reliable high-speed internet. Examples of remote technology that will be used include Zoom, Canvas, YouTube and iNaturalist. Students can expect a blend of 8-16 hours a week (depending on whether you are taking the 4- or 8-credit option) of asynchronous and 3 hours a week of synchronous class time in Zoom.


Summer 2023 Registration

Signature Required

Faculty signature required. Email the faculty for permission to register. 

Course Reference Numbers

So - Sr Full Session (8): 40107
So - Sr Full Session (4): 40108
GR Full Session (8): 40109
GR Full Session (4): 40110

Academic details

Preparatory for studies and careers in

plant ecology,environmental studies, habitat management, ecological restoration, and conservation biology

Variable Credit Options

Students can choose to enroll for 4 or 8 credits.

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing

$45 for home lab supply kit

Upper Division Science Credit

Students must have taken a 8 credits of general biology or college level botany/plant biology course.


Time Offered
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting