dosmann at IASTATE.EDU
dosmann at IASTATE.EDU
Mon Jun 2 19:37:40 EST 1997
*The post is a bit longer than I thought it would be. I'm long-winded!
There are quite a few colleges in the Midwest that offer fine programs in
botany and horticulture (and other plant-related majors). Making the
choice of school and major will depend upon your specific interests.
After being exposed to the workings of several universities (and several
plant-programs within each), I see an underlying situation where students
wind up in programs not geared towards their specific career goals.
Keep in mind that many, but not all, botany/plant science programs are
structured to train students to enter research positions. If your goal
is to work in research, there are a plethora of programs in the plant
sciences (in a variety of departments, from botany and horticulture, to
agronomy and forestry). These can provide you with outstanding
facilities and instructors, training students to work in a variety of
levels of science.
If you aspire to work with plants, but perhaps not necessarily in a
research setting, my advice would be to investigate a horticulture,
forestry, or agronomy department (depending upon what kinds of plants
you want to work with). My undergraduate degree is in public horticulture
from Purdue University. Specifically, it provided training to work in
botanical gardens, arboreta, and other plant collections. Emphasis was
placed on taxonomy of cultivated and wild taxa, in addition to general
horticultural coursework (plant physiology, plant pathology, plant
propagation, landscape installation/maint., etc) and the sciences
(chemistry, biochem, organic chem, etc). Other majors at Purdue exist,
including landscape horticulture, fruit/veg production, landscape
architecture, and horticulture science (a program very much like a botany
program geared towards research). While these programs hold their own, I
think that the fruit/veg production option is a bit weak, compared to
others. Michigan State and Iowa State have better programs in this
area. Landscape hort, Landscape Arch. and Hort Sci. at Purdue are very
good programs, in addition to the Public Hort major.
I am currently a graduate student at Iowa State University, in the
department of horticulture. Like Purdue's (and other land grant
universities), ISU's program has fine options in landscape hort,
fruit/veg production, hort science in addition to an excellent turf program.
Check out your local land grand university and see what they have to offer.
Just keep in mind the level at which you want to work with plants and
don't be afraid to ask the department outright if they can fully provide
what you are looking for (I have seen several students wind up in plant
science programs when what they are looking for was better found in
ecology horticulture or forestry). *For the botanists reading this: I'm
not harping on plant science programs! I just want to make sure a good match
Sorry this was long!
Hope it helps
Michael S Dosmann
dosmann at iastate.edu . . .
Graduate Research Assistant . .
Department of Horticulture . . .
Iowa State University
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