monique at bio.tamu.edu
Mon Nov 9 09:13:29 EST 1998
This is what we tell our non-majors students:
If you like to breathe oxygen, you are involved with plants.
If you eat, you are involved with plants.
If you work with animals as a vet, a farmer, or a wildlife biologist, you are
involved with plants,
If your three-year-old eats something vegetable, you'd better have some
sort of idea what it was he ate and whether or not it was poisonous.
If you are a doctor, you need to know where drugs come from, what plants are
poisonous, and which are allergenic.
If something comes up in your yard, you will want to know whether to let it
grow or pull it up.
If you are an engineer, you had better be able to assess the property on which
you were hired to build something, and know how the vegetation around it
affects drainage, temperature, and air-flow.
If you are a commodities broker, you should know how crops respond to weather
patterns and disasters.
It makes you look smart to be able to classify the contents of the salad bar
at a restaurant.
It makes you look smart in front of your offspring to be able to take a walk
and know, "What kind of tree is that, Daddy?"
It is the mark of an educated person to be able to understand plant-related
news items such as taxol, cancer-prevention properties of soy,
genetically-engineered crops, the recurrence of potato blight, and why the
price of bananas is likely to go through the roof very shortly.
When you get rich and famous in some pursuit that is *not*
botany, you will want to know whether your highly-paid landscape maintenance
company and personal gardener are ripping you off.
If you are a dumb jock, you may at least want to know about turf.
(tongue only partly in cheek!)
>I have just been talking with a professor at another University who is
>involed with writing a grant proposal for a curriculum for preprofessional
>track students. This is a multi-campus endeavor. He was told that
>preprofessional students need only life skills and Botany had no life
>skills so it could be removed from the curriculum. When he asked what
> a life skill was he was given an example of pH. Two Universities had
>already removed Botany from their Intro Biology course. Is this a
>growing trend or just continued ignorance on the part of nonbotanists?
>I'm a little steamed since I, as a Botanist, am expected to know lots of
>How do we defend our profession?
>Dr. Cynthia M. Galloway
>Dept. of Biology
>Campus Box 158
>Texas A&M University
>Kingsville, TX 78363
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