Question

Donna I. Ford-Werntz diford at WVNVM.WVNET.EDU
Fri Nov 13 12:51:07 EST 1998


One of my hopes is that the resurgance of herbal products, especially for
medical use, will encourage our students (particularly the pre-meds who
avoid botany) and colleagues to devote more study to plants.  I've also
tried to adapt my teaching to make it more interesting for those not
inherently fascinated by botanical diversity and attracted by the
convenience and cooperation of plants holding still while you look at them
(and rarely "striking back").  One way is to incorporate evolutionary
biology "tales" such as Orchid pseudocopulation and Bullhorn Acacia
symbiosis.  This fits in to the ecosystem approach, and it seems appeal
more successfully to the action oriented types.  They usually still manage
to learn something along the way, such as to remember zygomorphic symmetry
or stipular spines.  After the course is over they often observe and
appreciate much better the local flora--and hopefully understand its value.
    

Donna I. Ford-Werntz     West Virginia Univ.                                    
Herbarium Curator (WVA)  Box 6057                                               
Asst. Prof. Biol.        Morgantown, WV 26506                                   
425 Brooks Hall          (304)293-5201 X2549                                    
email: diford at wvu.edu    fax: (304)293-6363                                     
Web site at http://www.as.wvu.edu/biology/                                      




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