herbarium lab

Dana Ann Dudle ddudle at steel.ucs.indiana.edu
Tue Jan 25 09:42:00 EST 2000


I will be teaching a senior-level seminar in plant population
biology this spring, and I will incorporate some indentification,
collection, and mounting of specimens into the laboratory portion of the
class.  Since my institution currently lacks an herbarium, the class will
be taking a 'field trip' of sorts to the local Big 10 University that has
a functional herbarium, so that the students begin to understand the
herbarium as a resource for scientists.

While we are there, I would like to have the students do some kind of
activity to get them familiar with the kind of information that herbarium
specimens can provide to experimental scientists, but I can't quite put my
finger on what I would like to do.  I have a vague idea about a project
involving comparisons of specimens collected over time in a particular
location, or over space in different locations, but I am not thrilled
about this plan as it stands.

I wonder if any of you have used an herbarium as a teaching tool in your
botany or ecology courses?  It seems as though this would be a good
resource, and that it might give students an appreciation for a valuable
set of techniques and tradtions that may be falling by the wayside in some
departments as we make way for high-technology techniques in our labs.
  (Not that I have anything against gels and sequences, mind you!)

Any ideas, inspirations, or advice from this group would be appreciated,
as always.  


Dana A. Dudle          	(765) 658 - 4773  Office	
Dept. of Biology	(765) 658 - 4766  FAX
DePauw University
Greencastle, IN  46135
ddudle at depauw.edu

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