Students, area residents can sign up for summer course on Louisiana Native Plants
Contact: Christina Chapple
HAMMOND – Area residents and students can learn about Louisiana’s diverse local flora through “Native Plants of Louisiana,” an introductory course being offered this summer at Southeastern Louisiana University.
Scheduled for Mondays and Wednesdays beginning June 6, the course will be taught by Southeastern assistant professor Rick Miller, an evolutionary biologist specializing in plant systematics.
The eight-week class will meet from 7:30- 10:30 a.m. and will include lectures, lab activities and weekly field trips to area habitats such as Tickfaw State Park, St. Tammany’s Lake Ramsey and the Bonnet Carre Spillway.
Miller said the course may be taken as an elective for 4-hour credit by Southeastern students or for enjoyment by community members who can enroll for a $250 fee through Southeastern’s Division of Continuing Education and Special Activities, 985 549-2301.
“While this is an upper division biology course, I attempt to accommodate people with a wide range of backgrounds,” Miller said. “During each field trip, we will learn the characteristics and names of 25 new plants. In lectures, we will discuss important plant families to develop a broad understanding of flowering plant diversity.”
He said during lab sessions, students will learn the different parts of plants, how to “key out” plants; and how to use herbarium specimens for identification. They also will examine representative specimens of plant families.
“Students also carry out a project on a specific group of plants of their own interest, take a final lab test on plant identification, and a final exam on the characteristics and relationships of plant families,” Miller said.
For information, contact Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org or 985-549-5556. Information is also available at www2.selu.edu/Academics/Faculty/rickmiller/Native%20Plants.html.