Principles of Botany

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Understanding the biology of plants is fundamental to understanding the complex web of life on Earth and its evolutionary history. Nearly all other organisms, including humans, rely on plants—either directly or indirectly—for their food and oxygen. Consequently, plants are essential to our existence; and by studying them in detail, we learn more about our own species and the world we inhabit. This course is an introductory survey of botany, divided into three broad topics: diversity of life, photosynthesis, respiration, and DNA/RNA; structure, reproduction, and evolution; and ecology and plant habitats. Seminars and textbook readings will be supplemented by a field trip to The New York Botanical Garden.