Botany for Emory Students

Student Resources

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Emory Courses in the Plant Sciences

A number of Emory course offerings integrate lessons from the plant sciences. Here is a list of relevant courses from various departments across campus:

  • ENVS 120. Human and Natural Ecology. This course introduces the study of the relationship between humans and the environment. Topics include general ecology, resources, pollution, biodiversity, global change, and aspects of health, economics, ethics, and law as related to environmental studies. Will not fulfill major requirements.
  • ANT 190. Anthropology of Coffee and Chocolate. Explores the origins and transformations of coffee and chocolate consumption, with attention of production, sale, industrial processing, advertising, resale, and consumption patterns.  Implications for international markets, alternative development efforts, different cultural groups, corporations—and international politics—reveal how the study of one commodity serves as an introduction to the social sciences.
  • ENVS 240. Ecosystem Ecology. Overview of ecosystem ecology, including dynamics of large scale systems, landscape ecology, ecosystem structure, and function. Topics in the course will include: methods of ecosystem analysis, energy flow, nutrient cycling, community dynamics, issues of scale, models, and ecosystem properties. Fulfills ENVS Intermediate Ecology and Conservation requirement and upper-level lab requirement.
  • BIOL 247. Ecology. This course provides an overview of the principles of ecology and the study of relationships between organisms and their environment. Processes and properties of individuals, populations, communities, and ecosystems will be emphasized. Lectures will emphasize active and collaborative learning. Ecology ties in all other branches of Biology (e.g., evolution, behavior, physiology, and genetics) by examining biological processes in the context of the environment in which organisms live and have evolved. There is also a separate 2 credit-hour lab (BIOL 247L/ENVS 247L or BIOL 247LW/ENVS 247LW) associated with this class. The Lab is not required.
  • ENVS 345/ BIOL 345. Conservation Biology. This course focuses on the conservation of biodiversity and introduces students to ways that ecological and evolutionary principles can be used to conserve and protect species and ecosystems at risk. Specific topics include the causes and consequences of biodiversity, systematics and endangered species, the demography and genetics of small populations, invasive species, habitat loss and fragmentation, design of reserves, and restoration ecology. Fulfills an ENVS Elective requirement.
  • ANT 385. Anthropology of Food Insecurity. This course aims to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of global food insecurity, or insecure access to food. We will seek to understand what food insecurity is, how it is defined and measured, how it is experienced by people in different settings, what causes it, and what the consequences are for human health and wellbeing (and for environment). We will achieve these goals through a mixture of lectures, debates, presentations, data analysis exercises, readings, and discussion. In addition to learning about food insecurity generally, during the latter portion of the course, we will focus our attention on the global food crises of 2008 and 2010, and seek to understand why these crises happened, what the consequences were, and whether we can expect more in the near future. Finally, we will study the current state of evidence about the possible impacts of climate change on food security. Secondary goals for the class are for 1) students to gain skills and practice in designing and executing public presentations and 2) for students to gain skills and practice collecting and analyzing data related to food security.
  • HLTH 385/ ANT 385. Food, Health and Society.  Human health is intrinsically linked to dietary practices. Plants, in particular, may be used both as medicine and food, and it can often be difficult to draw a line between the two groups: food may be used as medicine and vice versa. The lens of ethnopharmacology can be used to gain an integrated biocultural perspective on foods, encompassing not only the substantive (or physical) qualities, but also the intangible (symbolic). In this course, we will explore the ways that human groups identify, collect, create, and transform foods, how they shape those into dietary behaviors, and how this influences human health. The pharmacological properties of foods will be examined and we will use case studies of dietary complexes, such as the Mediterranean diet, in order to better understand the food-medicine continuum as a determinant of health and well-being. Lastly, we will examine trends in the industrialization of food, and the resulting health impact of modern food practices. Syllabus
  • ENVS 442. Ecology of Emory Univ. w/ Lab. This course will use ecological concepts to investigate questions (problems) on the Emory campus. The course will combine lectures with laboratory exercises designed to elaborate on lecture material and to give students a hands on experience in the application of concepts to the field setting. May be used to fulfill an Elective and Field Course requirement for ENVS students.
  • HLTH 485/ BIOL 485. Botanical Medicine and Health.  Mankind has long recognized that plants are extremely useful as a source of medicine. Medical traditions based on botanical drug sources can be found in all human cultures and date back to prehistory. In this course, both ancient and modern day botanical traditions across many cultures will be discussed as they pertain to medicine. The pathways through which natural drugs are made by plants and how they affect humans will be the focus of this class. Some examples include botanical drugs for infectious disease, cancer, cardiovascular health, dental health, central nervous system function, and much more. By the end of this course, you will have a solid understanding of the major botanical drugs, including their sources, applications, and cultural relevance. Syllabus
  • ANT 504.  Agrarian Transformations. Explores changing agrarian lifeways and contemporary concerns, such as climate change, food sovereignty, corporate power, and an increasingly estranged relationship with the earth. Using ethnographies in economic anthropology, cultural ecology, political economy, and political ecology from Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, and the United States, the course examines perspectives from the level of the household and individual decision-making to broad impacts of colonialism and global commodity chains.  Attending to gendered perspectives on work, consumption, and meaning, the course also reviews critical perspectives on development, modernity, and sustainability.

Emory Oxford College Courses in the Plant Sciences

BIOL 135Q. Plants and Society w/Lab. Basic principles of botany. Emphasis on uses of plants by cultural groups worldwide. Includes medicine, food, materials, biotechnology, environmental issues, and more. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory per week. This course counts toward the environmental studies major. It does not fulfill requirements for the biology major.

BIOL 235Q. Field Botany w/Lab. Study of plants in their natural habitats, including plant morphology, ecology, and ethno botany. Students need to have a basic understanding of plant structure. This course counts toward the biology and environmental studies majors. Four hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory per week. Syllabus