The State Botanical Garden of Georgia, in cooperation with the Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance offers a certificate in Native Plants. The Certificate in Native Plants offers committed individuals a comprehensive series of short courses in identification, cultivation, propagation, ecology and conservation of native Georgia plants. With an emphasis on participatory learning, the short courses are designed to provide a supportive and challenging learning atmosphere. Participants will gain a greater appreciation and understanding of native plants in a broad context.
The certificate program is appropriate for home gardeners, garden club members, native plant enthusiasts, green industry professionals, conservationists and others interested in the study of native plants. The program is also designed to appeal to professionals working in land, resource and park management including natural resource agencies and private conservation programs. Knowledge and skills gained can be applied to both volunteer and professional services in the fields of conservation, horticulture, landscape design, land management and environmental education. One of the goals of the program is to have certified students participate in ongoing public and private efforts to preserve and restore Georgia’s flora and natural habitats.
The core curriculum comprises four courses. These will provide students with working knowledge and skills in basic botany, horticulture, ecology, plant communities, plant taxonomy and identification, and plant conservation. Beginning with basic botany, one or two core courses will be offered each quarter. Each of the courses will combine traditional lectures coupled with a generous amount of hands-on, laboratory and/or outdoor learning experiences.
To complete the certificate program, students must complete all four core courses, plus a minimum of six elective courses, at least two organized/planned field trips, and fifteen hours of volunteer service in an approved area relevant to native plants or plant conservation. At least two qualifying electives will be offered each quarter so that it will be possible for students to complete the certificate requirements in one year. There is no requirement
to complete the program in a specified time frame, and most of the courses need not be taken in any prescribed order.
Instructors will be drawn from the University of Georgia faculty, State Botanical Garden staff, professionals within the Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance, Georgia Botanical Society, Georgia Native Plant Society, and other individuals with expertise in relevant subjects. All core and elective courses will be offered at the State Botanical Garden during 2008-2009.
Plant Taxonomy: This course will provide students with the plant identification skills needed to name and describe the plants most commonly encountered in Georgia’s natural areas. Students will become familiar with the botanical vocabulary used by plant identification guides and manuals and will learn to identify plants to species level using both technical botanical keys and popular field guides. Instructor: David Giannasi, Associate Professor Emeritus Plant Biology & Herbarium Director Emeritus, UGAWednesday, September 17, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm Visitor Center, Classroom A
Basic Botany: Basic Botany provides an introduction to general plant anatomy, morphology, and physiology, with an emphasis on relating form to function. Using live material and slides, students will make detailed observations of root, stem, and leaf tissues and discuss the processes of water and nutrient movements. The mechanisms of flower pollination, seed dispersal, and germination will be explored, along with the basics of plant genetics, photosynthesis and evolution. Instructor: Robert Wyatt, Adjunct Professor of Ecology, UGA Saturday, October 18, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm Callaway Auditorium
Fall Wildflowers: Students will be introduced to the basic botanical terminology used in identifying and describing fall-flowering plants, with an emphasis on the terminology unique to plants in the Aster (composite) Family. We will then apply that knowledge to plants in the field, learning to recognize families, genera, and species based on characteristics readily observable in the wild. Instructor: Richard Reaves, Ecologist, CH2M HILL, Atlanta Saturday, September 27, 8:30 am – 12:30 pm Visitor Center, Classrooom A
Rare, Threatened and Endangered Plants of Georgia: This class will focus on both biological and legal aspects - defining rarity, identifying characteristics of “extinction-prone” species, examining the major forces that drive extinction events, as well as reviewing major state, federal, and international laws related to conservation and extinction-prevention. We will explore some of the electronic and print resources available to the public to guide and inform rare species education, conservation, and citizen involvement. We will also examine specific rare species and their habitats in Georgia, including a tour of the Threatened and Endangered Garden and Outdoor Propagation Area of the Botanical Garden, time permitting. Instructor: Mincy Moffet, State Botanist Georgia Department of Natural ResourcesNon-Game Conservation Section Saturday, October 4, 8:30 am - 12:30 pm Callaway Auditorium
Warm Season Grasses: Students will be introduced to the basic ecology and morphology of grasses in the lab and will apply this knowledge in the field, learning to recognize a number of summer- and fall-flowering grass species based on their appearance in the field and characteristics that are readily observable with a hand lens. Bring a small knife and hand lens. Instructor: Elaine Nash, Naturalist, Conyers, GA. Wednesday, October 8, 8:30 am - 12:30 pm Visitor CenterClassroom A
Medicinal Plant Symposium: This day-long seminar will explore a variety of medicinal plants and some of the belief systems that guide their use. Topics include use and cultivation of medicinal plants native to the Southeast, important Latin American herbs, current research concerning the health benefits of phytochemicals, and the use of herbal medicines within native American healing traditions such as the Cherokee and Mayan cultures. Sessions will highlight a sample of ethnobotanically important plants that can survive the stress of thirsty Georgia gardens. Join us in exploring the differences between modern and traditional medicines, as well as current efforts to promote the appropriate and effective use of medicinal plants in 21st century healthcare.
Wednesday, October 15, 8:45 am – 3:00 pm Callaway Auditorium