PB 400, under its current format as Plant Structure and Diversity includes approximately six weeks of plant anatomy and eight weeks of plant morphology/diversity. This reflected the needs of the Department at the time of the last revision of this course in 2000. At that time, courses in neither plant anatomy nor plant diversity were being taught, and there were not sufficient faculty resources to teach both courses. As a result, the topics of plant anatomy and plant diversity were combined into the present course, Plant Structure and Diversity. However, PB 413, Plant Anatomy, is now being consistently and successfully taught in the department, thus there is no longer a need to have a separate and significant plant anatomy component in PB 400. It is proposed that the plant anatomy portion be curtailed and that the plant diversity portion of PB 400 be expanded to encompass the entire course. This will allow greater attention to plant morphology/diversity in the course and the Plant Biology curriculum.
The changes in content would be reflected in the course title. The proposed title “Plant Diversity and Evolution” would more accurately reflect the course content. Concomitant with the study of diversity is the study of plant phylogeny. A significant portion of the course would include the plant fossil record, which reflects the phylogenetic history the plant kingdom.
The proposed catalog description incorporates the changes in content and removes the references to plant anatomy.
The course learning outcomes have been updated to more accurately reflect the new course content.
Removal from the GEP Natural Sciences List
PB 400 is redundant on the Natural Sciences list. Students are required to take PB 200, PB 250, or BIO 181 as a prerequisite for PB 400. Each of these prerequisites are on the GEP Natural Sciences list, and the vast majority of students taking PB 400 would fulfill their Natural Sciences GEP requirement with other courses. Because few, if any, students would need to fulfill the GEP Natural Sciences requirement using PB 400, there seems little reason for it to remain on the list.