Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Welcome

This is a new blog site, and I am still learning the ropes.  So bear with me as I tweak the format and add some links.

From the title, you might guess that this blog site will be devoted to Botany, a sort of Botany classroom and discussion session.  Botany is the study of  plants - their structure, function, evolution, and classification.  I will post short blogs on specific topics, as well as "field trips" with pictures of plants growing wild in various places I have been over the years. As blogging is as much about opinion or interpretation as it is about facts, this will also be a place also to discuss theory, issues, and controversies in the field of botany.

 I should note that Botany is not the same as Horticulture or gardening.  A horticulturist will tell you how to grow strawberries, a botanist will tell you why the seeds of a strawberry are on the outside of the fruit instead of inside where they belong.  There are thousands of places on the web where you can get horticultural information, so I will not provide any here.  Knowing the basics of botany, however, will lead to understanding of horticultural practices, and if you have a horticultural issue that can be addressed by looking at some botanical principle, then I will respond in that way.

I have taught Botany for many years, beginning as a post-doc at Cornell University, and for many years at the University of South Florida in Tampa.  I hope this site will be useful for both students and fellow instructors, and I hope it will be entertaining.

Finally, in choosing the title for this blog, I did not intend to imply that I am the only botany professor on the web, or that you should listen to me more than any of my hard-working and often underappreciated colleagues working at universities, colleges, botanical gardens, and herbaria around the world.  The domain name was available, and I adopted it as a description of what I do, but by all means explore the vast world of botanical websites and blogs that is available to you.  There is much to learn and much to enjoy.  I will pass on links of some of my favorite sites, once I figure out how to insert them.

I will be back soon!

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