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BTNY303: Topics in Field Botany

As of 2016-07-05, this page is no long current. Please visit the BTNY303 Summer School page for more accurate information:

Teaching Staff

Professor Kath Dickinson.

Course Description

Employers tell us that they want graduates who ‘know their plants’. There are many jobs out there where ‘knowing your plants’ is highly beneficial – however these days few of these jobs are advertised under the title ‘botanists’. Some examples are: land management officer; weed management officer; biodiversity advisor; operations manager (biodiversity); ecological consultant; research scientist; planner; teacher; university academic; plant geneticist; agricultural consultant; winemaker.

This paper will help you to ‘know your plants’ by understanding plants in the world around us. It is a hands‐on, intensive field‐oriented course in plant identification and documentation, in the context of plant population and community ecology. The paper will combine field‐based work and laboratory sessions with lectures and tutorials providing a theoretical framework to the course of study.

Students who learn successfully in this paper will:

  • Be able to use relevant diagnostic tools to identify plants to a species level
  • Be able to collect and preserve botanical specimens in a professional manner and se herbarium resources to verify identifications and species names Learn basic herbarium curatorial skills and be aware of the regulations governing national and international plane specimen exchanges.
  • Be familiar with New Zealand regulatory framework for plant collecting and the significant of Treaty partnerships
  • Be able to identify major families of genera of New Zealand plants and some of their key relationships with floras elsewhere in the world
  • Be able to relate operational and survey data to the relevant botanical and plant ecological literature


The course involves 12 full weekdays based on the Dunedin campus from 15‐30th November 2016


All assessment will be completed by mid‐December.

Course Downloads

A copy of the course information sheet is available

Additional Course Information

More BTNY303 course and timetable information is available on the Courses and Subjects website.