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BTNY303 Topics in Field Botany

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Understanding plants in the world around us. A hands-on, field-oriented course in plant identification and collection, in the context of plant population and community ecology.

This field-based paper aims to provide a hands-on understanding of New Zealand plant species, the populations and communities of which they are a part, and the ecological relationships with the environments in which they occur. Students will become familiar with the major families and genera of plants that are significant in the New Zealand flora, as well as gain internationally applicable skills in identifying plants to species level using a range of diagnostic tools and documenting plant distributions via voucher specimen collection and documentation. Further, students will gain expertise in observational as well as the diagnostic and analytical skills that are primarily used in plant surveys, as well as an understanding of the ecological processes that influence the location of plants, and that shape the vegetation.

Paper title Topics in Field Botany
Paper code BTNY303
Subject Botany
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period 1st Non standard period (15 November 2021 - 17 December 2021) (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,092.15
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $5,004.75

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Two of BTNY 201, BTNY 202, BTNY 203, ECOL 211, ECOL 212, GENE 222, GENE 223, GEOG 287, GEOG 290, MARI 202, STAT 210, ZOOL 221, ZOOL 222, ZOOL 223
Schedule C
Teaching staff
Course Co-ordinator: Professor Kath Dickinson
Paper Structure
Lectures, laboratories and field trips.
Teaching Arrangements

13 full weekdays based on the Dunedin campus, 15 November 2021 to 1 December 2021.
2 December 2021 to 17 December 2021 off-campus (no requirement to be in Dunedin).
All assessment will be completed by 17 December 2021.


Textbooks are not required for this paper.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Lifelong learning, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Environmental literacy, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who learn successfully in this paper will:
  • Be able to use relevant diagnostic tools to identify plants to species level
  • Be able to collect and preserve botanical specimens in a professional manner and use herbarium resources to verify identifications and species names
  • Learn basic herbarium curatorial skills and be aware of the regulations governing national and international plant specimen exchanges
  • Be familiar with New Zealand's regulatory framework for plant collecting and the significance of Treaty partnerships
  • Be familiar with methods for surveying plant populations and communities
  • Be able to relate observational and survey data to the relevant botanical and plant ecological literature

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1st Non standard period (15 November 2021 - 17 December 2021)

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 09:00-16:50 46-48
Tuesday 09:00-16:50 46-48
Wednesday 09:00-16:50 46-48
Thursday 09:00-16:50 46-47
Friday 09:00-16:50 46-47