Course Description

Course Name

Tropical Botany: Useful Plant Workshop

Session: VSJW1120

Hours & Credits

60 Contact Hours

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


This lecture/field course will provide students with a general overview of tropical plants. Students will gain insight about basic botanical concepts and be able to explore a variety of ecosystems, their plants and the multiple and complex ecological interactions that can be found in these areas. Costa Rica is a tropical country with an immensely rich biodiversity and for this reason a very representative area to these studies. Emphasis will be given to the most common plant families in Costa Rica, but others will be discussed as well.

1) Become acquainted with the concept of botany.
2) Learn the characteristics of the most common families in Costa Rica.
3) Observe different plant ecosystems and seek examples of important interactions.
4) To become familiar with the biodiversity of the tropics.
5) Understand the importance of the balance and the harmony among different types of ecosystems.
6) Understand the natural and human made impacts on natural ecosystems.
7) Comprehend the importance of conservation and management of natural systems.

It is recommended, but not required, that students complete a basic biology course prior to entering this course.

Botany as a sience
Botanical Classifications and Nomenclature
Identification features
Rain forests
Dryu forests
Montane Forests
Beach and Mangrove
Most Common Families
Natural and Human Impacts
Indigenous populations and forest use
Value of tropical forests
Causes of tropical deforestation
Consequences of forest destruction
Forest fragmentation and conservation
Development and conservation

Individual Presentation
Group Research Assignment
Article Discussions
Written Assignments\

Individual Presentation 10%
Individual Paper 15%
Attendance and Participation 5%
Midterm Test 10%
Final Test 10&
Group Research 15%
Articles Discussion

Field Trip 1 15%
Field Trip 2 15%

*Course content subject to change