Have you ever wondered why seeds become plants or why tomatoes are red?
A botany program can help you find out.
Students who study botany and plant science have the chance to explore
many fields. Most schools offer broad programs that expose you to molecular
biology, plant pathology, ecology, microbiology, biochemistry and more.
Students interested in ecology study how plants interact with other plants,
animals and the environment. Field botanists search for new species. They
also experiment to see how plants grow under different conditions.
Some botanists study the structure of plants, including their cells, chemicals
and genes. Molecular biology is also a big part of a good botany program.
A day at school could mean classes in biology, chemistry, math and physics.
Then it's off to the lab to look at plant cells under a microscope.
After lunch, you'll go on a field trip to a local pond to see how
plants live in their environment. Later, you and several friends will get
together for your botany club meeting.
Many universities and colleges offer degrees in botany and plant science.
With a bachelor's degree, you may be able to find work as a lab technician
or technical assistant in education, industry, government, museums, parks
or botanical gardens. You may also be able to work as an ecologist, taxonomist,
forester or conservationist.
For many higher-level research posts, botanists need to have a master's
or PhD. To work or teach at a college or university, botanists usually
need a PhD.
Start learning now by taking science courses in high school. Classes
in math, chemistry, biology and physics are important. They will also
help you understand basic scientific theories and lab work.
Include as many English and writing classes as possible. Professor
Larry Peterson says these classes will help you with presentations and lab
Hobbies such as hiking and gardening can also help you gain skills
you can use as a botanist. Peterson recommends doing any activity that promotes
independence, report writing and oral communication skills.
Aside from tuition, costs include textbooks, student union fees, equipment,
field trips and lab fees.
Occupational Outlook Handbook
Find more information related to this field of study
Plants National Database
U.S. Department of Agriculture database of plant names and symbols
Careers in Botany
What to do with your degree