Plant Taxonomy, Identification and Field Skills Course
This new training initiative combines the expertise of scientists from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew to provide sessions on the identification of plant families and field survey techniques, and will demonstrate the latest appropriate field technologies. The importance of linking taxonomic, identification and survey skills with conservation initiatives will be elucidated using Kew case studies.
Learning plant identification skills (Image: RBG Kew)
This two-week course combines the expertise of Kew’s scientists to provide lectures and practicals on the identification of common plant families, field survey and analytical techniques, plant taxonomy and nomenclature, and molecular and anatomical methods in systematics.
The course is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), which is providing competitive bursaries covering travel, accommodation, subsistence and course costs.
Dates of course
3-14 March 2014
The course runs for two weeks from 9:00–5:30 Monday–Friday
Classes are taught in the Kew department, Herbarium, Library, Art & Archives (situated next to the Main Gate to the Gardens on Kew Green); about 15 minutes’ walk from Kew Gardens Underground station (District Line/London Overground) and 10 minutes’ walk from Kew Bridge station (South West Trains).
Who is the course is designed for?
This course has been designed for PhD students and early-career researchers undertaking all aspects of environmental science but particularly ecology, botany and conservation. All environmental science students are encouraged to apply, but those applicants with existing NERC funding and/or based in the UK will be given priority.
How is the course taught?
Through short illustrated lectures, and extensive hands-on practical sessions, Kew scientists will demonstrate the key concepts in plant taxonomy, identification and field survey techniques. In addition, the course will provide a comprehensive introduction to plant taxonomy and nomenclature, including the role of molecular methods and anatomical studies in systematics, and introduce CBD and CITES legislation to place the training in context in the science-policy interface. After completing the course, participants will:
- be able to identify c. 30 plant families (focus on temperate regions; some also tropical) using key characters and relevant identification tools;
- correctly interpret scientific names and classifications
- have a comprehensive understanding and practical experience of mapping and navigation using GPS, survey skills and sampling design, selecting appropriate field tools and technologies to use;
- make botanical specimens of high scientific value;
- understand the role of molecular, phytochemical and anatomical data in systematic studies;
- be aware of the importance of linking taxonomic, identification and survey skills with conservation initiatives;
How to apply
Applications for a place on the course should be made using the application form on the course poster - download the course poster (pdf). Applications will be assessed after the closing date - NB The Deadline for applications is 1 DECEMBER 2013. For further information and a copy of the course poster, contact the course coordinators: Gemma Bramley or Tim Utteridge.
The course will have a maximum of 15 places, with £900 per successful applicant available to cover travel, accommodation, subsistence and course costs. Anyone can apply, but these bursaries are competitive and priority will be given to students already on NERC-funded training.
In order to attend these courses at Kew, students from outside the European Economic Area may need to apply for a Student Visitor Visa from the UK Border Agency to enter the UK. For this purpose, Kew is accredited by the British Accreditation Council for Independent Further and Higher Education as a Short Course Provider. Further information will be provided to course applicants – you will need to be accepted onto a course before you can apply for a student visitor visa.
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