Minnesota Master Naturalist

Course Registration

ADV - Botany in the Big Woods: MN Spring Flora

Botany in the Big Woods MN Spring Flora website

2660 Fawn Lake Drive NE 55005
Bethel, MN 55005-9718

Minnesota's forests are rich in plant species that make a brief appearance in spring. As a naturalist, knowing these plants is key to understanding ecological connections in the forest community. This two-day workshop teaches advanced skills and provides tools to properly identify and study woodland plants. It is ideal for beginners. It will focus on identifying early woodland species of Minnesota in both the field and back in the lab. Plant anatomy, keys to identification, and sampling techniques will be presented. Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve is an ideal site for botany because of its rich variety of forests, bogs and prairie habitats.

At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:
- understand concepts in botany
- identify common species using field guides
- practice field vegetation sampling and preservation techniques

June 3rd:
9:00 coffee registration
9:15-10:15 AM Botany 101 lecture
10:30-12:30 Plant collecting and specimen preparation
12:30-1 lunch
1-4 Cedar Bog Lake boardwalk & plant identification with field guides
4-5 big-bio experiment oak savanna (bison experiment)

June 4th:
8:00 coffee & orientation to vegetation sampling
9:00-noon vegetation inventory
noon-12:30 pm lunch in the field
1:00-2:30 Beckman bog (plant identification)
2:30-4:00 Botany resources online [GoBotany for plant ID & Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas (computer lab)]

Cost: $185 for MN Master Naturalist & Woodland Owners ($200. for non-MNats) includes lunch, textbook and materials for the class and onsite transportation.

Instructor: Dr. George Weiblen is the Distinguished McKnight University Professor and Science Director & Herbarium Curator for the Bell Museum. George studies plants all over the world and has taught the MN Flora class since 2005. He oversees the MN Herbarium collection of over 900,000 plants and fungi and has published extensively on plants throughout his career. He is a leading plant expert in Minnesota, often appearing in local and national media.

The course cost is $185 and includes course manuals and supplies.

Course Dates:

Meeting from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. on:

Instructor Information

Stephan Carlson

Dr. Stephan Carlson. Dr. Carlson has worked for the U of M Extension and the College of Food Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences for the last 25 years doing outreach and teaching classes in environmental education (EE) and interpretation. He has worked in the fields of EE, outdoor recreation, informal science education and environmental interpretation for the past 35 years. In addition to his work teaching interpretation, he also teaches Science and Math summer school on the White Earth Indian Reservation. His research is on understanding the components that informal science experiences have on young people and how to develop quality programs that incorporate these components in environmental education.

Sponsor Information

Minnesota Master Naturalist

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