North Carolina Botanical Garden
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Certificate Program in Native Plant Studies


Program Overview


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Upcoming Event
Certificate and Advanced Certificate in Native Plants
Spaces Remaining: 857
The Certificate in Native Plant Studies provides a well-balanced botany, ecology, and taxonomy curriculum that enables students to develop a greater appreciation of native flora of the southeastern United States. The program provides basic scientific background and hands-on investigative opportunities. Studies leading to the Certificate will enhance the experience of professionals as well as dedicated amateur botanists and provide strong credentials for those involved in botanical, ecological, and conservation endeavors. Classes are taught by Garden staff, UNC professors, and other area experts.
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Introduction to Mushrooms
Registration Closed
This course is intended for a broad audience as an introduction to mushrooms, including their identification, ecology and cultivation. Session includes classroom discussion on the basic taxonomy of fleshy fungi and a foray to a nearby forest. Price includes supply fee, which covers materials for mushroom cultivation bags that participants will be able to take home. No prerequisites.
1:30 PM - 3/4/2023 4:30 PM
Winter Flora
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
This course is designed for a broad audience as well as for students who are enrolled in either of the Garden’s certificate programs. Field trips and exercises provide experience in the use of identification keys and recognition of plants in their winter condition in natural settings. Enjoy discovering that many trees and shrubs are easily recognized when not covered with leaves!
9:30 AM - 2/11/2023 12:30 PM
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
This course is introductory in nature and designed for a broad audience. It covers basic principles of botany including taxonomy, anatomy, morphology and physiology. Class time is divided between lectures and examining/dissecting samples. There are also opportunities for making observations in the gardens.
9:30 AM - 2/10/2023 12:30 PM
Plant Taxonomy
Spaces Remaining: 8
This course builds on the fundamentals taught in Botany and prepares students for supplementary material covered in Flowering Plant Families. It is a core course for students enrolled in either of the NCBG public certificate programs. Students learn the basic concepts of the taxonomy of vascular plants and how to identify plant families by making observations of selected characteristics. The use of taxonomic keys is introduced. Interesting examples are studied to illustrate current issues in plant taxonomy and nomenclature. This course serves as a prerequisite for Flowering Plant Families.
1:30 PM - 3/26/2023 4:30 PM
Plant Ecology
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
Plant Ecology is a conceptual course designed for a broad audience interested in the interactions of plants within their environments. Ecological relationships at the organism, population, community, and ecosystem levels are examined, using examples from the rich and diverse North Carolina flora. Students will learn about nutrient and energy cycling within ecosystems, as well as about current threats and trends for the conservation of ecosystems. No prerequisites.
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Penny's Bend: A Half Day Field Trip
Spaces Remaining: 6
Penny’s Bend Nature Preserve is an 84-acre site that protects numerous rare plant species. It is surrounded on three sides by the Eno River in eastern Durham County, North Carolina. This half day field trip will include a visit to distinct plant communities including a remnant Piedmont prairie, rich mesic and alluvial forests, and dry shortleaf pine-dominated bluffs. Rare species found on the Preserve include the smooth purple coneflower (Echinacea laevigata), eastern prairie blue wild indigo (Baptisia minor var. aberrans), hoary puccoon (Lithospermum canescens), and Dutchman’s breeches (Dicentra cucullaria). Much of this hike is on primitive trails over uneven terrain, with one short, steep climb up from the river. Wear sturdy hiking footwear and bring insect repellent, water, and a walking stick, if you ever use one.
1:00 PM - 4/26/2023 3:15 PM
Principles of Conservation Biology
Spaces Remaining: 3
This course is intended for an experienced audience and introduces the principles of biodiversity and conservation. Students learn about rare plants, conservation genetics, ecological restoration, conservation landscaping, and preserve design.
9:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Native Plant Propagation
Spaces Remaining: 5
This course is intended for a broad audience. Students learn fundamentals of vegetative propagation and techniques for propagating southeastern native plants by means of stem and root cuttings. Class includes hands-on propagation and a tour of the vegetative propagation facilities of NCBG.
9:30 AM - 6/24/2023 12:30 PM
Spaces Remaining: 7
This course is designed for a broad audience. Students learn insect family recognition and common species identification, insect ecology and conservation, basic life cycle biology, and how to improve insect habitat and conservation in the urban environment. No prerequisites.