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Northern Ecology

Botany for Naturalists, Ecologists, and Herbalists

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Course Overview

Take your botanical chops to the next level with plant taxonomic skills—the foundation of any plant-based practice. A weekend intensive designed to provide natural resource professionals, master naturalists, and herbalists with a solid basis in botanical science. Through the course, you will learn terms for key plant structures, characteristics of common plant families, and how to use dichotomous keys. We will spend the mornings in a lecture-lab setting, then head out on field trips to forests and wetlands in the Grand Marais area to observe and study plant structures in a natural setting. This course is geared towards students interested in learning technical botanical terms, plant taxonomy, and using botanical keys. A knowledge of local flora, experience identifying plants with image-based field guides, or similar experience will be an asset as the course is intensive. Students should have the ability to sit in a classroom setting for 2-4 hours (with breaks) and walk several hundred feet or more into a forest, bog, or other settings off-trail and over uneven terrain.

This course has been approved for 10 continuing educations credits for the Society for Ecological Restoration Practitioner program (CERP). Persons completing the class will receive a certificate for the credits.

 Required Tools

  • A 10x hand lens; a few options are:

          -Wanapure 10× Metal Jewelry Loop Magnifier, Jewelers Eye Loupe: $15

          -Ade Advanced Optics 10x21TB-A Triplet Professional Loupe: $25

          -BelOMO Jewelers Loupe 10x Triplet Magnifier 21mm (.85"): $40

          Note: A 20x hand lens is useful to have in addition to the 10x, but is not required.

  • Clipboard and paper, or hard covered notebook to take notes in the field
  • Sturdy boots for hiking on the Saturday field trip, rubber boots for the Sunday field trip may be useful, depending on recent rainfall
  • Hat, long pants, and long sleeve shirt to protect from sun and bugs
  • Rain gear
  • Backpack to carry water and snacks
  • Insect repellent and head net
  • Required book: "Botany in a Day", Thomas Elpel

Optional Tools

  • Recommended book: "Plant Identification Terminology: An Illustrated Glossary", by James G. Harris and Melinda Woolf Harris
  • Camera or phone to take photos
  • Baggies and sharpie to collect plant samples


Fri, May 31st, 2024  –  Sun, Jun 2nd, 2024

This course has been cancelled. We offer our deepest apologies.

If you were registered for this class, you should have received an email regarding your refund options. If not, please call us at 218-387-9762 or email us at

We truly hope to see you in another class at North House soon!

Course Details

Hours: Day 1: 3pm-5pm Day 2: 9am-5pm; Day 3: 9am-3pm
Tuition: $230.00
Materials fee: $5.00
Latest Update: View recent changes →

Meet the Instructor

North House Folk School photo of instructor, Cynthia Lane
Cynthia Lane
Pepin, WI

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Botany for Naturalists, Ecologists, and Herbalists