Nats104 Plants and Our World in D2L
Maureen Sieberg, Ph.D.
Contact me only through D2L mail unless system is
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Monday Dec 21, 2009 – Jan 12, 2010
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The primary objective of this course is to help you develop a deeper
understanding of plants so that you can better appreciate their importance in the lives of all living
things, especially yours. Plants are not only an important part of our environment (farms, landscapes
and natural areas), they are absolutely essential for our survival and the survival of all life on earth.
Among other things, they provide us with a wide variety of foods, many medicines, fibers for clothing,
materials to build our homes, as well as wonderful vistas for our aesthetic pleasure. They are the
ultimate source of most of the fuels that we use to cool our homes, cook our foods, light our streets,
and run our engines. They are usually in our rooms shortly after birth, and they are present at all the
significant occasions throughout our lives. It is important to know about the structure of plants, how
they work, how they are used by humans, and how they might be modified to meet the needs of a
growing human population. By the end of the course you will be better equipped to understand and
make judgments about issues involving plants and their roles in our lives. Even though we will use
plants as the focus of our discussions, we will address a wider range of scientific questions. We
hope that you will see that science is a process carried out by real people for important reasons, and
not just a collection of facts.
This online course utilizes D2L for course content and management. You will
be required to complete quizzes and the final exam via D2L throughout the semester, and to submit
assignments by predetermined deadlines. You will need basic internet and computer operating skills.
You must be able to navigate in D2L, or be willing to learn to do so. At least a 56K modem
connection is recommended.
This course is designed to present plant biology using a logical approach. To assist students in
organizing course content, the presentation of topics generally follows the textbook, with some
exceptions. There is some chapter overlap, and there are some subjects that are presented more
than once though under different contexts. The intent is to offer a consistent and coherent treatment
of the subject while helping the student learn important biological concepts.
Course content is conveyed to students through the use of the “Content” tool found on D2L in