FSS > Undergraduate Division > Letters & Science > UC Berkeley

Plant and Microbial Biology 24, Section 1
Encounters with Plants: First-hand Experiences with the Culture, Lore, and History of Plants (1 unit, P/NP)
Professor Lewis Feldman
Tuesday 11:00-12:00, 201 Giannini Hall, Class number: 24325

Course Threads Food for Thought This seminar is meant to provide students the opportunity to explore ways plants have touched or influenced their lives, both personally and in an historical sense. Examples could include unique cultural uses of plants, perhaps as foods or medicines, or in a ceremonial way. As well, you could also use this seminar to explore an aspect of plants in which you may have an interest and about which you would like to learn more, such as the ways plants figure into art (e.g., Rousseau’s Jungle paintings). Plants too have recently been associated with controversial issues, such as genetically engineered foods and with so-called crop circles. We want to use this seminar as a way of expanding our appreciation and understanding of this unique group of organisms. For the first few meetings we will have talks/discussions from individuals whose daily lives involve plants. For the remaining weeks each student will present a 20-minute “seminar” on a plant topic in which they have an interest. This talk should be based on readings and could also involve some personal, firsthand experiences with plants. Additionally, this seminar will expose students to the great breadth and variety of botanical resources available at Berkeley; it will include field trips to the Botanical Garden and the Herbaria, and a tour of the trees of the Berkeley campus. For students thinking of majoring in the biological sciences, with an emphasis on plants, this course will provide them an overview of plant-related opportunities (e.g., research experiences, resources, faculty contacts) with which to explore their interest (and possible major) in plants. This is a Course Threads Theme Seminar. This seminar is part of the Food for Thought Seminar Series.

Lewis Feldman teaches Introductory Biology (Biology 1B) in which he hopes to convey the wonder and satisfaction of working with plants. He also teaches upper division courses in plant structure and physiology, and for his research investigates the developmental biology of roots. In his spare time he also serves as an Associate Dean in the College of Natural Resources.

Faculty web site: http://pmb.berkeley.edu/profile/lfeldman

Quotes from Fall 2016 seminar:

If you’re interested in learning about opportunities at Berkeley related to biology, then you should take this seminar and write down those opportunities.

It’s a great class with a great professor. The guest speakers are all very interesting and intelligent.

This course is very relaxed and is a great intro to the Berkeley campus/faculty.

"Professor Feldman was excellent, always helpful and interested in all of us, made the class that much more enjoyable." - fall 2008 student

"Professor did a great job of caring and making people feel welcome. It makes me feel like its possible to get involved in programs and access resources. It is definitely a nice class to have as a freshman." - fall 2008 student

"I not only felt very welcomed, but by the end of the semester the class did feel like a rather small family. A good start to my first semester here at Berkeley." - fall 2008 student

"The course is very enlightening and very fun. Professor Feldman is a really good professor who helps you with any kind of problem you are having at the university." - student in Fall 2006 seminar

"This class is a wonderful opportunity to explore new fields of biology and to meet great faculty." - student in Fall 2006 seminar

"This seminar exceeded my expectations and I found it to be a rewarding experience." - student in Fall 2006 seminar
Freshman and Sophomore Seminars are co-sponsored by the Undergraduate Division
of the College of Letters & Science and the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education.
For further information about the program,
contact Alix Schwartz (alix@berkeley.edu / 642-8378).

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