Global Studies in Plant Biology

What is the "Global Studies in Plant Biology" program?

What are "Global Studies" programs? "Global Studies in Plant Biology" is a new umbrella encompassing short-term domestic or international "study abroad" experiences with field courses. All programs include a seminar course or series of orientations prior to departure, as well as the main course itself (usually a field course). In certain cases, students may have the opportunity to engage in lab research studying data and materials brought back from the field course, after the main program has ended. The seminar classes or orientations introduce topics concerning the geographic destination and its biota, as well as travel details and program administration, and take place during the academic quarter before the course; for instance, during fall semester for a winter intersession course or the first half of spring semester for a spring break course.

Two programs regularly return to the same destinations, offering students a predictable set of field course opportunities. The "Global Studies in Plant Biology" course (PBIO 4/5850, Tier III equivalent; sometimes also taught under "Field Studies in Plant Diversity", PBIO 4/5095) takes upper-level natural science majors who have taken PBIO 1150 to Arizona, Florida or Hawaii in years alternating with "Plant Systematics" (see below), during spring break or winter intersession. That course involves a combined ecological and floristic immersion to the region's plant diversity. The next program is spring break 2016. The "Plant Systematics and Vascular Plant Survey" course (PBIO 4/5090) is another advanced course for upper-level natural science majors, with PBIO 1150 as a prerequisite, that has required biweekly fall lectures, labs and orientation workshops, and devotes its field component to studies of vascular plant families, genera and common species in Panama during winter intersession but is officially part of the subsequent spring semester during odd years (next program is evenings in fall semester, with winter intersession trip to Panama in 2015). Dr. Harvey Ballard, instructor for "Plant Systematics", is presently holding information/recruitment sessions to fill spots in the course by the end of the spring 2014 semester. Occasional additional programs going to other destinations are hosted by faculty under PBIO 4/5850, "Global Studies in Plant Biology" for upper-level students.


Where in the world are you going?

1. Upper-level GS: "Ecology of the Andes", northern Bolivia, Ballard & Vis (Fall/Winter, 2000)--seminar, field course,
   student reflections
2. Upper-level GS: "Island Biology", Hawaiian Islands I, Ballard & Vis (Summer, 2001)--seminar, field course
3. Upper-level GS: "Neotropical Rainforest Ecology", southeastern Brazil, Ballard & Vis (Fall/Winter, 2001)--seminar, field course, student reflections
4. Upper-level GS: "Neotropical Rainforest Ecology", northern French Guiana, Ballard & Vis (Summer, 2002)--seminar, field course
5. Upper-level GS: "Island Biology", Hawaiian Islands II, Ballard & Brown (Summer, 2003)--seminar, field course
6. Upper-level GS: "Tropical Ecology", Thailand, Fail & Matlack (Fall/Winter Intersession, 2004)--field course
7. Upper-level GS: "Island Biology", New Zealand, Brown & Vis (Fall/Winter Intersession, 2005)--field course
8. Upper-level GS: "Tropical Biology", Sarawak, Fail & Matlack (Fall/Winter Intersession, 2007)--field course
9. Freshman GS: "Tropical Biodiversity and Environmental Issues", Panama, Ballard & Vis (Fall/Winter Intersession, 2008)--UC 190, seminar, field course
10. Upper-level GS: "Tropical Plant Systematics", Panama, Ballard (Fall/Winter Intersession, 2009)--prep course, field course
11. Upper-level GS: "Communities & flora of central Florida", Florida (Spring break, 2011 & 2012)--field course
12. Upper-level GS: "Island Plant Diversity and Evolution", Hawaii (Kauai), Ballard (Fall/Winter Intersession, 2013)--info slideshow
13. Upper-level GS: "Ecology & flora of the Southwest", Arizona, Ballard (Spring break, 2013)--field course
14. "Bahamas: An Island as an Environment", T3-4091, winter intersession for many years, Dr. Art Trese; suspended in 2012 to assess new destinations.

REPEATING PROGRAMS [small blue triangle]
Upper-level GS: "Plant Systematics and Vascular Plant Survey" (PBIO 4090), Panama, Ballard (Fall/Winter Intersession, 2014-15)--info slideshow [offered every other year]

UPCOMING PROGRAM [large red triangle]
Upper-level GS: Joint "Botany & Geology in the Bahamas" program (PBIO 4850, Tier III, for biology course; GEOL 4540 & 4541, count as 4XXX electives), San Salvador Island, Harvey Ballard & Alycia Stigall (Fall/Winter Intersession, 2015-16) [offered every other year]; PBIO course--info slideshow; GEOL course--info slideshow


What do I do next if I'm interested in participating?

1. Contact Dr. Ballard (below) or the faculty director in charge of the program, about an upcoming trip, at least 6-9 months in advance of the program date.
2. Attend an upcoming information/recruitment meeting.
3. Go to the Office of Global Opportunities website, at, and apply online by clicking on the "APPLY HERE!" button under the "Online Application Form" heading.
4. After an interview with the faculty director of the program, you will be nominated to the program by the director. You must respond affirmatively within a few days of your nomination by sending an email to the director, that you accept the nomination and want the spot in the program. You also must go back into your application on the OGO website and change the toggle switch from "nominated" to "nomination accepted".
5. Shortly after your acceptance of the nomination, you must pay the $500 deposit toward the program fee. (This is not "new" money, it's subtracted from the total program fee.) The deposit guarantees your spot. If this is impossible at the moment, you must contact the OGO staff and make arrangements.
6. Participate in all fall semester preliminary meetings, orientations, course lectures and other activities, as these are mandatory; and prepare for the program.
7. Have a great experience!


Contact Information:
Dr. Harvey Ballard, Porter 406, (740) 593-4659,

Prepared by Harvey Ballard; last revised 25 February, 2015.


| Harvey Ballard's Web Page | | Glenn Matlack's Web Page | | Brian McCarthy's Web Page |
| Art Trese's Web Page | | Morgan Vis's Web Page |

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