Botany, Ecology, and Nature

Botany, Ecology, and Nature

Workshops and classes for the botanically inclined.

BRIT and the Fort Worth Botanic Garden are pleased to offer this series of classes and workshops that will focus on giving participants hands-on, experience-based education in the fields of plant and wildlife science, conservation, sustainability, and ecology. These carefully designed classes and workshops (most of which will will feature field investigations or lab work) will enhance  participants' prior education, offer participants the opportunity to assemble a unique set of skills, and allow participants to interact and network with professionals in their field of interest. 

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Program Information

Location: Most classes will take place at BRIT or at the FW Botanic Garden. Some classes and workshops will be taught off campus and/or may include field trips to other locations around North Central Texas.

Cost: Class tuition varies depending on the length of the class and materials needed. Please see the individual class listings for exact prices.

Who should attend: BRIT's Adult Education workshops are open to and suitable for all interested members of the general public. College students and upper level high school students with an interest in careers in field science, early career field scientists, naturalists, and formal/informal science educators may be especially interested in attending these classes.

Point of Contact

Laura Northern Venhaus

Director of the Libraries and Research Public Engagement

BRIT and the Fort Worth Botanic Garden are pleased to offer this series of classes and workshops that will focus on giving participants hands-on, experience-based education in the fields of plant and wildlife science, conservation, sustainability, and ecology. These carefully designed classes and workshops (most of which will will feature field investigations or lab work) will enhance  participants' prior education, offer participants the opportunity to assemble a unique set of skills, and allow participants to interact and network with professionals in their field of interest. 

Upcoming Events

The Eye and the Microscope

Introduction to Microcospy

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The Eye and the Microscope:  A comprehensive beginning course into the how and why of using the compound and stereo microscopes. No math, no physics, just some basic concepts about how and why a microscope should be used in a specific way for optimal results.  Learn how your visual problems may be affecting proper use of the microscope and what to do about them.  Don’t be intimidated by any microscope you see or by who may be using one.  A behind the scenes look as to what you need to understand will make you feel comfortable and enable a whole world of excitement to be opened up to you. This two hour experience will consist of an interactive discussion and personal use with both the compound and stereo microscopes.  Immediately following, an optional one hour hands-on opportunity to gain more experience and assistance in using these microscopes will be available.  Participants are encouraged to bring samples of what they would like to view under the microscopes.  

Instructor Ed Forrester has never met an optical instrument he didn't like. His experience, ranging from clinical to surgical instrumentation and the application of lasers with an emphasis in the field of opthalmology, provides the basis for an interesting and effective approach to teaching microscopy. He has held positions ranging from product development to international marketing and and has consulted with start-up companies in the medical field. Due to his interest in photography, astronomy, and most importantly, microscopy he exhibits muse-like characteristics when teaching!

$20 members/$25 non-members

Lichens: The Introductory Course

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Lichen biology is usually only included in basic science textbooks as an example of symbiotic associations between fungi and algae. There are, however, few opportunities to study the intricate structures and processes of these complex organisms compared to opportunities to study birds, rocks, flowers, and trees. The study of lichens is highly rewarding and you do not have to go very far to find them - they are all around you. The purpose of this workshop is to encourage the study of lichens in this region by exploring the basic characteristics needed to understand lichen biology and identification. This will be a self-paced, hands-on laboratory experience, using the author's Lichen Study Guide for Oklahoma and Surrounding States. Participants are encouraged to bring lichens they have collected.

Instructor Sheila Strawn is a native Oklahoman and she holds a B.S. in Biology and a M.Ed in Adult Education from the University of Central Oklahoma. Her Ph.D. in Grassland Ecology is from the University of Oklahoma. For the past 20 years Strawn has taught at the University of Central Oklahoma as Part-time Faculty teaching 4 to 8 hours of General Biology for non-majors each semester. She is the founding editor of the Oklahoma Native Plant Record and has served in that capacity for the last seventeen years. Her current research involves collecting, identifying, and developing distribution maps and an identification key for lichens growing in Oklahoma. Strawn is the author of Lichen Study Guide for Oklahoma and Surrounding States, which was published by the Botanical Research Institute of Texas in 2017.

$20 members/$25 non-members

Required Text:

Lichen Study Guide for Oklahoma and Surrounding States
https://shop.brit.org/products/oklahomalichens