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Department of Plant Sciences

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Spring Semester, 2008

Why a class in physiology?!

Once you receive your degree in plants, for the rest of your life you will be asked questions about how plants work. In your professional work with plants -- whether you become a garden curator, golf course superintendent, nursery manager, landscape designer, horticultural writer -- knowing what makes plants tick will help you be better at your job.

For these reasons, we have developed a course in plant functioning, oriented to turf, the garden and the landscape.

348 Landscape Plant Physiology (2) Physiological principles as they relate to landscape design and contracting, turfgrass management, public horticulture: photosynthesis and transpiration, respiration, water and hormonal relations, mineral nutrition, plant development and response to the environment.

Approach

"Facts leaked out of her brain within days of being stuffed in, but she had excelled ... all her life because she always knew the most direct route to the information she required." 
                                                                             ~ The Children's Hospital, Chris Adrian (description of a medical student)

Knowing things is important. Equally important is knowing how to find information and find answers when faced with something we don't know. This class is about both.

You will learn many things about how plants work. We will also explore how to search for specific information in online and paper sources.

     Course format and approach

Instructor
      Dr. Robert Augé  

Office Hours: By appointment. 258 Ellington Plant Sciences Bldg. 

Class time and location
    10:10 - 11:00 Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays / BESS 276. 1st class = Jan 9, last class = Mar 12.
    Note: 3 classs sessions per week for 1st 10 weeks of semester; course coincides with spring turf block

Prerequisites
      Biol 111 or 112: 4 hrs of introductory botany

Textbook
      Course text: Applied Turfgrass Science and Physiology, by Jack Fry and Bingru Huang, 2004.

Goal of Course
The goal of this course is to help students of urban and public horticulture turfgrass management, and landscape design and maintenance develop an understanding of some important aspects of plant function and how these relate to garden and turf practices and problems.
      Expected student outcomes involve the ability to intelligently discuss how the external and internal environment might affect the functioning of landscape plants... and maybe more importantly, how to find reliable information related to how plants function.

Assignments
      See Assignments for description and due dates.
      Late policy: Assignments turned in late will be penalized 10% for each day past the due date.

Evaluation
Exams? Maybe. We'll talk about it.
Daily quizzes on the readings
Web logs summarizing in-class literature searches
Term project: preparation of your piece of a team paper for publication

Grading (see Blackboard gradebook for PLSC 348)
Points
280   term project:
360   ~22 quizes (one on most class periods, over assigned readings and podcasts).
20 points each, drop 4 lowest scores.
180   Web logs: 10 points each, drop 4 lowest scores.
180   participation in class discussions and activities
1000 total possible points

Grade breakdown:
A   = 900-1000
B+ = 860-899
B   = 780-859
C+ = 740-779
C   = 660-739
D   = 540-659
F   = below 540

Class attendance and participation
       Attendance is expected for each class session, but it is not mandatory. As noted above, a quiz will be given on most days and a web log assignment performed during most class sessions. Almost a fifth of your grade will also derive from your participation in activities during class.
        So come to class.
        There will be no make up quizzes (you may drop your lowest four quiz scores and your lowest four web log assignment scores).
       Students will be responsible for all classes missed. Get notes from missed class periods from your fellow classmates, regarding preparing the article for publication.
       Please feel free to come by my office and talk about the course. My advice is to participate in class. Each of you will bring unique experiences and insights to the class, so don't be afraid to share them with the group. This semester should be particularly interesting, as you will be helping to invent the class.

bullet What is plagiarism? (courtesy of Rutgers University)

University Honor Code
      An essential feature of The University of Tennessee is a commitment to maintaining an atmosphere of intellectual integrity and academic honesty. As students of the University, you pledge that you will neither knowingly give nor receive any inappropriate assistance in academic work, thus affirming your own personal commitment to honor and integrity.

Important note:  
        Please be assured that I want students to learn and receive the good grades they deserve.  Come talk with me if you have questions or difficulties.

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