For Plant Lovers Only: Becoming a Botanist


Learn what botanists are, where they work, and how a person can become a botanist.

Teaching Objectives:

  • Students will be able to explain what a botanist is and what kinds of activities a botanist might do.
  • Students will be able to describe five sub-specialties in the field of botany.
  • Students will be able to name places where a botanist might work.
  • Students will be able to explain how a person can become a botanist.

Suggested Grade Level

5th – 8th Grade

Lesson Excerpt:

Botany is the study of plants. A scientist that works with plants is known as a botanist. Botanists do many different things in a wide variety of settings. They study plants to find out how they can best be grown and thrive. They study properties of plants that make them useful as medicine, and they do research to learn about the nutritional value of plants as well. Botanists also develop ways to use plants to make things like building supplies and fibers for clothing.

Botanists may work indoors or outdoors, depending on the specific job they do. They work with farmers, in nature museums and in laboratories. Many work in colleges and universities, where they teach and do research. Government organizations hire botanists as well. For example, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Parks Service are two large employers of botanists. Drug companies, paper and lumber companies, food companies and seed companies also hire botanists.

 

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