Botany 2006 - The Educational ForumBotanical Society of America: Botanical Conference Information

Forum Overview


As a model program for promoting innovation in science teaching, the Education and Outreach Forum has become an integral component of our annual meeting. Beginning in 2002 at the Wisconsin meeting, the Forum has attracted hundreds of educators from around the country. With a variety of formats from discussions to workshops, the sessions provide a means for participants to explore novel approaches to integrating plants into the classroom and to reach out to broaden participation in science in general. The Forum is a must not only for teachers but also for researcher who are interested in making their results accessible to students of biology at all levels. The global significance of plants continues to grow. It is therefore vital that botanists and their professional societies work to ensure that plants are represented in the undergraduate and graduate curriculum, as well as in science outreach initiatives. Each year, the Forum has delighted attendees with informative sessions and a stellar key note address. Botany 2006 will include the fourth Forum, which promises to be enlightening, engaging and lively.
The Forum begins on Saturday morning and will include informational sessions, interactive panel and roundtable discussions, and breakout groups. Sunday's offerings include a series of FREE hands-on workshops. Two-hour, half-day, and full-day workshops will be organized so that attendees may participate in workshops and/or field trips, also being planned for Sunday. The Call for Workshops has already been posted on the conference web site.

A new feature of the 2006 Forum is the opportunity for California teachers to receive up 15 Continuing Professional Credits (CPEs) for attending the Forum Session, Scientific Workshops, Field Trips and/or the Scientific Program.

Topical Sessions

TOPICAL 'THREADS' - Individual sessions are grouped within the topical themes, or `threads' listed below.

• Emphasizing Botany across the Curriculum - Sessions on what is the vital content to cover, and what's at the cutting edge within disciplinary areas (e.g., systematics, development, etc.), how to promote plants in the classroom and among your colleagues, developing interdisciplinary courses/curricula, and educating pre-service teachers about plants”
• Designing Investigative Laboratories - Sessions on `model,' or best-practice, labs (e.g., “Using Wisconsin Fast Plants to study plant development,” “Using instructional technology to examine photosynthesis”)
• Engaging Undergraduates in Research - What are the challenges of mentoring undergraduate research students?, “Publishing with undergraduates in peer-reviewed journals, “Using your courses to feed your research program”
• Developing Effective Teaching and Mentoring Skills - “How to become a teacher-scholar,” “How to review manuscripts and grant proposals,” “Tips on balancing your academic time,” “Graduate student training programs: The do's and don'ts”
• Supporting Effective Teaching and Learning - Sessions on funding (e.g., information about grant sources, tips on writing proposals and grant management); “Managing a university greenhouse or herbarium,” “Tips for Chairs and Deans,” “How to best prep an Introductory Lab,” “How to assess the effectiveness of an advanced course”
• Reaching Out beyond the Ivory Towers - “Linking up with botanical gardens and arboreta,” “Linking up with teachers,” “Linking up with the media,” “Designing and implementing workshops for teachers,” Sessions on best-practice initiatives.

Session Types

Four types of sessions will be included in the FORUM program, and these are listed below. Organizers will be able to select the most appropriate type of session for their topic.

• Informational Session - A presentation by one to three speakers in which specific information is conveyed. Informational sessions should leave a minimum of 20 minutes for questions and answers. - An introduction by one to three facilitators followed by time for in-depth discussion or an organized activity that engages the audience. Two thirds of the time period should be devoted to discussion and interaction. A breakout session often culminates in a commitment: group recommendations or personal agendas for future implementation.
• Panel Session - Two to four panel members including a moderator, each of which may give a brief introduction, followed by discussion among them and with the audience. Half of the time period should involve audience participation.
• Roundtable Session - A roundtable is a freewheeling discussion, usually with multiple viewpoints. The discussion is facilitated by a moderator, but there are no formal speakers. The moderator sets the stage for the discussion by providing one or two provocative questions. Virtually the entire session is interactive.

Deadline for receiving session proposals is April 1, 2006.

Submission of session proposals should be conducted online using the Abstract Submission Site, which is now open.

A Registration Brochure for Botany 2006 will be mailed to members of participating societies in spring 2006, and it will be available online at the conference web site.




Questions About Botany Meetings should be directed to: BSA Meetings Manager:
Johanne Stogran
Botanical Society of America Meetings Office
2813 Blossom Ave
Columbus, OH 43231
Tele: (614) 899-9356 - Fax: (614) 895-7866 - E-mail:
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