Welcome to BIOL190 – Introduction to Flora of Alaska (Summer 2023)

Welcome to class! Finally the day has come that we are unveiling the online version of BIOL190 – Introduction to Alaska’s Flora (in its sixth year).   Sorry the video is using the old class name, but you are in the right class BIOL190. I hope you are as excited as I am to learn about our incredible flora, get to know some of its players by name, and get close and personal with them through plant dissection.   The class will throw a lot of new terms at you, do not despair if that is a little overwhelming at first.   Look at it like learning a new language, you want to talk with your foreign friend and have a good conversation, but first you need to get all the vocabulary down. The first conversation might not be as refined as you may wish, but it will all fall into place once you have many small conversation with your friend(s) and classmates, and soon the concept of botanical terms will become second nature. Soon you will sit at the kitchen table and contemplate using canned or fresh berries for your tomato sauce :).   Have fun, and I am looking forward to learning more about the plants that grow in your area, and your adventures exploring your outdoor botanical laboratory.

As some of you night have noticed, you will see posts from previous students on the WordPress site. That was done by design. You might even be interested in browsing through previous posts.   Lots of good stuff there from students that took the class in previous years.   Please do not plagiarize their work though :).

Cheers, Steffi.


  1. Thank you for sharing your “playground.”

    I’ve had people ask me if I know a second language. I usually reply “I don’t even know English thoroughly.” Now I can say, “Yes, I know the language of plants – botany.”

  2. jlspires

    I loved getting a tour of the UAF Herbarium back in 2006 by the curator at the time, Al Batten! He showed me some rare plants & it was magical. I like the way you describe it as a library for plants. I worked for BLM at that time & was asked to begin their Herbarium. Pressing, mounting & IDing plants quickly became a life long passion!

  3. Pier Imbriano

    This is great! I’m hoping to be able to see some of those air tight specimen myself when I visit UAF Fairbanks in August! The greenhouse is amazing. As for the language- it’s a steep learning curve but I’m climbing it! Thank you so much for the introduction!!

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