Student Research: Fall 2015 Update

ASPB collaborates with, a learning community where scientists provide online mentoring to student teams in middle school through undergraduate settings so students can design and think through their own inquiry projects. Scroll to the end of this post for an impressive list of who is doing what. The fall 2015 online meeting space was … Read more

Our STEM Workforce and The Disruptive Innovation in Higher Education Summit

New visions and multi-faceted collaborations to creatively, efficiently, and collaboratively remaster STEM higher education and its K-12 pipeline. The Disruptive Innovation in Higher Education Summit presented by the STEMconnector® Higher Education Council and sponsored by Cengage Learning, myCollegeOptions®, and Monsanto was a dynamic event aimed at advancing a national (US) effort to meet the education … Read more

Plants in the News: Help us identify 2015’s Plant Science Highlights

Normally, our Friday posts highlight plants featured in the news over the past week, but this week we take a short break to make an appeal for your thoughts on the most notable and newsworthy plant-related events, resources, breakthroughs and headline makers of the past year. Here are the stories we featured last year as … Read more

Meet the litter trappers

Plants that do the unexpected or that don’t conform to stereotype command attention and serve as portals to the diversity of the plant kingdom. Litter-trapping plants have an unusual and interesting strategy for obtaining nutrients. Zona and Christenhusz (2015), writing in the Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, describe plants that have evolved specialized adaptations … Read more

Plants in the News 13 November 2015: Indonesia on Fire

Recent fires in Indonesia have been making headlines around the world and raising concerns about their impacts on wildlife, global carbon emissions and health problems for local people. Fires have been a recurring problem for many years, but this year they are exacerbated by drought conditions caused by a strong El Niño event. Since September … Read more

Supporting the Pipeline: K-12 STEM Educators

It’s critical to consider the education of those who will teach STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) in the K-12 pipeline. One resource for supporting the development of effective STEM teachers is UTeach. Here is an overview from their About page: UTeach is an innovative university-based teacher preparation program working to increase the number of qualified … Read more

Generation Agriculture: Who Will Feed the World in the Next Generation?

As noted in and blogged with permission from Friday Notes, CAST: Reports, surveys, loud headlines–Who Will Feed the Nine Billion? After observing young people in FFA, at the World Food Prize, in university activities, and at many other occasions, we have confidence that Generation Agriculture will rise to the occasion. In the meantime, the stories … Read more

Plants in the News 6 November 2015: Pineapple, Ananas comosus

This week we celebrate pineapples, in honor of the completion of the sequencing of the pineapple (Ananas comosus) genome and the insights it provides into an important metabolic pathway (Ming et al., 2015). Pineapples are more than just tasty tropical fruit, they’re also one of many plants able to carry out a special form of … Read more

Teaching with Wikipedia: collective intelligence, epistemology, digital literacy, and addressing bias

To support ASPB’s ongoing partnership with Wiki Edu (see this blogpost) and encourage the successful adoption of Wiki Edu resources, here is some hard-earned insight on what works (and what needs work) when you are… Teaching (more than just) writing with Wikipedia Original post by Eryk Salvaggio Zach McDowell, who has taught with Wikipedia at the … Read more

Plants in the News, October 30 2015: Oxford Plants 400

The 400th anniversary of the founding of plant science at Oxford will be celebrated on July 25 2021 (see its history). As a celebration and count-down to this anniversary, the University of Oxford Botanic Garden and Harcourt Arboretum, together with the Oxford University Herbaria and the Department of Plant Sciences, are highlighting 400 plants of … Read more

PlantingScience Awarded $2.9M Grant from the National Science Foundation

ASPB collaborates on this science teacher training and development program. The Botanical Society of America (BSA), the American Society of Plant Biologists and the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) have been awarded a $2.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Discovery Research PreK-12 program for further development and support for the middle and … Read more

Plants in the News, October 16 2015: Marvellous Mangroves

This week we feature mangroves, a polyphyletic group of plants that live in tropical intertidal zones. Mangroves are in the news as a consequence of a new paper out in Nature (Lovelock et al., 2015) that describes their great vulnerability to sea-level rise (see also Saintilan et al., 2015).   Mangrove is a term used … Read more

ASPB Collaborates: the Promoting Active Learning & Mentoring Network Grant

ASPB joins the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) and Genetics Society of America (GSA) to establish the new Promoting Active Learning & Mentoring (PALM) Network grant program for improving undergraduate classroom teaching and learning outcomes. Sue Wick (University of Minnesota) is the lead PI. Sue is a member of ASPB and ASCB. The program … Read more

Disciplinary Societies Affiliation: Next Generation Careers – Innovation in Environmental Biology Education

ASPB is joining forces with other societies on an NSF incubator grant. Career development options – Next Generation Careers – Innovation in Environmental Biology Education (NGC) will seed a new network to support workforce development for college graduate career progression into environmental biology, including fields such as ecology, evolution, conservation, and natural resource management. New … Read more

U.S. Botanic Garden + ASPB = Creating a Plant Presence

ASPB is leading a team to produce public outreach and education materials for use in the U.S. Botanic Garden, the USA Science and Engineering Festival and beyond. The U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG) in Washington, DC, and ASPB – through its Education Committee, will collaborate on a new project to educate the public about the diverse … Read more

Plants in the News, October 9 2015: Artemisia annua and coral bleaching

The biggest news in plant science is the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Tu Youyou for her discovery and development of the antimalarial drug artemisinin from the plant Artemisia annua. The other half of the prize was shared by Satoshi Ōmura and William C. Campbell for the development avermectins, also … Read more

Winning entries of the August 2015 “Teaching Tools Proposal” competition

We had many excellent proposals submitted for the second round of the the “Teaching Tools in Plant Biology” competition, from which we selected two for further development. The competition has one additional submission deadline December 31 2015, and full details can be found at Here are the two winning proposals and their authors from … Read more

Plants in the News, 2 October: Cannabis, entry point to plant science or plant-that-must-not-be-named?

  This week, Nature published an excellent Outlook on cannabis science and policy. How do you feel about cannabis as a topic of discussion in the classroom? I’ve tended to shy away from it – in my experience the benefit of increased interest can be outweighed by the distraction of giggles and jokes. However, this … Read more

Countdown to The Martian

I’m excited to see so many people writing about The Botanist .. er The Martian, including: Alun Salt in AoB Blog (Incidently, Alun wrote about the book back in 2014, inspring me and others to read it), Adam Rutherford in the Guardian, and Chris Martine in HuffPost (who, very coolly, just named a new species … Read more