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Forestry 221 - Dendrology - Autumn 2001
Nick D'Amato's Lab Sections

Click Here for Tree ID Aids and Class Information

Forestry 221 Syllabus

Nick D'Amato :

Office : 247-D or 367 Kottman Hall

Hours: By Appointment. I will typically be available after lecture on Tuesday and Thursday, but you must make an appointment or I will not wait.

Website: (URL is case sensitive)

Course Description: This course consists of a weekly field lab conducted outside, at locations within 30 minutes of OSU. Students will be transported by van to different forest ecosystems in the Columbus area for the purpose of learning to identify trees in their natural environment.

Required Equipment:

  • Field guide approved by instructor
  • 10x or greater hand lens
  • Clip Board

Recommended Equipment:

  • "Write in Rain" Notebook or Paper
  • Binoculars
  • Waterproof hiking boots
  • Note cards/Flash Cards

Transportation Policy

Please arrive 5-10 minutes early. Vans will depart at the loading dock behind Kottman Hall. Vans may depart at any time after the start of class! That means after 7:30 for the morning sections and 12:30 for the afternoon.

We will make every attempt to get back by the specified time on the schedule, however, unexpected delays may occur. If you have a class after the lab, it is recommended that you contact the instructor for that class and let him/her know that you have a field lab before that class.

Please keep vans clean! We are charged a large fee per van for cleaning costs. Because of this, the TAs are usually asked to clan the vans.

Caravans are not allowed per University policy. Attendance will be taken in the van on the way to the site. If you are not in the van, you may be considered absent for that day.

Lab Rules and Procedures.

  • No Smoking. University Policy.
  • We go out in any weather except lighting and tornadoes and severe ice. This means snow.
  • You may not collect samples from the field trips.
  • Tree climbing is prohibited.
  • Mobile phones and pagers must be turned off once the instruction portion of the lab starts. Students may not receive phone calls during the lesson or quiz. Outgoing calls may only be made in an emergency.
  • There will be a quiz or exam every week. 7 quizzes and two exams. Quizzes and exams are cumulative.
  • Illegible answers may be marked incorrect at the discretion of the instructor.
  • Cheating and talking during quizzes and exams is not permitted, except for questions directed at the instructor. Keep exams covered while exam is in session.
  • Students must contact the instructor in advance, whenever possible, if they know they will be absent on a particular day. This is to prevent confusion during the departure of the van.
  • In the event of an emergency or extended absences the instructor may require proof for any absences, including (but not limited to) sicknesses, funerals, traffic incidents, etc.
  • Students are responsible for learning the material from missed labs.
  • There are no make-up quizzes. Individual exams and quizzes are never curved.
  • The instructor may penalize students for violation of class policy, particularly if it interferes with instruction.

Hints and Tips

  • Dress Warm! This especially applies to the morning class. We will be in the shade most of the time. Your feet will get wet most of the time. We will spend a lot of time standing around and not moving. Sometimes it will rain or snow. Once the morning temperature drops below the 60s, plan on dressing for approximately 20 degrees cooler than the ambient temperature. Dress in layers. Wool socks and mittens, hiking shoes and thermal underwear are all recommended. Dress in layers. Sandals are not recommended. Being cold is not an excuse for missing quizzes.
  • Use flashcards to memorize names and ID features. If you make an appointment with the instructor for assistance, the first thing I will ask is to see your notes or study aids.
  • Memorize both from plant name to ID features, and from ID features to plant. When you look at an unknown plant, you see the features, not the name. Do not depend on foliage. Most leaves will be gone by the midterm.
  • Memorize scientific names phonetically to remember spelling. Spelling counts!
  • Use a hand lens for fine features, and binoculars for large trees. We will ask you to identify very large trees where the lowest branches are very high.
  • Stop by the lab frequently to study the specimens. Stop by every day if necessary, even if it is just for a few minutes. Study with other members of the class by walking around campus.
  • Develop your own system for identifying plants that makes sense to you. Study the field guides carefully and learn the terminology used to identify plants. This is a self study course. I will show you the plants, and ways to identify them, but you must teach yourself to use the available information to ID unknown plants in a way that you understand. My best advice is to keep up. If you need help, please ask. Do not wait until the last minute. It is usually much too late by then.