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Course Description

How can we discern medicinal plant facts from fiction while also honoring the human foundations of drug discovery? This survey course is built on four essential pillars: anthropology, botany, chemistry, and pharmacology. Non- experts will discover connections between the anthropological foundations and scientific principles underlying plant-derived drugs by looking at representative individual species. Through guest speakers and student-led presentations, plant walks, and simple experiments, students will be introduced to the broad fields of ethnobotany, phytochemistry, and plant biotechnology. This course has been approved by the Academic Review Board to count toward Natural Sciences distribution credit This course is cross-listed with Environmental Studies as ENV-196-A.

John de la Parra is an ethnobotanist and plant chemist that has brought innovation to medicinal plant research in academia. He is a researcher at Harvard University where he has developed novel analyses of culturally and scientifically significant medicinal plants. He holds a PhD in Chemistry from Northeastern University.

Ernest Anemone is an attorney, educator, and ethnobotanist who lectures, presents, and consults around the world. He specializes in the law, history, and community relations issues surrounding the use of plants by society and has helped develop multiple courses and instructional platforms about medicinal plants.

Basic Enrollment Requirements: None

Instructor Approval: Not Required.

Remission Eligible: Yes; first day of term; all university policies apply.

Refund Policy: Course Policy 1

Affiliated With:

School of Arts & Sciences