BZ 104 - Basic Concepts of Plant Life (GT-SC2)

  • 3 credits
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Fundamentals of Plant Biology (BZ 104) is an introductory course for non-majors that explores the basic principles of biology by focusing on the unique features of plants. We discuss plant structure, function, and reproduction; plant ecology; the importance of plants to human health and economics; botany as a science; and practical botany. The course includes textbook and outside readings, lectures, videos, and student-led discussions.

Learning outcomes:

1. Students will be able to explain scientific methodology and critically evaluate popular-level presentation of scientific topics.
2. Students will be able to describe the basic features of biological life, including cell biology, heredity, and evolution.
3. Students will be able to explain fundamental aspects of plant structure and function.
4. Students will be able to describe characteristics of the major groups of plants and the relationships between them.
5. Students will be able to apply knowledge of plant structure, function, and diversity to real-world questions with relevance to human health, nutrition, agriculture, and ecology.

This course meets the All-University Core Curriculum (AUCC) requirements for Biological/Physical Sciences (Category 3A) and is approved under gtPathways in the content area of Natural and Physical Sciences without Lab (GT-SC2).

This course can be applied toward:

Important Information

Required electronic resource textbook access purchased through the course Canvas page.

Textbooks and Materials

Textbooks and materials can be purchased at the CSU Bookstore unless otherwise indicated.


  • Stern's Introductory Plant Biology, 14th Ed.
    Bidlack, James; Janksy, Shelly; and Stern, Kingsley
    ISBN: 978-1259682742

Online access to the electronic version of the textbook and to the publisher’s online platform must be purchased through the course Canvas page.


Heather Blackburn

(970) 491-8908 |

Dr. Heather Blackburn teaches in the Department of Biology at Colorado State University. Her academic background is in Biology and Ecology, with a particular interest in plant ecology. Her interest in ecology was shaped by her childhood on a farm and her enjoyment of outdoor sports, including rock climbing, backpacking, and telemark skiing.

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