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Wildlife populations continue to decline; it is imperative that sensitive populations are continually monitored, but there are not enough qualified individuals for this. We designed a three-week summer course, first taught in 2016, titled “Plant and Animal Interactions” (PAI) with all three authors involved in the course, two are teachers Dr. Evan Lampert and Dr. James Diggs, and one was a student Joshua Fuller. The goal of PAI is to teach undergraduates how to observe the interspecific interactions between populations of plants and animals, specifically phylum Arthropoda. Undergraduates are trained in the collection and identification, to order, of insects, and the identification, to family, of plants. Students are taught how to lay out transect lines, set up quadrants, and how to identify herbivory patterns. Both the 2016 and 2017 classes culminated in a trip to The Kathy Stiles Freeland Bibb County Glades Preserve, a plant biodiversity hot spot with eight endemic plant taxa and 60 plant taxa of conservation concern, to practice all field techniques learned. In 2016 and 2017 over 3,500 observations of interactions between arthropods and rare, endemic plants were produced by undergraduate students who became more confident with field work and possessed a greater interest in the natural sciences.


This is a metadata-only record.



  • Subject
    • Biology

  • Institution
    • Gainesville

  • Event location
    • Nesbitt 3201

  • Event date
    • 23 March 2018

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Dr. James Diggs & Dr. Evan Lampert