FOR 204: Forest Vegetation

Credits: 3

View of tree branch


What you'll learn in FOR 204:

  • Morphology and systematics of woody plants
  • Field identification of trees and shrubs of the Great Lakes Region
  • Field identification of major genera of woody plants
  • Ability to use dichotomous keys and field manuals to identify unknown woody plants throughout the world
  • Ability to interpret forest conditions in terms of: site productivity, disturbance history, successional status, and future condition


What does this mean?

At the end of this course you will be able to walk into any woodlot in Michigan and identify by sight virtually all of the trees and shrubs present. You will understand the evolutionary relationships among these species, as well as how they interact with their environment. If you travel to other regions of the country or world you will have the skills to easily learn to identify all the trees and shrubs you encounter.


Sample activities in FOR 204

  • Attend an online class session
  • View the weekly lecture and take a quiz on it
  • Complete a scavenger hunt
  • Weekly keying inventory- find 2 new species of trees or shrubs in your local area, collect pictures and data to identify the species

Hear from someone who took FOR 204

Anna Dunnebacke"FOR 204 is definitely in the top 3 classes I've taken so far in college. Even in an online format, the course work got me outside learning about trees. I thoroughly enjoyed looking for all the different trees for our final project. It felt more like a fun scavenger hunt than a graded assignment. It was nice to be able to incorporate some creativity into the project as well, like the design of a PowerPoint, or with the actual photographs of the trees. I am even thinking about buying a copy of the book I rented for the class because it was so interesting. It's like a personal challenge to be able to find all the trees in the book and collect pictures of them. 

I'm very glad this class worked so well online; it has been a huge issue for me, a Forestry major, to have online classes that would normally rely on a hands-on approach to learning. Professor Rothstein and the TAs added to the success of the class. They were very flexible, forgiving, and understanding of our situation, and the struggles we faced in such a unique and unexpected class format."


A glimpse into the course