The Ways of a Botanist

By Stephanie Huerta #5

The Study of Botany

A botanist (plant biologist) studies microorganisms and giant trees — all plant life. Botanists who like to be outdoors may be plant explorers. They may study the effects of pollution (such as acid rain) on plants and work toward environmental protection, or they may identify new plant species and evaluate their parts and uses. Some botanists produce entire plants from single cells with a technique called tissue culture. Others use biotechnology to develop new or improved plants.

The Educational Requirements

To be a botanist, get a bachelor's degree in botany. Be sure to take English, mathematics, chemistry, physics, arts and humanities, social sciences, and biological sciences. Computer and communications courses also help. Summer jobs or internships with educational institutions, governmental agencies, or private companies are also valuable. In high school, take college preparatory courses in English, mathematics, biology, history, geography, and foreign languages. Get involved in science clubs or fairs and in hobbies such as camping and photography.

Specific Fields

Educational institutions hire botanists as teachers and researchers. Some botanists work in botanical gardens, arboretums, herbariums, zoos, and medical plant or germplasm resources laboratories. Others work in plantrelated industries such as biological supply houses, biotechnology firms, pharmaceutical companies, nursery or greenhouse businesses, and petrochemical companies. Some work in publication, sales, or animal or plant health inspection.

Summary

Botanists study all aspects of plant life. they apply a wide range of concepts, practices, and procedures within a specific field of specialization. This type of scientist requires a bachelor's degree in biological sciences. They work under minimum supervision. Assignments are broad and complex in nature. Researchers typically reports to a manager or head of the unit. The average salary for a botanist would be $61,024.