On January 29, 2018, professor Lena Struwe in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources and the Department of Plant Biology launched a new website, Botany Depot. It is a global website for creative ideas and materials for teaching botany in the 21st century for all ages, situations, and levels.
Here you can find links and downloads to resources, links and publications, lesson plans, manuals and handouts, figures, and a lot more - all shared freely by botanical educators.
The Botany Depot was invented and is administered by Dr. Lena Struwe, a professor at Rutgers University (NJ, USA) and the director of its Chrysler Herbarium. With time Botany Depot will include materials and resources developed and shared by botanical educators in many countries and regions.
To begin with, many of the resources are materials developed by Dr. Struwe for college level classes at Rutgers University, but these can also be used by teachers working with students of other ages, and also by interested amateur naturalists or professional botanists.
Initial offerings included a manual to the 50 most common plant families in the temperate regions of the world, and links to Chris Martine's videos in his series Plants are Cool Too. The website is currently being built up, and more resources are being added continuously.
Since its inception just a few days ago, it has already attracted attention through Twitter and Facebook, had nearly 1000 page visits, and over 50 people have downloaded materials. Lena Struwe explains the reason for the website: "I wanted to build an inspirational resource that is easy to navigate, download from, and will excite educators all over the world, and show that that botany can be taught in innovative, hands-on, and exciting ways. After all, plants are all around us and without them we humans would be dead, so these organisms are more important than many students realize. Botany is also fun, beautiful, and fascinating - in the world of plants there is always something everybody can relate to, but many people have not had the chance to discover this yet."
Botany Depot also has a facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/botanydepot/