Botany Certificate Classes

The NYBG Botany Certificate Program is designed to deepen a student's scientific understanding of the plant kingdom. Students engage in subjects such as native flora, ethnobotany, ecology, and botanical nomenclature. Courses reflect the Garden's strengths in botanical science research, as well as its world-famous and unequalled resources—the William and Lynda Steere Herbarium, housing some 7.4 million dried plant specimens, and the LuEsther T. Mertz Library, with its collection of more than one million cataloged items and 11 million archival documents.

During the course of the program, students will come to know plants: how they function, grow, develop, and reproduce; and learn to identify a wide array of plants by stems, leaves, flowers, and fruits.

Click here for an overview of the required courses and electives.

Location Day/Night Instructor Sort Keywords  

Planet Earth is comprised of interconnected systems—atmosphere, land, water, plants, and animal life—on which we depend for our very survival. Explore how these systems interact, as well as how human activities affect Earth's environment. We'll also discuss solutions to environmental more...
04/03 Tu 05:00pm-07:00pm Yurgalevitch
From towering tulip trees to creeping partridge berries, woody plants make up the forests of the Northeast. Learn to identify trees, shrubs, and woody vines by their vegetative characteristics, using their scientific and common names. The focus is on both more...
04/07 Sa 10:30am-01:30pm Kaechele
Our native wildflowers, trees, and shrubs signal rebirth in spring. Learn to identify them and become familiar with their structure and taxonomy. Take part in field walks and classroom sessions, and practice using taxonomic keys. Students are required to make more...
04/10 Tu 10:00am-01:00pm Slowik
Orchids are the largest plant family in the world. Although most species are tropical, Eastern North America is home to many fascinating orchids, 29 of which grow across the New York Metro Area (down from the original 46). Dr. Matthew more...
04/16 Mo 10:00am-01:00pm Pace
Explore the myriad structures and life cycles of the vast diversity of plants, algae, fungi, and bacteria. Delve into the evolutionary reasons behind how and why scientists have divided and classified these organisms. We will also discuss biomes and ecological more...
04/23 Mo 05:00pm-08:00pm Boyer, Ph.D.
Herbaceous plants occupy prairies, wetlands, forest understories, and many other habitats. The identifying characteristics of this diverse group of plants are often quite different from those of woody plants. You'll learn the fundamental herbaceous plant identification characteristics, as well as more...
05/08 Tu 05:00pm-08:00pm Sharkey
Angiosperms (flowering plants) are the dominant plants in most of the world's habitats today. Through laboratory demonstrations and dissections, examine the morphology of flowers, fruits, and vegetative plant parts. You'll also learn about the development of these structures. Prerequisite: Plant more...
05/18 Fr 10:00am-01:10pm Alvarez
Morels, though hard to spot, occur throughout the metropolitan region, and spring is the ideal time to find them. Discover how and where to hunt for them, as well as numerous other spring mushrooms including oysters, inky caps, wine caps, more...
05/23 We 10:00am-01:00pm Lincoff
Gain a basic understanding of the structure, growth, ecology, and evolution of insects and their role in human life. Learn how to collect, identify, classify, and preserve a wide variety of insects.

06/02 Sa 10:30am-01:30pm Nguyen
Explore the myriad structures and life cycles of the vast diversity of plants, algae, fungi, and bacteria. Delve into the evolutionary reasons behind how and why scientists have divided and classified these organisms. We will also discuss biomes and ecological more...
06/07 Th 06:15pm-09:15pm Kutos
Learn to identify native and introduced herbs, ferns, shrubs, and trees as they appear in summer, and get to know plants that may be found in fields, on roadsides, and in woodlands and wetlands. Learn about basic plant structure and more...
06/22 Fr 10:00am-01:00pm Slowik
Join Dr. Roy Halling, NYBG's Curator of Mycology, on an insider's tour of the Thain Family Forest. A widely published expert on mushrooms around the world (and featured on the podcast Radio Lab!), Dr. Halling will discuss how mushrooms contribute more...
08/10 Fr 10:00am-01:00pm Halling, Ph.D.
Take advantage of this special opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of mosses with Dr. Keith Bowman, who studied and co-taught with esteemed bryologist Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer. Use microscopes to observe how mosses differ on a cellular level. more...
08/15 We 10:00am-01:00pm Bowman
Explore the basic principles that influence the ecological relationships of the forest ecosystem. Using the Garden grounds as a site for observation and field study, learn to understand the forces that shape our natural environment—the Northeast Woodland. Labs and lectures more...
08/29 We 05:30pm-08:30pm Barnes
Survey the major families of the angiosperms (flowering plants) and learn the characters and principles used to classify them. This course covers newly recognized higher order groupings of species, evolutionary trends in reproductive and vegetative structures, and recently reconstructed evolutionary more...
09/04 Tu 12:30pm-03:30pm Rodrigues