Teaching Botany Online

BSA started this resource page when many people had to pivot to virtual learning in 2020. We have been adding to, and adjusting, this page ever since. If you have a resource you would like to add, please email aneely@botany.org.



Resource Category Description
Brilliant Botany Blog Claire Hopkins' comprehensive blog, which includes articles, resources, and videos.
Plant Love Stories Blog A charming blog featuring stories of plant-human interactions.
OER Commons - Botany Curriculum Open Education Resource Commons collection of lesson plans and curriculum resources available for free for use by educators.
PropaGate Learning at RBE Curriculum The Royal Botanic Garden at Edinburgh offers a variety of online courses and certifications through its PropaGate portal.
TREX (Tree Ring Expeditions) Curriculum Denochronology lab activities developed by a the Tree-Ring Laboratory through Columbia University.
Charles Sturt University Virtual Herbarium Reference/Guide The Virtual Herbarium includes high quality images of vegetation and herbarium specimens, with an emphasis on the flora of New South Wales.
In Defense of Plants Podcast One of the most popular botany-based podcasts, you can also access videos and read creator Matt Candeias' blog here.
Plants and Pipettes Podcast A unique podcast (and associated blog) exploring the fascinating world of molecular plant biology.
Cornell Plant Pathology Herbarium Reference/Guide This research collection includes fungi and other organisms that cause diseases in plants. In addition to serving as an online reference, specimens may be requested for loan.
CU-PAC Reference/Guide Cornell University's Plant Anatomy Collection is a digital library of images based on slide preparations.
PlantSystematics.org Reference/Guide An extensive online library of botanical images featuring 753 families, more than 4300 genera, and more than 11,0000 species.
Tropicos Reference/Guide The Tropicos database links over 1.37M scientific names with over 5.01M specimens and over 978K digital images. The data includes over 159K references from over 54.2K publications offered as a free service to the world’s scientific community.
Botany Depot Resource Collection A selection of botany resources produced by Rutgers University.
Expanding YOUR Horizons Resource Collection A site created by scientists at Cornell that teaches basic botany through articles, photos, and interactives. Also included: profiles of significant Lady Botanists!
Neil Bromhall on Youtube.com Video/Video Collection Emmy award winning time-lapse plant photography by Neil Bromhall, featuring growth, blooming, seed formation, etc.
Vanzandtlab - Botany Stuff Video/Video Collection A selection of videos featuring common plants in Alabama.
RightPlants Database Web Portal/App The web-based portal for the RightPlants app. Created by Neil Bromhall, it features his photography and time-lapse videos.
Seed Dispersal and Habitat Fragmentation (HHMI) Model/Interactive Follows scientists studying the seeds that brown spider monkeys disperse in a tropical forest of Colombia in order to inform and improve reforestation efforts.
Root Movement Model/Interactive Explores images of plant cells and structures, which serve as phenomena for learning about how plants respond to stimuli.
Wayne’s Word: An On-Line Textbook of Natural History Resource Collection This old-school 'Online Textbook of Natural History' has been in operation since 2009. You'll find a wealth of resources here, from genera lists to trivia to curriculum resources.
LeafSnap Web Portal/App One of the earliest free plant-ID apps, LeafSnap was developed by researchers at Columbia University, University of Maryland, and Smithsonian Institution to help identify plants through photographs of leaves.
Missouri Botanical Garden's PlantFinder Reference/Guide Designed with gardeners in mind, the Kemper Center's Plantfinder page is a good reference for students in horticulture and agriculture programs. The searchable database of plants provides photos, germination information, pathological vulnerabilities, etc.
Flora of North America Reference/Guide This amazing resource is the result of a collaboration between more than 30 organizations across the United States and Canada. It offers a searchable index, and plant entries include detailed morphological descriptions, diagrams and photos, range maps, historical information, and more.
USDA Plants Database Reference/Guide Another great online reference for plants, this time with a focus on agricultural crops and weeds in the United States.
BGCI PlantSearch Reference/Guide This international plants database includes IUCN Red List status, medicinal uses, and living collections where a given species might be found.
Online Microscopy: Plant Model/Interactive This amazing collection of zoomable online slides comes from the University of Ghent.
Advanced Botany Video/Video Collection E-learning platform which offers free video lectures on Botany for students to help them prepare for their College, University and other competitive exams.
Shoot Apical Meristem Dissection 1 Video/Video Collection Video by By Lindsey Kollmer



Citizen Science

Resource Category Description
Budburst Web Portal/App An initiative of the Chicago Botanic Garden, Budbust is a citizen science project and database that tracks plant phenology. Budburst is very accessible and a good option for students from 3rd grade to adult.
Cornell Garden Based Learning Web Portal/App Cornell University has several data-collection projects around tracking successful varieties in gardens.
Fieldscope from BSCS Web Portal/App Fieldscope is a tool that can be used with citizen science projects to visualize data. It can be used with established projects like Budburst, or as a platform for small, regional citizen science programs you design.
iNaturalist Web Portal/App Primarily a citizen science driven Biodiversity inventory, iNaturalist is helpful for identifying organisms and provides various teaching resources.
Nature's Notebook Web Portal/App Similar to Budburst, Nature's Notebook tracks plant phenology. However, Nature's Notebook requires more detailed data and is more appropriate for high school and college students.



Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Resource Category Description
Accessible Design for Classrooms Article An article from Syracuse University that explores options for making your classroom more accessible. A list of resources is provided.
DO-IT: 20 Tips for Teaching an Accessible Online Course Article Another great article from DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) discussing best practices for accessible online teaching.
RMITL Creating Inclusive Learning Video Article From RMIT University, this article discusses the whys and hows of making inclusive videos for your students.
The Caliper from Vernier Blog The Caliper is a blog produced by Vernier that frequently highlights topics of accessibility and inclusion in science education.



General Biology

Resource Category Description
Biodiversity Literacy in Undergraduate Education (BLUE) Curriculum Activities for undergraduate classes wanting to better develop their biodiversity work.
Data Nuggets Curriculum Data Nuggets is a repository of data collection activities and small datasets that can be used by teachers at any educational level.
Biodiversity Heritage Library Digital Library The world's largest open access digital library for biodiversity literature and archives, based at the Smithsonian Institution.
OneZoom by the Linnean Society of London Model/Interactive An online, interactive tree of life
Encyclopedia of Life Reference/Guide Global database for all organisms on Earth. In addition to the reference, resources for teachers include printable biodiversity cards and interactive food webs.
NABT Resources Resource Collection A curated collection of links aggregated by the National Association of Biology Teachers
NSTA Resources Resource Collection The National Science Teaching Association offers lesson plans, blog articles, competitions, books and virtual seminars for science teachers at every level of education.
SSE Resources Resource Collection A collection of simulations, texts, videos and other resources from the Society for the Study of Evolution.
LabXchange at Harvard Resource Hub LabXChange is a true resource hub, bringing together amazing resources and content from providers all over the internet in addition to their own offerings. Content covered ranges from high school to career development.
TEDEd Earth School Video/Video Collection TEDEd videos are written by experts in various fields, and animated to make them accessible to students as young as sixth grade. However, content covered is appropriate through college and beyond as well. (This is also a great project for Graduate classes.)
Seed Dispersal in Tropical Forests Model/Interactive Students use data from published studies to understand patterns of seed dispersal and apply these ideas to the design of a conservation area.



K-12 Resources

Resource Category Description
American Museum of Natural History Resource Collection The American Museum of Natural History's 'Explore' page has a wealth of resources, including curriculum, games, videos, and virtual field trips.
Ask a Biologist at ASU Resource Collection Arizona State University has created this site to support K-12 educators. It's a collection of learning resources, games, videos, and even a podcast!
Virtual Field Trips at ASU Virtual Field Trip Another offering from Arizona State University, this site provides 20 online explorations of sites that highlight biomes, Earth history, etc.
PlantingScience Curriculum Curriculum resources and a mentoring program for 6th-12th grade students provided through BSA and its partners.



Pedagogical Tips and Tools

Resource Category Description
Zoom: How to keep Uninvited Guests Out Article This article from Zoom's blog explains how to prevent 'crashers' from joining your online meetings and classes.
OpenSciEd from BSCS Curriculum OpenSciEd is a model for science learning founded on phenomena-based inquiry. The instructional units here are for middle school, but the model can be adapted to any level.
Wiley Online Teaching Resources Resource Collection Resources from the Wiley Network around online teaching.
ESA: Online Teaching Resource Hub Online teaching resources curated by the Ecological Society of America
ISTE.org Resource Hub The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) offers courses, tip sheets, and articles around best practices in education technology.