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West Virginia. Master Naturalist Class Description

Title:  NAMES, CLASSIFICATION, AND IDENTIFICATION
Objectives:  Make students comfortable with scientific names and phylogenetic classification.  Give students the ability to identify plants and animals using taxonomic keys.
Class type: Core curriculum
Time: 1 hour
Optimal season: Any
Materials: Printed keys, a selection of field guides and manuals, rulers, 10x magnifiers.
Expected outcomes: The student will gain a basic understanding of
  1. scientific names, their proper form, use, and pronunciation.
  2. the concept of phylogenetic classification, and learn the major taxonomic ranks (levels).
  3. techniques to identify plants and animals using taxonomic keys.

West Virginia Master Naturalist Class Outline

Title: NAMES, CLASSIFICATION, AND IDENTIFICATION
Time: 1 hour
  1. Necessity of having a system of names and a classification
  2. Species definitions
    1. Morphological
    2. Biological
    3. Cladistic
    4. Cronquist's pragmatic definition  
  3. Hierarchical system of classification
    1. Names and positions of levels, e.g., species, genus, family
    2. Phylogenetic (natural) classification
  4. Scientific names
    1. Universal and unique
    2. Structure and characteristics
    3. Proper use
    4. Pronunciation
  5. Common names
  6. Identification
    1. Field guides, floras, manuals, etc.
    2. Collections
    3. Can be sent to a specialist for ID
  7. Use of keys
    1. Construction and use of taxonomic or dichotomous keys
    2. Computer keys

 

 

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