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Northeast Ethnobotany

Sept. 16, 2021 5:30 p.m. to Sept. 23, 2021 8:30 p.m.

Berkshire Botanical Garden

Plants shape our lives in many ways: they provide food, fiber and medicine among other uses. This two-part class, led by ethnobotanist and ecologist Drew Monthie, will explore some of the Indigenous and European ethnobotanical practices of the Northeastern US and their historical context. The phytochemistry of plants (their chemical constituents) and their use as medicine will also be a topic of exploration, along with the ethics of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK). Students will complete a short research project with a focus on one of the ethnobotanical topics mentioned above.

Drew Monthie has operated Ecologic Consulting LLC, specializing in plant-driven design and consultation, since 1998. He is based in the Shirt Factory building in Glens Falls, NY. He has been growing plants since the age of 4 and was influenced by his parents and grandparents who always had vegetable and perennial gardens. He worked in nurseries during high school and attended the BOCES horticulture program. After high school, he attended SUNY Cobleskill school where he earned an A.A.S. in Plant Science. After owning and operating a nursery/landscape business for about a decade, he returned to college to earn his B.S. in Ecology and an M.A. in Ethnobotany. He has been teaching and designing courses as a Professor in the Natural Sciences for SUNY Empire State College for the last decade in the areas of horticulture, botany, ethnobotany and ecology. He is also a photographer, and you can find some of his photographic work on his other website:

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