A training course for future botanists began in December 2018. The first course meeting took place in the Botanic Garden at Tel Aviv University.
It has been widely recognized in recent years that familiarity with plants in the field and knowledge in plant taxonomy provide an important basis for research in plant sciences, nature conservation, and education. In Israel, plant surveys form the basis and the most important tool for open-land quality evaluation, and are reliable and up-to-date sources of information on the distribution of native plants. In order to train a new generation of botanists in Israel, the leading authorities concerned with field botany have established a botany course. The first course took place in 2012, and a similar course is currently underway, seeking to train additional botanists. 

The course is led by Dr. Yuval Sapir, director of the Botanic Garden at Tel Aviv University, Dr. Ori Fragman-Sapir, scientific director of the Jerusalem Botanic Gardens, and additional botanists from the Nature Protection Authority (NPA), from Ramat Hanadiv, and the OLI (Deshe Institute) in the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History at Tel Aviv University. The course has 35 participants from all over the country, including members of the NPA, KKL and the Society for the Protection of Nature (SPNI), as well as graduate students (with a good representation from Tel Aviv University), whose ages span from a high-school student to a young grandmother.
The course comprises 10 meetings in which the students learn the principles in botany and plant sciences, ecology, and plant identification. During the course the future botanists learn to carry out botanical field surveys, become familiar with different vegetation zones in Israel, and experience work with the various authorities that engage with botany.
Course graduates will be able to join nature protection authorities in Israel and ecological surveys, seek positions in ‘green’ organizations, become involved in plant-science research, and constitute the future generation of botanists in Israel.
We wish them and all of us good luck and a wonderful, blooming spring.

Dr. Yuval Sapir, explaining about salt marsh vegetation in the Judean desert, near the Dead Sea

Dr. Yuval Sapir, explaining about salt marsh vegetation in the Judean desert, near the Dead Sea

The course participants experiencing quantitative identification of the plant community on the slopes of Wadi Qelt, Judean desert

The course participants experiencing quantitative identification of the plant community on the slopes of Wadi Qelt, Judean desert

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