Whatever happened to botany?

Everbody know what botany is. However, there weren’t any options to take classes in botany (no Botany 101) when I was in college not so long ago. Plant physiology sure, but no botany. A google search revealed that there are some botany societies but they appear to be rather small.

Where did botany go?

I learnt botany as a hobby. In the Netherlands, there are at least five societies that have botany studygroups. IVN, KNNV, and the youth groups NJN and ACJN.
In all of these groups, people go out on weekends or summercamps to botanize and learn form each other. I started with the NJN and when a knowledge-base was laid, I studied further on my own, with the help of friends. Most plants I learned to recognize when I worked as a professional botanist.

I heard that biology students in the Netherlands don’t have more then perhaps 5-6 weeks field time to study botany. Given that there are 1400 plant-spiecies in the Netherlands. Also consider that the average person will remember just five new plants in one excursion (even when shown dozens, only a few will stick).
So a basic knowlegdge of Ducht botany would just take too long. No education can afford it. That’s why when I worked as a a professional botanist, we hired not just biologists, but anyone who had taught himself botany as a hobby. It was the only way.

Depends on the university. There are lots of Botany departments.

Here its hard to get in because it’s a fairly easy course and a prerequisite to all courses horticultural/agricultural.

I have a close friend who is a paleobotanist and teaches botany classes at The University of Wisconsin. Perhaps the subject is becoming one of those that “no longer have anyone to teach them, or are taught on a piecemeal basis by people from the periphery of the university or outside it altogether.” http://web.nmsu.edu/~kallred/herbweb/newpage19.htm