teaching5.jpgCourses taught by Dr. Coxson at UNBC include Plant Ecology, Systematic Botany (described below), and Conservation Biology. Dr. Coxson uses an experiential learning approach, where students learn the application of concepts and theory using hands-on approaches, often working together with resource managers or in field trip settings.  

Biology 301 – Systematic Botany Field Camp

An important component of student training in life sciences at UNBC is that of gaining familiarity with the British Columbia regional flora. The UNBC third year Biology course Systematic Botany (Biology 301) taught by Dr. Coxson provides students with a comprehensive exposure to the identification of major plant families and examines representative flora from different life zones. This provides important skills for students in majors such as Biology, Environmental Science, Geography, Integrated Sciences, and Wildlife and Fisheries.


The Systematic Botany field course is offered in alternating years as either a laboratory-based course during the fall semester at the Prince George UNBC campus, or as a field-based course at the end of August in Terrace, BC. The Terrace course incorporates field trips to a range of habitats, from coastal salt marsh habitats to old-growth Sitka spruce forests and alpine tundra.

A major component of the field course offering of Biology 301 is a student Biodiversity Assessment project in the coastal salt marshes at Cassiar Cannery near Port Edward, BC. Cassiar Cannery, located at the mouth of the Skeena River, has a rich cultural and natural history. Today Cassiar Cannery supports diverse activities, from shipwright services, to heritage tourism, and custom woodwork.

This project provides students training in plant assessment methods, while allowing the class to gather important information about a keystone regional ecosystem.

The next planned field camp offering of Systematic Botany is in August 2015 in Terrace BC. Please contact Darwyn Coxson (Darwyn.Coxson@unbc.ca) for additional information.

Support for the Cassiar Cannery Field Camp module has been provided by:

Cambria Gordon Ltd (2011)
Cassiar Cannery (2011, 2013, 2015)
ECL Environmental Solutions (2011)
Pacific Northwest LNG (2015)
Skeena Wild Conservation Trust (2011)
University of Northern British Columbia