RCN-UBE Incubator

Incorporating a short but intensive botanical experience into formal college courses to alleviate plant blindness among undergraduate STEM students

"Plant blindness" is a cognitive condition in which individuals fail to see or notice the plants in their own environment, often resulting in an inability to recognize the importance of plants in the environment and in everyday activities. In today's world, plant blindness is in a perpetual cycle: children who are not taught about plants become adults with incomplete knowledge about the environment and natural resources. In addition, these children remain unaware of various careers paths relating to plants and plant sciences. One way to address this lack of awareness about the environment and natural resources is by providing more hands-on experiences that allow students to connect with plants and understand their importance in the world. This research proposal will bring together thirteen leading plant scientists to share information and ideas about current and potential botanical experiences. 

  • Focus: Undergraduates 
  • Funder: National Science Foundation
  • Team: Melissa McCartney, Jessica Colon, Hong Liu, Javier Ortega
  • Award Number: NSF 1920008
  • Contact: Melissa McCartney (mmccartn@fiu.edu)