Sulaimani, Iraq - April 30, 2012 – AUIS students will have a unique opportunity to learn about their natural surroundings this spring with a special biology course, BIO 232: Botany and the Environment. The course is designed to help students develop the tools necessary for the identification of vascular plants in the area.
Dr. Lytton John Musselman, Professor of Botany at Old Dominion University, will travel to Sulaimani from the United States to teach the course. Musselman specializes in the study of plants of the Bible, ethnobotany, and the flora of Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Syria. He has also published several books, including A Dictionary of Bible Plants, which describes and illustrates each plant mentioned in the Old and New Testaments and the Apocrypha.
In addition to teaching students how to recognize and name the major plant families in the region, the course offers a number of field trip opportunities. According to Musselman, the course includes trips to Piramagrun, Karadagh, and Hazar Merd, where students will participate in field identification.
Musselman is excited to make his fourth trip to Sulaimani to teach this special course, which he believes will be of great value to AUIS students.
“The biodiversity of Iraq has suffered unrecoverable damage from the Saddam era, and now the new prosperity that is coming with increased construction and agricultural expansion is continuing the erosion of biodiversity,” said Musselman. “That is why it is essential that the new, rising generation needs to know how to recognize, index, and preserve the natural heritage of the country."
To learn more about Dr. Lytton John Musselman’s research, click here.