The mission of the Department of Environmental and Plant Biology is excellence in education, research, and service focusing on plants and their interactions with the environment. The department strives to provide broad, high quality training in botany, including fungi, algae, mosses, and vascular plants. Coverage includes structure, function, genetics, development, evolution, systematics, and ecology through integrated study at the molecular, organismal, and ecosystem levels. Complementing this breadth of coverage is the development of four departmental research focus groups: Plant Cell Wall Biotechnology, Evolutionary Plant Developmental Biology, Phylogenetic Systematics, and Eastern Deciduous Forest Ecology. These groups were strategically developed to foster research and teaching excellence in distinct areas of strength, recruit high quality faculty and students to the program, enhance our national and international reputation, and secure external research funding. The department seeks to advance our knowledge of plants for the benefit of society, the environment and industry, and to train the next generation of plant scientists.