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About Dr. Don Mansfield



Botany, plant systematics, plant physiology  

Personal Statement

Professor Mansfield has been at The College of Idaho since 1989. He teaches organismal biology, environmental science, field botany, Idaho natural history, and a course about plants and people entitled Murder, Medicine and Magic. His scholarly interests include the distributions of plants in southwestern Idaho and southeastern Oregon and the biology of rare plants. He has ongoing collaborative research projects in which students study the morphologic, ecologic, and genetic variation of biscuitroot (genus Lomatium) plants to clarify taxonomic and evolutionary relationships. In these projects, students undertake scientific research at a meaningful, often publishable level. Recently Dr. Mansfield received a National Science Foundation grant to provide funds for student internships to image and database the more than 50,000 specimens of the College’s Herbarium—one of the premier plant “libraries” for southwestern Idaho and surroundings.

Dr. Mansfield has led several student trips sponsored by the Biology or Environmental Studies Department to Death Valley, the Oregon coast, the Owyhee River and desert, Boise mountains, Boise River, Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, southwest Idaho organic farms, Australia, Costa Rica, Belize and Hawaii. He believes these trips contribute to learning by allowing students to gain hands-on experience with plants, animals, and biotic systems in their natural settings. He is currently writing a flora of the Owyhee region of southwestern Idaho and southeastern Oregon.

What Mansfield appreciates most about teaching at The College of Idaho is interacting with motivated, inquisitive students.


Professional Experience

The College of Idaho, Professor of Biology (1989-)

Rollins College, Assistant Professor of Biology (1984-1989)

The Colorado College, Visiting Assistant Professor (1981-1984)

University of California, Davis, Postdoctoral Research Associate (1979-1981)


  • D. A. Biology, Idaho State University
  • M. Sc. Botany, University of British Columbia
  • B.A. Biology, The Colorado College