What Kind of Tools Do Botanists Use?

Many botanists use tools such as magnifying glasses, cameras, GPS devices, field guides and computers. Additionally, a simple notebook and pencil are invaluable tools that enable field biologists to record their observations. Botanists use a variety of different tools, depending upon their specialty and the specific task they are trying to accomplish.

Some botanists work in laboratories with the highly advanced tools and equipment. For example, botanists who are trying to investigate the DNA or microscopic structure of a plant may require microscopes and other high-tech laboratory equipment. Other botanists work in greenhouses, studying the growth habits and nutrient requirements of plants. Such scientists must use hygrometers, soil-testing kits and other measuring devices. Academically oriented botanists, especially those who concentrate on studying taxonomy or systematics, spend most of their time using computers and consulting books to complete their work.

Pruners, shears and loppers are used by botanists with a variety of specialties, especially among those who work in the field. Some botanists use a tool called a hori-hori to dig up the roots of small herbaceous plants. Containers and collecting bags are helpful for transporting samples back to the laboratory for more detailed analysis. Plant presses are also useful tools that allow botanists to preserve leaves for future study.