Skip to Main Content

BIOL 120N: Plants, Places and People


The research assignment for your BIOL 120A course asks you to:

  • Introduce the culture and place.  What are the people like there? Are they hunter gathers? Agriculturalists? Where do they live? Does the geography impact their use of plants? Are there any threats to their way of life?
  • Highlight 5-7 plants that are important medicinally, economically, ritually or for nutrition. You must describe each plant (species, family, appearance etc.) and explain what plants parts are used and what they are used for.
  • Use 4-6 scholarly sources (books, journal articles, news articles (NY Times, Wall Street Journal etc.), magazine articles (New Yorker, Atlantic etc.)  - all of which are available for free for you through the Libraries.  Certain websites are also usable – if the website if for a government agency or NGO.  If you are unsure what scholarly sources are please ask me or a librarian!
  • All photos must be cited and use appropriately
  • You will produce either a short documentary or an Adobe Spark Page
  • You will present 7-minute Power Point to the class on your project

You will be graded on content, language, presentation, creativity, design and use of citations.


  • There are two separate sign ups for online meetings for this assignment.
    • To meet with Nick Smerker about your Spark page: Doodle Poll for mandatory check in appointment 
    • To meet with a librarian
      • If your schedule does not work with the available times, please message all 3 of us (Amy Deuink, Frankie Checchio, and Beth Seyala) on Canvas to make alternate arrangements. 
      • You will receive a message through Canvas before Thursday with a link to a Zoom meeting room for your appointed librarian. Please check Canvas before your time slot.‚Äč


After finalizing your topic with your professor, please begin your research and bring all materials to the meeting! The librarians and Nick will answer any questions you may have and assist you with your research process.