Basic Plant Science Laboratory

Spring 2018

Laboratory Term Project

As part of the requirements for this course you are expected to complete a term project worth 10% of your final grade. The project should be run over the entire semester, and will be collected on the day of the final exam. You have several options for this project:

Option 1: Observe the growth of a young plant over the semester. This plant can either be grown from seeds or start as a young plant. Do not use a mature plant, as there will be very little to write about!

Option 2: Attempt to propagate a plant through vegetative cutting techniques. This works better on some plants than others, ask your instructor if you’re not sure!

Option 3: Observe the development of an evergreen plant on campus throughout the semester. This includes details such as leaf colors, possible leaf loss, fruit development, bird activity, for example, birds eating the seeds, collecting materials for nesting, or even nesting on your chosen plants, etc.

Option 4: If you have another idea, ask your instructor! I will let you know if it will work.

The final report will consist of 3 sections (below). A rubric will be provided to you depending on the nature of your project.

A written overview of what you did and what you found (3 pages, double spaced, 12 pt. font)

All of your data tables and observations Photographs of your plant throughout the semester

Observations should be taken regularly, at least twice a week. All observations should be recorded, either in a notebook or in a spreadsheet program. The exact parameters being measured will vary depending on your project, but should include some of the following:

Correct scientific name of the plant Characteristics of the plant (use the anatomy terms we cover in class!) Closely related species Height measurements (remember to use metric units) Color observations Age of the plant (easily attainable from the date you start your observations) Any other plants growing on or near your plant Observations of the immediate area (what is the plant growing next to?) Temperature and light conditions Any fertilizer use or pruning Any pesticide applications Frequency of watering (or rainfall) Any visible damage (either caused by pests or human activity) Any animals interacting with the plant (bird nests, squirrels, cats, etc.) Loss of leaves Development of new structures (fruits, strobili, tendrils, adventitious roots, etc.) Anything specific that you notice. If it catches your eye, write it down and take a pic!


Day of the final exam, midnight. Submit electronically via Blackboard as instructed in Assignments (i.e. SafeAssign). For each day your grade will be reduced by a 10% of the maximum possible for such grade.

Remember that this is a plant project. That means no algae, no fungi and no lichens. Mosses and liverworts are okay. If you’re not sure what you’re looking at, just ask!


Data sheets 5 points

Photographs 2 points

Write-up 3 points

Grade Rubric

10 All elements of the report are fulfilled. Work was handed in on time. Formatting is complete:

9 Minor general errors, mostly complete, lacking minor details. 8 Mostly complete, some error or omissions. 7 Sizable omissions.

6 Major problem but still a complete project

5 Not acceptable

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