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Symposium Year: 2012
Student(s): Mary Kruger, Joseph Sauceda, and Andrew Shadel
Faculty Mentor(s): Dr. Sunshine L. Brosi
Ethnobotanical research aims at identifying how individuals from varying backgrounds perceive and classify plants. One grouping often used by people is in classifying plants as useful or as weeds. Peoples’ perceptions of weed may vary across aesthetic condition instead of native or invasive state. Our research project is focused on identifying peoples’ perception of weeds. Students at Frostburg State University will interview other students to determine where they think weeds occur and the specific plants that they categorize as weeds. Categorization will occur by implementing pile-sorting techniques of images of common plants. One of our hypotheses was students would define weeds as ‘ugly’ or ‘unwanted’, and this was proven to be true. We also predicted students would often not consider flowering plants to be weeds. In contrary to our hypothesis, there was not a significant difference in the data to prove this valid. This project will aid in ecological restoration by assisting in determining peoples’ attitudes towards particular plants. FSU is in the process of creating an online herbarium which focuses on ethnobotanical qualities of the featured specimens. A section of the website will be designated to learning about native species, weeds, and other plant categories.
Present in 2013
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