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FSU Tag Line

Chris Massimino

Ethnobotany Major (Class of 2011)  Ethnopharmacology Concentration


I am a Landscape Horticulturalist at the Pittsburg Botanical Garden

I am interested in in plant breeding, genetics, pathology, physiology, international agriculture, and medicinal plant conservation.

I regularly drink spring fortified with trace ionic minerals. I play an Alvarez, and an Ibanez 4-string.  I am interested in any and all meaningful collaborations and also, if ya want to jam some tunes, or want to just hang, maybe go hiking, backpacking, canoeing, or rock climbing, drop me a line.

Activities and Achievements while at Frostburg:

  • Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, February 2009-Present
  • Ronald E. McNair Ambassador Award for Exemplifying the Life, Values and Qualities of Dr. Ronald E. McNair, Summer Research Institute 2009, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Dean of Liberal Arts Annual Colloquium
  • Appalachian Center for Ethnobotanical Studies (ACES)
  • Open Science Network in Ethnobiology
  • Arboretum Restoration

Research Projects:

  • Exploring the Genetic Basis of Root Mucilage in Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.), University of California Riverside, Timothy Close Lab, Philip Roberts Lab, Summer 2010
  • Traditions of the Appalachian Dulcimer, Class Project, Frostburg State University, Spring 2010
  • Larry Harding’s Ginseng Farm, Documentary, Frostburg State University, Fall 2009
  • Metabolic Profiling of in vitro Cultured Medicinal Plants: Actaea racemosa L., University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, Edward Eisenstein Lab, Summer 2009
  •   Herbal Farming in Western Maryland, Frostburg State University, Fall 2008
  • Sodium & Potassium Concentrations in Soil via Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy, Frostburg State University, Spring 2008

Photos (click for larger image)

Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, CA

Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program Scholars of 2009, University of Maryland, College Park, MD


Hard Rock Cafe, Times Square, New York City
Museo de Antropología


Where is your hometown?
Pittsburgh, PA

What are you expecting to get out of your time at Frostburg?
Bachelor's degree, specifically I would like a set of skills used in scientific discovery

What are career/academic goals?
To conduct research on plants for medicine uses with the goal of teaching at the college level.  I would like to get a PhD from a prestigious institution.

What got you interested in Ethnobotany?
Alternative medicine, vibrational medicine communities in Pittsburgh and a mentor who was natural health practitioner

What cultures are you interested in studying and learning about? Have you learned about these cultures yet?
All of them especially Native American, Indian, and South American, Pacific island cultures.  I have learned a lot about India - the cuisine, the religion, the medicine.

Was Ethnobotany your first choice for a major?

Are you minoring in any other subject?
Minoring in Biology, Chemistry, and Cultural anthropology

Do you have any interest outside of Ethnobotany?
I play music, rock climb, enjoy backpacking, canoeing, and traveling 

What is the most valuable thing you have learned in college?
To integrate into my life and modify my lifestyle with the wisdom I have learned in my classes.

Do you consider yourself any of the following: redneck, hillbilly, hippy, city folk, suburb oriented or other.
redneck hippie computer geek

On a scale of one to ten, how do you relate to other students?
10, I talk to everyone! 

What kind of activities relate  to both your casual life and school?
I'm enrolled in guitar class and music classes

Where do you eat and buy groceries?  What are your dietary preferences?
Martin's sells organics, Big Lots sells some organics, Frank's Coffee House & Roaring Spring in West Virginia on route 28 sells premium spring water, Earth Zone right by Roaring Spring sells vitamins and supplements, The Herb Barn sells vitamins supplements, Harding's Ginseng Farm is a great source for ginseng!

Do you work on-campus or off-campus?  What is your job?
On campus I have work study and work with various Ethnobotany projects and the Appalachian Center for Ethnobotanical Studies here on campus

In the summer have you done any internship? Where?
Yes, I participated in the Ronald E McNair Post Baccaulaureate Achievement Program which involved a research project at University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute.