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BIOL 1010 Saylor: Interview a Biologist

Interview a Biologist

Interview a biologist whose specialization is relevant to this class for 30 minutes, and then edit this down to a polished, in-depth 15-20-minute interview.

1. Proposal

Email 3 potential biologists whose specialty is relevant to this course to ask for an interview. For example, a gastroenterologist who studies Celiac Disease (Ch. 14) or a professor who studies plant functional morphology (Ch. 9). They could be a state or federal biologist, doctoral student, post-doctoral researcher, professor, or medical doctor, but they must have at least a Master's degree. Be prepared to hear “no,” and thank them for their consideration nonetheless.

Example introduction email:

Hi Dr. Montana,
My name is Sheena, and I am a biology student at Pellissippi State Community College. As a part of my BIOL 1010 final project, I have chosen to conduct a 30-minute interview of a biologist via recorded Zoom session. I am very interested in your specialty of macroevolution and would love to talk to you about it. I can imagine you are very busy, but please let me know if you would be available for a brief interview at the end of October.
Thank you for your consideration,
Sheena Anand


Choose one willing participant, thank them for their help, and ask them to complete the Interview Consent Form. Offer several dates and times to conduct the interview, Let them know that you will be in touch in the coming weeks to schedule the interview on Zoom, Teams, or phone; that you will send the questions beforehand; and in the meantime, you will be reading some of their publications to prepare questions.

Once you have an interviewee, read about their specialty in the textbook or another credible biology book and write 250 words explaining it. Submit a copy of the email confirming your interview date/time, the completed Interview Consent Form, and your summary of their specialty.

Find Biologists

2. Checkpoint

Read 3 of their published works or credible works in their specialty. As you read, create your list of 10 questions, based on your sources.

Submit a References page listing your sources and, in another section, your 10 interview questions, including an introductory question about their academic background.

How to Find Full-Text Articles & Books

In OneSearch, look for keywords, or if you have a specific title. put quotes around it. If you have any trouble, please Ask a Librarian!

If a book/article is not available, please fill out (as completely as you can) a Interlibrary Loan Request Form. We will borrow it from another library. Articles are emailed usually in 3-4 business days, and books take about a week.

3. Final Project

About a week before the interview, send the interviewee your finalized questions, thank them for their time, and remind them the interview will last approximately 30 minutes.

Record the interview on Zoom or MS Teams or on your phone. There are free phone call recording apps available for both Android and Apple products. Test the app before you conduct your interview to ensure good quality recordings.

Start the interview by stating the name, position/rank, organization, and specialty of the biologist you interviewed. Be courteous and respectful of the interviewee's time and do your best to be apolitical during the interview.

Upload a podcast audio file (.mp3 or .wav) or include a MS Stream link for your vodcast. Your grade will reflect the overall depth and creativity of the interview. You can use free video editing software (ex. MS Video Editor, VSDC, Shotcut, Apple iMovie, or MovieMaker) to add image titles, images, and introduction music.

Add Music & Images