This afternoon the whole team ventured out to Staffanson prairie and collected demographic information on Echinacea plants. In addition to the 140 plants already flagged for phenology, we staked and collected data on roughly 200 additional plants!

While we put a substantial dent in the demography we need to do at Staffanson this afternoon, we still have a ways to go. Between 2010 and 2014 Team Echinacea mapped 1074 points, including 649 unique tag numbers. We will revisit all of these plants this summer in order to continue building a longitudinal demographic database.

I attached a graph to illustrate the temporal distribution of Echinacea tags at Staffanson. Note that all tags in the 19000s were placed in 2014, tags in the 18000s were placed in 2013, and tags in the 17000s were placed in 2012, etc. We have 410 unique tag numbers placed between 1996 and 2009 on our list of plants to stake!


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Just as the children in the the classic film "The Sound of Music" said their goodbyes, I must also say mine. Unfortunately, my time with the Echinacea Project has been abruptly cut short, but such is life. I cannot think of anything that could have made this summer any better. We laughed, we cried, and we laughed some more. Everyday was a new adventure with a different challenge to overcome, but not even the toughest obstacle could bring down our team. We truly were a team. But even more than that, we were a family, in every sense of the word. We grew together, cared for each other, and challenged each other to reach our highest potential. I will never forget this experience, nor the friends I made along the way. As this summer comes to a close for the rest of the team, I hope everyone will view this ending with a positive outlook rather than with negativity. Yes, this is the finish of a wonderfully awesome situation, but with every ending comes a new beginning. And with every beginning comes opportunities for novel experiences and self-growth. So as I say my last farewell, let me leave you with this famous quote by Dr. Seuss: "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."

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One of my projects this summer was monitoring the flowering phenology of Echinacea pallida in the restoration east and southeast of the parking lot at Hegg Lake Wildlife Management Area. When compared with Echinacea angustifolia flowering phenology, this will help us assess the temporal extent of the opportunity for hybridization between these species.

There were 19 flowering heads on 16 plants. The figure below illustrates the flowering periods of the 17 heads for which I could assess start and end dates (two heads finished flowering before I started monitoring). I define flowering period as the period from the first day of male florets to the last day of female florets. I estimated the last day of female florets based on patterns of flowering and style persistence. Error bars indicate the range of possible end dates (last day florets observed to first day no florets observed).


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This weekend has been very busy and exciting. Last Wednesday I left the comfort of Town Hall for the hustle and bustle of Chicago. On Thursday I had a chance to visit the beautiful gardens and meet the other CBG REU participants. The Chicago Botanic Gardens are stunningly beautiful and they have plenty of Echinacea purpurea.


I even saw some that looked super funky.


On Friday I gave a presentation on my project at the Chicago Botanic Garden / Field Museum / Morton Arborium Symposium. The presentation went well and I received more questions than any other speaker! I was very impressed by the other presentations as well and it was great to see the different types of projects that students were working on while I was in Minnesota.


Saturday was my day to be a tourist so I took the opportunity to visit the Art Institute of Chicago. Viewing Monet's lily paintings was a pleasant compliment to seeing the real thing at the Chicago Botanic Garden.


Although it was great to have the chance to explore the city, I am very ready to return to the Field to harvest achenes, do some (far more relaxed) data analysis, and help out with the other projects. I miss everyone terribly and am excited to see the rest of the crew in just a few hours!

Stay tuned for the posting of my poster/final data!

With love,
Maureen Page.

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Today was a great day for Team Echinacea! After a quick morning of remnant phenology, we finished measuring Lydia's Experimental Plot 09!!! On the Northwest Phenology Route, all flowering Echinacea at East Elk Lake Road and North West of Landfill have finished flowering. It is pretty cool to think of how long we have been returning to these sites for phenology, and now many of them are wrapping up (and quickly!). In the afternoon Elizabeth, Gretel, Jared and I were busy working on demography at East Riley, Riley, Railroad Crossing, and North of Railroad Crossing. Other team members went to KJ's to look for seedlings that teams have been following in years past.

On the pollinator note comes a follow up from Steve Ellis's talk with us last Friday. I recently came to learn that the city of Shorewood, MN has passed a law banning the use of neonicotinoids!!!! Shorewood now joins the all too small list of cities banning neonics, including Eugene, Oregon and Spokane, Washington. Although this is a small step towards protecting the bees, Shorewood has made a very important statement. Check out the Star Tribune article about the recent ban, along with a post on the Beyond Pesticides Daily News Blog!

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Several web pages that provide helpful advice about
how to give a good scientific presentation:

Specific for poster presentations:

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