June 2008 Archives


Here's a photo of the crew from the first day of the summer (Julie, Christine, Megan, Ben, Lecia & Gretel). Echinacea hasn't started flowering in our Common Garden yet, but it will soon. We are ready! Reinforcements from Illinois will start work tomorrow.

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Andes, farm, remnants 051_1.jpg

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Today I learned how to properly use a ratchet strap.


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Hi, my name is Ben Iberle and I'm going to be a junior Biology and Music major at Grinnell College in Grinnell, IA. I was born in Seattle, lived in the Willamette Valley of Oregon for nine years, then finished off the job in Vancouver, WA, right across the mighty Columbia from Portland. I love the Northwest, I love backpacking and hiking through it. I love the prairie, too, and I wish there were better places to backpack through big bluestem. I play ultimate frisbee, soccer, saxophone, and Scrabble. I think Kraken is my favorite word.

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Hi, I'm Julie Stutzbach from Pitman, NJ- a small town near Philadelphia in the southern part of the state. Presently, I am a Bio major at Beloit College where I run cross-country. About a month ago, I returned from Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands where I studied Ecology, Evolution, Botany, Conservation, and assisted Luis Vinueza with a research project on algal distributions. Last summer, I worked at Gateway National Recreation Area in Sandy Hook, NJ on a Botany Invasive Species team trying to control some invasive plants in the park such as Mullein, Autumn Olive, and Tree of Heaven. I especially enjoyed the cut and stump method using chainsaws. You can see me sawing down a Tree of Heaven on YouTube: http://youtube.com/watch?v=cAzu5XQLF30. I am especially interested in Ecology, Botany, and Conservation science making the Echinacea team a solid match for me. After graduating, I want to see as much of the world as I can and then continue on to graduate school.

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I was talking to my mom on the phone last night and mentioned how we squatted all day, but it was hard to do so comfortably without squashing the vegetation. My opinion is that the buckets don't help much with this, especially on slopes. I thought my mom had a great suggestion: use milking stools. It would pack down less vegetation than the buckets and might be more comfortable (I say might because I've never actually used a milking stool). Just a thought.

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I was born and raised in western Nebraska, graduated with a bachelor's degree in biology from Nebraska Wesleyan University, spent a year working at the University of Washington herbarium, and will be attending the plant biology and conservation program at Northwestern in the fall. I grew up on the prairie, so it's close to my heart, but I love everything plant-related, including eating them. I've been a vegan for seven years, but when I'm not reading the labels on food packaging, I like to read, sew, and BAKE.

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I'm currently attending the University of Vermont (UVM) in Burlington, VT and will be a Junior next year. I am majoring in Environmental Science with a concentration in Water Resources. Burlington is a great little city. It is progressive and there is so much going on for such a little place...well, it is the biggest town in VT. There are so many great restaurants and shops and locally grown/made is a huge thing there!
I am from "Clover Valley" Minnesota. You won't be able to find that on a map...but it is somewhere in between Duluth and Two Harbors a bit inland from the lake. Lake Superior is awesome and if you haven't been to the North Shore and the Boundary Waters you definitely should at some point in your life.

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Hello Echinacea fans!
I'm Christine... and I'm in the Plant Biology and Conservation master's program at Northwestern University.

Here are some things I saw at the grocery store yesterday:
1. 40 jerky sticks vacuum-sealed together
2. A jerky gun (Fast on the draw, according to to the package)
3. Fireworks

I feel so un-American, not owning any of this.

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Here's a list of ideas for independent or group projects that we discussed today.

1. Improve procedure for mapping seedlings in remnants.

2. Investigate new aphid biology: distribution, behavior, ant associates, et cetera.

3. Investigate biology and behavior of native bees:
flight distances in CG
find nests
pollination behavior Echinacea in CG
distribution with next boxes
bumblebee species

4. Do "Time lapse" photography of Echinacea heads to visualize floral development.

5. Pollen collection from plants to develop identification key (with pollen collection from bees to assess generalization/specialization.

6. Quantify plant species richness in remnants, experimental plots, local preserves.

7. Map distribution of Echinacea's co flowering species (Thistles, sweet clover, Coreopsis)
Kite or pole aerial photography

8. Collect seed of Stipa spartea or Dalea purpurea for common garden study.

9. There are many more possibilities...

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