Introduction, one week late

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Hi! I'm Jill and I'm from Sewaren, New Jersey--exit 11 off the turnpike, in the heart of oil refineries and old factories. Sick of the polluted air and lack of wilderness, I fled home for Bar Harbor, Maine to attend College of the Atlantic (COA), a tiny liberal arts school tucked away on the coast of Mount Desert Island. There I study Human Ecology along with every other student-- a one-major curriculum allowing every student to independently design his or her own course of study. Entering my senior year this fall, I've spent my time at COA studying the relationships between soils, plants, and arthropods on contaminated and other ecologically "harsh" sites--sites distinguished by xeric, nutrient-poor, nutrient-imbalanced soils laced with high levels of heavy metals. I'll be completing my undergraduate thesis "Diversity and metal content of arthropods on adjacent serpentine and granite outcrops on Deer Isle, ME" this year, hopefully with a manuscript in the works.

Here with The Echinacea Project, I plan to study the ant communities on the prairie remnants and the prairie preserve to provide baseline data for further projects on the ants of the prairie. Like Shona, I'll post my project proposal on here once it's polished...
I'm looking forward to the rest of the summer packed with fulfilling fieldwork, great experiences, and wonderful people!

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