solving mysteries

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Every year the Echinacea Project collects all of the flowering heads from the experimental plots and processes them in the lab. Considering this process managed and completed by different people every year, it is challenging to keep everything organized from year to year.

One of our goals this year is to wrap up data collection on Echinacea seed heads from 2009 to 2011. Last year, Northwestern students Karen Taira and Ricky Rivera spent many hours organizing data from 2009 and 2010. They solved a lot of mysteries, including mislabeled heads, mislabeled files, and files saved in weird places. Last week I picked up where they left off. We are down to one box of mysteries--seeds that still need to be scanned, counted, and weighed. Once we finish with this box, we will have all our data from 2009.

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In other news, a class from Lakeforest College is coming to the Chicago Botanic Garden for a mini-internship program. Karen, Stuart, and I will all be mentoring students for the next few weeks in projects related to our research. We will introduce the students and update their progress on the flog.

Lastly, this week we said goodbye to volunteer Art Abt as he prepared for his winter migration to warmer climes. We will miss him and his expertise in seed weighing.

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