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Today was a day for independent projects. I'm not really sure what everyone did and Marie is currently trying to hit me with a mini beach ball.
Ok. I'm back now. This morning, I woke up at the usual time to meet with my parents and go to Staffanson to collect data for my flowering phenology project. Today, we found about 5 or 6 heads that look like they could flower within the next few days!
Ilse and Reina spent the morning sewing more pollinator exclusion bags for Kory's project and Lydia spent some more time with her aphids (this seems to be her new favorite activity) while Kory and Sara Z practiced capturing and identifying pollinators.
Marie and Dayvis went to Hegg Lake where they measured plants and practiced videotaping flowering.
Back at the Hjelm house, Stuart, Pete, and Dwight worked hard installing gutters to keep the basement from flooding when it rains.
Marie made us all some delicious pizza for dinner! I highly recommend the one with tofu and buffalo chicken wing sauce.
A good Friday for all, I think. :)
Enjoy the weekend!

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If you are heading to ESA, visit Callin Switzer's poster "Inspiring future ESA members in elementary or middle school, using place-based inquiry."

It has been scheduled for:
Contributed Poster Session: Education: Pedagogy
Date: Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Time Slot: 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Location: Exhibit Hall DE at the 2012 ESA Annual Meeting, to be held in Portland, Oregon, August 5-10, 2012.

Visit his poster, #35507!

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2:00 pm winds WSW

1 ew left/row [?]
Tape ends at 18.8m on the N side and 18.85 on the S side.
Plant at 0, 0.33, 0.67 m.
Flags at even meters (ending at 18.04).
Two Oenothera 1-yr olds at N edge 10.45m and 11.00 m.
Weeded Poa, Brome, Carduus, Cirsium, Euphorbia (before planting).
Zer[o] at westernmost grass.

[entered from notes in 2012; see plantOenotheraNov2011.pdf]

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We designed an experiment to assess how fire affects the growth of plants. This spring we will plant about 2500 seedlings in 2500 randomly assigned locations on a 1m x 1m grid. We aim to keep track of the identity of all individuals and plant them quickly and efficiently. Here are five datasheets that will help: pathsToPlant.pdf, plantingDataSheet.csv, plugRowsPerPath.pdf, trayInfoByPseg.pdf, trayInfoByRow.pdf

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This file, labelInfoForKate.csv, is for making new envelope labels.

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I only need 680 positions/site, because the seeds will be in between the plug points. So attached is a .doc and an R file w/ the script to create 3 sites with ~680 positions in each. I have also attached the resulting .csv file, 3 columns "site", "row", and "pos".

KG_row&pos_03 July.doc

KG_row&pos_03 July.R


Here's the breakdown:
site breakdown.xls

Next steps:

  1. Assign each new.env ids to a row and position. See file: sane3blocks.csv

  2. Create labels.

  3. Put labels on envelopes.

  4. Assign each plug to a row and position (keeping in mind that they're already randomized in the trays.)

  5. Develop planting protocol.

  6. Organize materials for planting.

  7. Mow sites.

  8. Plant.

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Hi, Team Echinacea --

Its Diedre and Jake with an update from the lab at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

In spite of several setbacks, including a crowded lab and a power failure that shut the lab down for an entire day, we've been able to create a lot of data. Currently, we have ten microsatellite primers working which we use for paternity and genetic diversity analysis.

Recently we've been able to up our extractions to over 150 samples a week and 10 PCR's a day! Jake and I started extracting the samples that Jennifer and I took in Minnesota several weeks ago. Jake is using these for his poster on population structure. He will be looking at whether there is interbreeding or inbreeding among the nine remenant populations we sampled (East of Riley, Anenson, Steven's Approach, Landfill, Railroad Crossing, Staphenson Prairie Preserve, KJ, and Ness). Jake has already found some interesting results with the use of Structure and FStat.

The poster I am working on will look at the diversity of pollen donors with regard to flowering on individual and population levels.

Here are some pictures of our work in the lab:

Jake with Sculpture.JPG

Pippette Sculpture.GIF

Jake and I making DNA extractions a little more fun than they already are through use of our artistic talents.

Picture of Exciting Results.JPG

Some preliminary results for Jake's project.

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This morning, Amy and I searched transects in Staffanson. We did random points 15, 36, 19, 5, 20, 40, 12, 28, 1, 14, 3, 37 and 27. They were 10 metre long and half meter wide transects, some of them half a kilometre apart. We found 1 plant (!) total in the transects, and 3 plants nearby.

*whew*. Lotta walking...

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Here's the file.

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Here's Jennifer's preliminary list of sites. She wants a total of ten sites and wants to sample from all that are asterisked.

Populations for sampling
These are pops I used for looking at long term flowering in the CG
The pops with * are the ones DR looked at in Dec with Fst values


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Hey team Echinacea,
Lani and Denise officially finished their REU internships last Friday and are both back in the California bay area. They both worked really hard on their projects and ended up with some really neat studies. At the end of their internship they created and presented a poster for a research symposium. Their posters turned out really well and I wanted to share them with you. Below are links to each of their posters...enjoy!
Lani's poster: Download file
Denise's poster: Download file

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Here's a quick tally of the demography data that we took in the natural remnants this summer. I think we did a lot! We took a total of 5027 records. Here they are broken down by loc status...


This is just the first rough pass through the dataset. There is a lot of clean-up to do and mysteries to figure out. For example, of the 81 "good loc, diff tag no" records, 12 have no loc and 1 has no tag (gulp).

Flowering rates seemed to be high this year. 1700 records list one or more normal flowering heads and another 223 records had only non-normal heads. There were some big plants too: two plants had 11 flowering heads and two had ten! The greatest number of rosettes was 47 (that's good ol' plant #1540 at NGC.) We counted 9276 total rosettes.

The summer field season is done for me. We drove back to Illinois on Saturday. I'll try to post reviews of the datasets occasionally and maybe some photos too.

Jennifer is the only one still in the field. She is harvesting seedheads today & tomorrow, then returning to IL.

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Good news for science at the Chicago Botanic Garden

The Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation is giving $8 million to help build a new science building. The 35,000 square-foot building will house laboratories for the Garden's research team, classrooms, an expanded herbarium, a plant science library, and an enlarged seed banking facility. Read the detailed press release.

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