It’s hard to believe that I am halfway through this summer! The past five weeks have passed extraordinarily quickly. We spent the first week doing orientation activities with the CLM interns. It was a good chance to get familiar with CBG and the other REU students. Week two was also a sort of orientation; this time to my project and the mentors I would be working with all summer.
Yesterday some of the team set out for a field trip: we counted Western prairie fringed orchids (Platanthera praeclara) in wet prairie. We left at 6 am and drove 3 hours to the Pembina Trail Preserve. The prairie was much wetter than I expected; the water went as deep enough to reach your lower caf muscles. Fortunately, Gretel told us to come prepared with rubber boots.
Check out this cool guy that spent the night at the Hjelm house! We arrived for work at 8:30 as usual, and it was sleeping on the porch! It eventually woke up after receiving so much attention and jumped to a nearby bush. Luckily, it sat still long enough for everyone to take its picture!
Avicennia germinans (Black mangrove) typically live in a tropical environment, like Florida and Central America. However, this year they have gone on quite a journey that has landed them (well, just their leaf samples) in the Chicago Botanic Garden. More importantly, mangroves are experiencing population growth along their northern range limit in Florida due to a decrease of cold weather.
The explorations of a Mainer working to answer a simple question: What's in those trees?
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, ...
R-E-U, Research Experiences for Undergraduates; that was what I originally believed I would be doing. Of course I am conducting research; however, I have received so much more from this internship.
I’ve really enjoyed my experience at CBG thus far! Week one was flurry of excitement as we mastered our long commute from Chicago to the garden and attended an orientation jam-packed with knowledge and snacks. Week two consisted mainly of meetings to discuss my project and the plan for the summer.
Since my last blog 2 weeks ago I have gone out to four field sites, begun to extract DNA from orchids found during this year's bloom, and started to train my high school student through the CollegeFirst program. Whew that seems like a lot, but time flies so quickly here.