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Citizen Scientist Week

This Saturday is National Citizen Science Day and in honor of our wonderful, hard-working citizen scientists (and interns), we’d like to show you all the fun science that occurred in the Echinacea Lab this past week. We also created an official page telling you more about our volunteers that can be found here.

 

Tuesday

Tuesday is quite a busy day for us and we had many people in the lab throughout the day. In the morning we had Susie, Char, Lois, Susan, Sarah, and Rachael working on a variety of projects.

Susie randomizing

Susie randomizing heads and Char cleaning heads from P1 – our main experimental plot.

Lois "The Achene Queen" - our most decorated counter with more than half a million achenes counted to date!

Lois “The Achene Queen” – our most decorated counter with more than half a million achenes counted to date!

Sarah scanning heads from the remnant populations while Susan focuses hard on cleaning.

Sarah scanning heads from the remnant populations while Susan focuses on cleaning.

In the afternoon we had a large crew that worked on cleaning, scanning, and randomizing. Unfortunately, we forgot to pull out our cameras and didn’t get any pictures of them in action! Expect a follow up post next week to see them doing vital work for the Echinacea Project. Our afternoon citizen scientists were Marty, Naomi, Laura, Anne (usually a Friday person), and Shelley and you can read more about them at our permanent volunteer page.

Wednesday

Wednesday morning we had two volunteers and two interns. One of them wishes to remain anonymous, but the other three were enthused by their prospective internet fame.

Katherine works on rechecking cleaned heads. We like efficiency here, but never at the sake of bad data so we have many checks throughout the process to ensure high quality data.

Katherine works on rechecking cleaned heads. We like efficiency here, but never at the sake of bad data so we have many checks throughout the process to ensure high quality data.

Keke works on her report about the parents of our newly planted (as of last fall) experiment. Contributions like Keke's allow us to continue to expand the field of Evolutionary Ecology.

Keke works on her report about the parents of our newly planted (as of last fall) quantitative genetics experiment. Contributions like Keke’s allow us to continue to expand the field of Evolutionary Ecology.

Nina works on her final poster for her competition experiment. It was her last day as an intern with us and we're sad to see her go but excited to play a part in the early career of an up and coming scientist.

Nina works on her final poster for her competition experiment. It was her last day as an intern with us and we’re sad to see her go but excited to play a part in the early career of an up and coming scientist.

Thursday

We had a busy morning on Thursday followed by a quiet afternoon. Our fearless leader (Stuart) left to brave the intense heat of Minnesota (82 F) and spread some native prairie seed around our experimental plots.

Suzanne works on randomizing achenes from the remnant populations for X-ray.

Suzanne works on randomizing achenes from the remnant populations for X-ray.

Bill counting achenes. Bill is an expert counter who has been known to count as many as 31 heads in a single sitting!

Bill counting achenes. Bill is an expert counter who has been known to count as many as 31 heads in a single sitting!

Char and Susie back again! Suzanne was certainly focused on randomizing.

Char and Susie, back again! Suzanne was certainly focused on randomizing.

Friday

Friday normally has two volunteers and two interns but because Anne came in on Tuesday we had two interns and only one volunteer in the afternoon.

Gordon ponders the meaning of many years of data at Staffanson Prairie Preserve.

Gordon ponders the meaning of many years of data at Staffanson Prairie Preserve.

Mackenzie scans heads from our remnant populations.

Mackenzie scans heads from our remnant populations.

Leslie works on rechecking cleaned heads. Over the years, Leslie's dedication to accuracy has led to her being our main rechecker.

Leslie works on rechecking cleaned heads. Over the years, Leslie’s dedication to accuracy has led to her being our main rechecker.

 

As we wrap up the week, we want to make sure that our many citizen scientists, who help keep our lab running, are greatly appreciated. Though Saturday is National Citizen Science Day, in the Echinacea Project lab, every day is Citizen Science Day.

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