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Externship update part 2

This week we’ve continued working towards generating achene data from the Pulse-Steady experiment. It takes time, and care is needed every step of the way to make sure the final product is something we can learn something from! Besides this, we’ve had time for research and thinking about our independent projects. I’m investigating whether there’s a difference in Echinacea offspring success when parent plants come from the same population or different populations, Jack’s working on whether climate factors like rainfall and temperature affect Echinacea flowering phenology, and Eli’s studying pollinator data from experimental plots to determine if any patterns in pollinator populations emerge.

Now we’re all reaching the “data analysis in R” step, which none of us are extremely familiar with, so we’ll be learning a lot about the kinds of questions we can ask and answer with this tool. Erin, Riley, and Stuart have been super helpful in leading us through the research process, and the last two weeks as a whole have been really informative for me on the ins and outs of scientific research and working in a plant ecology lab.

Finally, I can tell the Plant Sciences building at the CBG would be a good place to work based on the office holiday party we got to go to yesterday. From the potluck aspect to the trivia, everyone put in a lot of effort and it’s always a good time when there’s a game of White Elephant involved (I brought a box of Echinacea Plus tea and got a funky clock made out of shells in exchange! That will go great in my dorm room)!

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