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Winter Internship Week 1: Native Bee Collection and Research Procedures

During my first week, I have learned how to perform many of the tasks involved in processing specimens and collecting data. I have particularly enjoyed working with the native bee collection. I have assigned SPID numbers and have organized some of the specimens by grouping them together based on size and other qualities such as color and marking patterns. I am beginning to develop an eye for identifying differences between bees and am becoming more familiar with the characteristics of the various genera we are classifying them into. Examining the bees under the microscope has been especially interesting. I have been interested in bees for quite a while but have never had the opportunity to see them in such detail before. The information I already knew about bee morphology became more tangible when I could see the features so closely.

Besides working with the bee collection, I have made progress on rechecking and labeling Echinacea heads. We seemed to be behind on this task, but I have been working through many heads, getting them ready to be scanned so that we can keep them moving through the data processing steps. I plan to continue working on rechecking and labeling this week, as well as randomizing. I also hope to learn several new lab skills and continue to grow my understanding of the research process.

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