Friday, The 10th of August

A bittersweet day for the Echinacea Project crew, we returned to the Hjelm house feeling both proud that our poster presentations went so well, and sad that the summer is coming soon to a close for some of us. We spent the morning tying up loose ends on our projects, working on project status forms, and doing a little cleaning and organizing. I made an exciting discovery while following up on a comment I received on Thursday. It turns out that i missed a few pollinators when going through the many hours of video, so now I have data for for three more pollinator visits, bringing my sample size to 29 bees! Yay! After lunch We all worked together to complete an ant/aphid survey for Katherine’s experiment, harvest heads in CG1 and CG2, and collect a pail full of Bouteloua seeds from CG1. We finished the week off right with rootbeer floats as a farewell celebration for Lydia on her last day working on the project.

Andrew’s Poster (version 1)

I’m really excited to present on Thursday at the U of M! Come check it out.PolEfficiency2012_small.pdf

Monday July 23

This week started off strong with a morning of dedicated work on independent projects; Jill and Katherine visited a couple of remnants to work on the ant and aphid surveys, Maria continued her observations at Hegg lake, and the rest of us enjoyed the cool of the Hjelm house as we put or noses to the grindstone, analyzing our data and beginning to work on our posters. To help us prepare for writing our abstracts, before lunch Stuart gave a quick tutorial on putting hypotheses into words, a task that some of us found surprisingly challenging. After lunch Jennifer Ison gave a presentation which she had prepared for the recent evolution meeting, and we finished off the day by measuring the last major set of rows in the big batch garden. Now only 1 and 1/2 rows left.. Woohoo!

IMG_1934.JPG Jill is busy looking for those ants and aphids.

Friday July 6

Despite the wet and windy weather, the morning proceed as usual with each of us working dutifully on each of our respective projects. Jill and Katherine were especially productive, flagging and surveying all of their plants in Staffanson, a task which took all morning until 2. Shona completed her last hybrid cross and Lydia, Maria, and Kelly continued their field work. Unfortunately, I was not quite as successful since the pollinators do not seem to like eating during storms. The clouds retreated in the afternoon and we were able to get a substantial amount of measuring done; It’s a large garden, but we are making great progress. The exciting event of the day was a discovery: Josh’s Nalgene which he lost in the west side of Staffanson last summer. It survived a year of weathering and a spring burn just fine and still had water in it and a functioning lid. -1.jpg

Andrew Kaul Project Proposal

As a continuation of Katie Koch’s experiment in the summer of 2010, I am investigating the pollinator efficiency of bees that visit Echinacea.Project Proposal AK 2012.pdf

Monday June 25

Last week was a busy and fun one for Team Echinacea 2012; no two days were the same. We wrapped up some of the first summer projects and started to transition into the second phase of the summer. We completed evaluating the recruitment plots, began to record their GPS locations, conducted demography and phenology observations in the common garden, and perhaps most notably, completed round one of seeding searches with the west (and recently burned) section of Staffanson prairie with help from Amy Dykstra, who came to visit on Friday. In addition to all the progress made on the long-term projects, we also spent multiple rainy mornings working on our individual research projects, the proposals for which have been recently, or will soon be posted here on the flog. IMG_1746.jpg Stuart Instructs us on the proper field techniques for cross-pollination, pollinator exclusion, and painting flowers so we can keep track of what we’ve just done.

After a short weekend, we started up working again this Monday with a morning dedicated to our independent projects, time which we all used to get out in the field and get our hands dirty. Ruth stopped by today and lent a hand and some very welcome advise, and joined the crew in the afternoon to do some weeding in the common garden. We clipped, pulled, and trimmed Buckthorn, Ash saplings, Birdsfoot Trefoil, Sweet Clover, and Sumac.

An Introduction

Dearest Echinacea Project,

It has been great getting to you a bit these last 3 weeks, now allow me to formally introduce myself. I’m Andrew Kaul, a rising senior at St. Olaf College in Northfield MN. My academic interests are focused in terrestrial ecology, especially applications to conservation and restoration of endangered biomes. Outside of the classroom, you’d most likely find me listening to, or making music. I sing tenor and play a whole spectrum of percussion instruments, my favorite being bongo drums. My other hobbies include running, watching movies, board games, and of course spending time in nature. Since i was 9, the best week of my year has always been an annual camping trip with some of my extended family. I love trail bike-riding, hiking, and fishing. i’m really excited to be here in Kensington learning about habitat fragmentation and I can’t wait to post my project proposal. Be looking for that soon! IMG_1665.jpgHaving a great time at the Runestone Days pancake breakfast: Kensington is such a fun little town!