Good Afternoon!

Good afternoon floggers! As far as progress goes, we are moving along steadily on cleaning and counting. I have randomized about 180 samples of achenes and I have finished rechecking the three trays of randomized achenes. We are on the 9th bag of Echinacea heads that need to be cleaned. In other news from the lab, the REU students have completed their research and are presenting their scientific posters today. We have had lots of interesting information and studies to read about over the past few days! Today will be my last day volunteering in the lab. I am off to University of Michigan to complete my undergraduate degree in Environmental Sciences. The opportunity to volunteer in the lab this summer has been truly unbelievable. I have learned so much, not only from staff members, but also from the incredible volunteers who kept me company. I am so grateful to have been given this job and I would like to thank everyone who made this summer internship unforgettable. This is Ivy Klee signing off! Goodbye and good luck with the rest of project Echinacea!


Hello from the lab!

Good afternoon floggers, today was a busy and hot day in the lab! The air conditioner stopped working this morning, so we all got a bit of a sweat from cleaning and counting. This week has been lonely without Danny, but the volunteers are keeping up the amazing work. We are almost on the 8th bag of Echinacea heads that need to be cleaned and experiment 96_a is done being counted! I finished re-checking a second tray of achene samples, which means I have only one more tray left to re-check. Below is a picture of our current counting progress. We still have a ways to go, but every day moves us forward. Have a great rest of the afternoon floggers!


Lab Update: Goodbye Danny!

Good afternoon floggers! This week, volunteers have been speeding through both counting and cleaning Echinacea heads in the lab. We are on the 7th bag of Echinacea heads and the counting for Experiment 96a is 86.2% done.  Also, I have completed rechecking an entire tray of achenes, only two more trays to go! Tomorrow, Danny will be leaving the lab to move back to Minnesota to pursue a master’s degree in Data Science. I would like to thank him for always being so kind, answering all my questions and teaching me everything there is to know about the processes in the lab. We wish Danny good luck & will miss him very much!


Hello from the lab!

Howdy floggers! This week in the lab, volunteers have been making great progress! Bag 6 (of 12) of Echinacea heads used for cleaning is just about halfway done. My personal progress while volunteering in the lab so far includes cleaning about ten Echinacea heads and counting 41 heads (or 5353 achenes) online. While counting, I encountered my first HUGE Echinacea head, it took about an hour and 15 minutes to clean! I also have been re-checking achenes for tails, otherwise known as florets, before they are weighed and x-rayed. I have re-checked 15 boxes with around 30 randomized samples each of achenes, however, most of the time, achenes don’t have their florets attached anymore. Finally, I have finished randomizing about 60 sample bags of achenes. It has been a successful week in the lab and we send a hello to our team members and partners out in the field! Here is a picture demonstrating how close each bag of Echinacea is to the finish line!


Lab Update!


Hi everyone! This week in the lab the volunteers have been working hard to progress with the Echinacea Project! This morning Art demonstrated and explained how to use the x-ray machine to identify whether achenes have embryos inside of them or not. During the rest of the day I worked on cleaning, counting, randomizing and rechecking achenes. These are the steps the achenes must be go through before they can be x-rayed and weighed. The past two weeks have gone very smoothly and we are now on our 6th (out of 12)  bag of Echinacea heads that are in the process of being cleaned. Thanks for reading! 🙂

Hi I’m Ivy!

Hi there! My name is Ivy Klee. I live in Highland Park, IL and I will be a sophomore at the University of Michigan studying the Program in the Environment (PitE) this fall. This summer I will be working as a volunteer at the Plant Conservation Science  Center at the Chicago Botanic Gardens and today was my first day on the job. My day started out with a tour of the different areas of the lab and after that I helped to clean and count the Echinacea seeds. The cleaning process involved removing and separating achenes from the flower head while the counting process involved identifying the collected achenes from a scanned image. I enjoyed every minute of my time today in the lab, all the volunteers and people working here were so nice and very friendly. I am excited to come back tomorrow! IMG_0486