Goodbye flog!

Today marks the end of an awesome three weeks! Today all four of us presented our individual projects at this morning’s lab meeting. All went quite well, and it was really fun to be able to present the interesting results to the questions I have been thinking about for the last couple weeks. Here’s my report about climate factors and flowering phenology!

This afternoon we had the opportunity to meet with Andrea Kramer, another scientist in the building, and talked about the struggle and importance of getting scientists and land managers seeing eye to eye to make real progress in conservation and restoration.

We also set up the seeds from three different Echinacea species – angustifolia, pallida, and purpurea – for germination for a new ploidy experiment!

All the best

Adding florel solution to the germination blotters
Achenes ready for germination!

It has been an awesome time here at the Echinacea project, attending lab meetings, experiencing the ins and outs of a long term ecology lab, and getting to work with an awesome team of people!

-Jack Schill

Week 2 at Echinacea Project!

            It has been a busy week! Over the course of Tuesday and Wednesday we finished scanning the achenes from the pulse-steady experiment using this fancy board to separate the achenes into their correct categories.

Erin made this to separate achenes when scanning

            Yesterday Stuart gave us an introduction into using the X-Ray machine, which we hope to use in the near future on the pulse-steady achenes!

Yesterday was also the building-wide holiday potluck. We enjoyed lots of delicious food and had fun in the department-themed trivia. Our table ran away from the competition and decisively won the trivia trophy!

Our boot trophy from trivia!

We are busy working on our individual projects, beginning to look at data and doing lots of background research.

Until next time-


Day three at the Echinacea Project!

The first three days of our time here have been great! We’ve been oriented with everything in the lab, and most of the building. On Monday we went out to lunch at the garden cafe with Riley, Erin, and Stuart. The walk over there let us see some awesome parts of the garden, and Stuart shared with us some cool history about the garden. The last two days have been filled with lots of Echinacea head cleaning by counting and sorting achenes for the Pulse Steady experiment. This process is a bit time consuming, but quite satisfying once finished!

Setup for cleaning Echinacea heads- sorting and counting achenes

This morning Erin and Riley showed us and talked about the many experiments occurring at experimental plots P1 and P2 all of which are quite interesting! These experiments may end up guiding some of our individual research in the coming weeks.

The rest of the week holds more head cleaning, maybe beginning to X-Ray the achenes, some discussion about research ideas, and attending a lab meeting and seminar on Friday!

Until next time-


Carleton College Extern Jack Schill

Hello! My name is Jack Schill and I’m a junior at Carleton College. I’m excited to be part of Team Echinacea for the next three weeks as a research extern. I am an Environmental Studies major at Carleton, and I am very interested in many aspects of environmental science so I don’t really know exactly what I want to explore going forward in my education. However, I have really enjoyed and learned a lot from the ecology courses I have taken so far, so I’m hoping this will build on those interests! Furthermore, by growing up and going to school in the upper midwest (I grew up in Milwaukee, WI) I have a special interest in prairies and prairie restoration. I also hope my time here will allow me to meet a lot of interesting people doing cool work, and understand how people got to this position to maybe try to help me figure out what areas of environmental science I want to explore!

In my free time at Carleton, I’m on the varsity soccer team, I’m a member on climbing staff at the rock wall, I’m an active member of the ski club, and I enjoy doing crosswords. Away from Carleton, I enjoy spending time with family, and skiing as much as possible. I’m really excited for the next few weeks to work with Team Echinacea!

Frozen Lake Superior!