First day

Hello everybody,

My name is Liam Poitra and I am excited to be joing team echinacea for a second consecutive year. This summer I am hoping to deepen my knowledge further about the plant and animal interactions that make our prairies such dynamic ecosystems. For the first day with the whole team back, we spent the morning touring sites with Stuart and learning about common plants on the prairie. In the afternoon we worked as small groups setting out to remnants to familiarize ourselves the outcomes of burning on the prairie. Brittany, Ning, and I set out to observe 2 prairies 1 burned (yohw) and 1 unburned (loefflers corner). Yohw burned this spring was very short still all the plants were ankle height or lower and the soil was completely exposed without a thatch layer to cover it. However several plants showed great growth such as the heart shaped Alexander which seems to have already put out many leaves and was by far the plant to return the most vigorously at the site. Loefflers corner on the other hand showed plenty of brome and a thick thatch between plants. Both places seemed to have similar species however the forbs were easier to pick out at yohw

Pollinator Intros

Today as part of the orientation for the 2023 summer crew Dr. Jennifer Ison led a group in catching and identifying bees. The group loved running around the heliopsis in the garden trying to capture that elusive male Megachilidae “mason bee” with the big furry body and the green eyes. Unfortunately, we were so excited we forgot to get a picture. So you’ll have to take my word for it, but here’s a picture of the flowers.

Liam Poitra

Echinacea Project 2023

Environmental science university of mn-morris

Pronouns: he/him

Research interests: I am hoping to build on my knowledge of native flora and how they affect the environment around them, especially the soil characteristics. I would love to learn more about how deep rooted perennials affect the hydrology of the landscape.

Statement: I am from Virginia, MN

I started getting interested in native prairie plants when i was in high school working with conservation corps MN and IA in their youth program, I love being outside and spending time in nature. My hobbies include running, snowboarding, fishing, hiking, and gardening.