Lots (and Lots) of September Updates

It’s been pretty busy here as we begin to wrap up the summer field season. We’ve been slowly chipping away at all the tasks that need to be completed before the end of next week. I hope you’re ready for a jam-packed flog post!!

1. Remnant echinacea harvest is done! We have harvested every single focal echinacea plant at each of our remnant sites. Now we just have P1 left…

2. Liatris harvesting has begun and is in full swing! Just like with Echinacea, Liatris has to be harvested at the exact right time – wait too long and all the heads on a stem may already have dispersed. We’ve been visiting our Liatris sites every 3-4 days to try and ensure we catch all of our focal plants right on time. We snip off the stalks and put them in a labeled L-bag. 

A Liatris plant that’s ready for harvest!

3. Total demo is all done! This week we finished up our very last total demography site. Pictured here: Lindsey, Alex, and I at Hegg during what was our foggiest (but prettiest!) total demo experience. 

Me and Lindsey at Hegg, Featuring Taylor the GPS in her little raincoat
Alex recording demography at another total demo site
Beautiful bottle gentians!

4. Andropogon update! Last week we collected and counted lots of remnant and pilot Big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii). At each randomly selected point, we used a meter stick to count the total number of Andropogon culms within a 1m radius and then harvested all the inflorescences. Counting and harvesting can take quite a while – especially if you get a particularly dense plot like this one that Alex and I counted which contained almost 200 culms (higher than last year’s record!)

The hydra Andropogon plot in question – the more heads we cut the more seemed to appear

5. We also enjoyed a little rainy day time indoors learning how to clean Asclepias seed pods from Jared – a very fun and relaxing activity. 

And here is Lindsey using the metal detector to locate nails in one of the recruitment plots. We found the nails and beat the storm – a success! 

It’s been an exciting and productive week with lots done and lots more to do! Thanks for reading 🙂

It’s September!

It’s the first week of September and despite only four days of work (thanks to Labor Day) we’ve gotten a lot done. This week in the field we went out to find and shoot Liatris neighbors! We use the GPS to record the four closest neighbors of each focal Liatris plant, and on Friday we finished every single site! Now we just wait until they’re ready to harvest…

A bumblebee spotted visiting Liatris!

We have also been harvesting a lot of Echinacea heads and have been working our way through all the plots. Some of the things we look for to determine if a head is ready for harvest are visible or loose achenes, crisp upper leaves, and a brown stem. If a plant is ready, we snip its head off and put it in an H-bag! 

Lindsey teaching me how to harvest Echinacea heads at P1

On Thursday we had a lovely dinner together and made a huge bonfire. We ended our delicious meal with 3 desserts (Alex’s chocolate cake, vanilla ice cream, AND s’mores), after which we came to the very scientific conclusion that eating dessert does in fact expand your stomach. 

We also made two goat visits this week!! Here they are enjoying their favorite snack (buckthorn).

I’ve had such a great first week meeting the team and being in the field! I’m so excited to be out here and am really looking forward to learning even more as the month continues. Thanks for reading!

Manogya Chandar

Echinacea Project 2022

My name is Manogya and I am very excited to be joining the team this month!

Research Interests

I am broadly interested in investigating the mutualistic relationship between plants and pollinators, specifically through plant reproduction and survival. I am excited to apply these interests to the Echinacea project while investigating effects of fire disturbance.


In my spare time I enjoy being outside whether that means hiking, swimming, or just looking at flowers! I also enjoy cooking and baking.