Check, Check, Check

Hello Flog!!

Wow today was very productive, as always.  The morning was filled with the completion of many small projects.  Michael and I finished demo at 6 different sites!  Riley finished rechecks at P1, P6, and P9 (wow!).  Andy and Kristen got all of their yellow pan traps put out as well!  Many completion checks were made to the long list of “Echinacea Project: Things to do.”

Michael staking a point

Me observing a flowering plant

At lunch, I gave a presentation about my project update.  We had cake and ice cream afterwards as a farewell to me, as today was my last day 🙁

Stuart’s famous chocolate cake

In the afternoon, Kristen, Andy, and Lea moved bee tents and collected yellow pan traps.  Riley completed the final part of his project, which was measuring the thickness of the echinacea leaves.  Stuart and Michael completed some behind the scenes work.

Signing off for good, so long flog!




Worrisome Weather

Hello Flog!

T’was another eventful Monday today! We all headed out to P2 first thing in the morning and completed about 20 more rows of measuring….We even managed to find 2 new plants that were originally listed as skips!  There was some worry about some bad weather coming while we were up on the hill, but it thankfully missed us (for now we stayed dry).

Moving measuring tapes

J Ison measuring a large plant

We all enjoyed some tasty lunch.  Afterwards, we discussed the plan for the week and came up with a game plan.

After that we split into task force groups to get some more work done on our individual projects.  I headed out to Staffenson to help Bridgid complete phenology on Liatrus….It took some learning but I eventually got the hang of it.  Then we helped Lea and Kristen move their tents and finished up just in time!  It started pouring just as we finished moving the last tent.  It was a good way to end another productive day at Team Echinacea.

Attempting to do phenology on Liatrus

Bad weather part 1

Bad weather part 2

Fun Fact Friday

Hello Flog!

Did you know that echinacea comes from the Greek word “ekhinos” which means Hedgehog?

Did you know that echinacea can be used as an herbal medicine?  It can also help to boost your immune system!

Did you know that the seed heads can make excellent dried centerpieces?

Those are just some fun facts to brighten your Friday! 🙂  Today was another great day at the Echinacea project.  In the morning, 5 team members went out to P1 to complete phenology.  We have become very efficient and finished in only 20 minutes!  However, most of us were very wet by the end of it, as all of the grass was very dew covered.  After that, we joined some other team members at P2 and completed phenology there.  That took a bit longer becuase we had to check all done flowering heads to see if they needed to be harvested (Stuart and Jennifer had to harvest some heads already yesterday, which is crazy!).  After that Kristen, John, and Andy went out to do Yellow Pan Traps, while Michael and I check some of my aphid plants.  Michael also completed his pollen addition.

Me completing phenology at P1

Michael demonstrating how tall the Big Blue Stem is at Hegg Lake

Michael taking pollen from one of the last flowering heads in P1.

Michael adding the pollen to one of his plants.

Lunch was filled wiht many laughters, like usual 🙂

After lunch, some team members headed back out to P1 to continue measuring plants, some stayed at P2 to watch pollinators, and some helped Kristen move pan traps.  It was a great way to end the week!


Signing off, have a great weekend!



Rain Rain Go Away, Come Again Another Day

Today was a behind the scenes/catch-up day.  Team Echinacea stayed indoors most of the morning  because the weather was not very very favorable for field work.  In the morning, we each spoke to the whole group (with the exception of CoW Bee) to touch base on how our individual projects have been going and when we need to work on them.  Shortly after we talked, it started thundering so we all decided it would be best to stay inside for the duration of the storm.

Pictured: G3 with some scary looking clouds moving in above it

After the storm cleared up, some team members drove out to P2 with Jennifer and did plant phenology!

In the afternoon, Team Echinacea broke off into groups and worked on task force projects.


Rain + No Wind = Itchy Night

Hello Echinacea Project!  Yesterday was a very productive day. It had rained the night before, so we all brought our laptops and started on our project proposals!  We were very concentrated and hard workers 🙂

Team being very productive

During lunch, Jennifer gave a very informative presentation about bees and plant flowering times.

After lunch, we split up into task forces. Some people worked with the bees, some people did plant data at the P2 experimental plot, and some people went out to P1 to start the aphids and spittlebug projects. The unfortunate part about the afternoon was there was no wind, therefore every member of Team Echinacea was very itchy that evening from all the mosquito bites we got.

Andy bundled up to avoid mosquitos while taking spittlebug data

Morgan Kirwin

Echinacea Project 2018

Pre-Medical, Concordia College 2022

Research Interests

I am interested in studying and learning more about plant identification, pollination, and behavior of bees.  For my current job as an environmental technician, part of what I do is classify wetland plants.  I am definitely an amateur and would like to learn more about scientific names and different plant distinctions that lead you to figuring out what species it is.  Pollination is another interest of mine because quite honestly I don’t know much about it.  Finally, bees are also an interest.  Bees are so important to the ecosystem and learning more about them would be very interesting.  I love learning about new things, so I am open to studying anything this summer.


I grew up out in the country north of Morris, Minnesota and have been here my entire life.  Morris is an agricultural community about 30 miles from where the Echinacea Project is.  I enjoy various outdoor activities including hunting, fishing, hiking, and spending days at the lake.  I also enjoy traveling across the United States and Canada.  I currently work as an environmental technician for an environmental consulting company.  I am planning on going for Pre-Med at Concordia College (a recent change of my major), but my fall back plan is Biology/Earth Science to eventually become an environmental scientist.