Lake Forest College Intern: Marisol

Marisol, our 2017 Lake Forest College intern!

This fall the Echinacea Project had a Lake Forest College intern, Marisol. In Marisol’s 16-hour internship over 4 weeks, she accomplished a lot! Her primary goal was to assess if the seed counter will be useful in our ACE protocol. Currently, volunteers scan achenes and then count them with our counting software online. The seed counter could potentially remove these steps and make the process more efficient.

Marisol did a few experiments with the seed counter. She determined the best sensitivity and speed settings for counting Echinacea achenes, by running packs of achenes through the seed counter multiple times and comparing those counts to her manual counts. She found that the most accurate sensitivity and speed is 8 and 70, respectively.

Marisol also determined the types of achenes that get counted and the types of achenes that often get missed. Usually, achenes that are really small, thin, and broken don’t get counted at all. Broken achenes that are still pretty large often get counted (about 2/3 of the time). Achenes that are full and above a certain size get counted 100% of the time.

In the mini-internship class, Marisol presented her findings to her classmates. See her poster below!

Marisol’s final poster for her mini-internship! Click to enlarge.



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