June is a transitional time for the Echinacea Project. Stuart left for Minnesota last Saturday and has begun working with a new crop of field interns. They will update the flog throughout the summer to introduce themselves and describe their adventures.

Stuart’s four advisees at Northwestern–Josh Drizin, Katherine Muller, Karen Taira, and Maria Wang–are getting ready to move on to new endeavors. Maria is staying at Northwestern for one more year to complete a Master’s degree. As much as she loves her grasses, she is embarking on a topic closer to her home territory: the population genetics of a Malaysian crop species. Katherine is moving on to a PhD program at the University of Minnesota, Josh is applying for conservation jobs, and Karen is preparing to defend her thesis in the fall.

Back in the lab, there is enough counting, randomizing, and weighing to keep our volunteers busy all summer. All of the counting for harvest years 2010 through 2012 have been entered into the new online data entry system at That means that we will be able to keep track of their progress throughout the summer without the hassle of paper datasheets. As of today, 69% of the assignments have been completed. Counting for 2010 is nearly finished and 2011 is over half-way there.



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