In the books I’ve read, scientists are often portrayed as cold, calculating, and completely logical. Maybe some of them are. Maybe I’m just reading the wrong books, because I made a heart-shaped diagram. It makes me smile.
Since last time, my interns and I have done some more analysis on our data, but are not yet completely satisfied with our answers. Basically, we have our overall results, but now we want to specify the findings and hope to search for some distinct patterns, characteristics, etc. in our data. But meanwhile, we still spend most of our time on the prairie trying to get through weeding the whole site at least once (let me tell you, I thought it would have been an easier feat, but it has been a long, enduring time).
When I started this summer, I treated gathering my data as the end goal. Like the “X” marking the treasure on a map, I assumed that if I could just get all the data - collect all the samples, measure all the ring widths, cross-date all the trees - that everything else would fall into place.
I am the only undergraduate research fellow to be studying something other than trees at the Morton Arboretum. At first, I felt proud. I worked in a prairie last summer, so to have the opportunity to work in a prairie again, while conducting research, was exciting. However, as time passed, I felt like the odds were against me. Prairie restoration is a lot of work. There is a lot of time and effort that goes into the process of maintaining the prairie.