Undergraduate Research Fellows Blog

  • Daily Life on the Prairie

    Hello all!

    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).

  • Found in Translation

    Hi again!

    My last post outlined some frustration I had with my project. But I decided that it would be better to take the time and explain what I’m actually doing.

  • Phylogenetics Fun

    While I’ve been working fairly extensively with data processing and R all throughout my project, I’ve reached a point where the real coding challenges begin. Up to till now, the scripts I have written have been fairly straightforward. I’ve mostly just been data processing: pulling columns and variables out of CSV files, sorting which species are herbs or shrubs, and determining which plots I need to visit. Now that all my data is in a format where I know I can use it, the analyses begin, particularly, phylogenetic analyses. 

  • Life Beyond the Trees
    Once a week I leave the air conditioning to head out to the tree nursery. Each week I come across something new; a bird, a butterfly, a squirrel… The Morton Arboretum has so much more life to offer than just the trees!
  • Ice Cream Social 2018
    Celebrating week 6 of the URF with ice cream, great weather, and some laughs!
  • Interns on the Prairie

    Hello! Here's an over-due update from the field:

  • Always Bring Clippers

    The summer is flying by! It’s hard to believe that it’s already week six, and my days of going out into the field are nearly over! For the remainder of my project, I will be doing mostly data analysis with a lot of statistics and phylogenetics sprinkled in. Just last week, I was finishing up collecting my specimens. You might think hunting for specific species would get boring. However, as I studied each species in preparation for collecting them and identifying them, I was amazed by the trait diversity that exists in our temperate forests!

  • Bug Spray and Coding
    I’m using computer coding to conduct a scientific experiment! Unfortunately, the code I wrote has a lot of bugs. If only I could bug spray my computer.
  • An Intro to the Field

    One of the things that was most exciting to me when I accepted the Undergraduate Research Fellowship at the Morton Arboretum was the prospect of field work! The project I am working on this summer with the Herbarium is a cool blend of old fashioned plant collections in the field and cutting edge computational work using phylogenetics and R, a statistics based programming language.


  • It’s Not Easy Being Blue…

    Hello again! Since my last post, we have extracted majority of the Costa Rica seedling samples for foliar phosphorus (P). It’s been very busy in the lab!

    Now that we have foliar P extracts, we can figure out how much P are in the samples in a colorimetric reaction.

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