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Good To Be Back

Good To Be Back
The view from my hammock

Hello again!  

I can’t believe we are finishing up week FIVE here at the arboretum - time has really flown by. The past few weeks I have been on more sample collecting trips. We went to Kansas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Canada (see highlights below!). By now, we have had a lot of practice collecting oaks, so we have gotten much faster. We are also lucky to have had several people from various institutions help us collect on these trips and make the process go faster!



Pressing an herbarium specimen in Canada
Me pressing an herbarium specimen in Canada



While traveling to different places is fun, I am happy to say that I will have a couple of weeks off from sample collecting to really focus on my project. This past week I have begun analyzing leaf characteristics in a program called ImageJ, and have also learned a little bit about a software called R, which I will use to analyze my data. It has been great to be back at the arboretum for more than one day in a row, and I can finally see my project really coming together.


Analyzing a leaf on imageJ using my computer
Analyzing a leaf on imageJ


In addition to working on my project, I was able to attend the annual field trip to the Field Museum in Chicago. Us Morton Arboretum interns, as well as the Chicago Botanic Garden interns, got to learn about the projects that the Field Museum interns are working on, as well as get a behind the scenes tour of the museum. We were also fortunate enough to get

free admission to some of the special exhibits (I highly recommend going to see the tattoo exhibit!).

Overall, it feels good to be back for a while, and I am excited to see what the next half of this internship holds.


Highlights from my recent collecting trips:


-I got to meet up with my aunts, uncles, and cousins while driving through Minneapolis, MN on the fourth of July!


-camping at Lake Jacomo campground, which I highly recommend!

The lake at our campground
Lake Jacomo



-passing through the center of Canada

Mira and I standing in front of the center of Canada sign
Mira and I in front of the center of Canada sign



-getting more doughnuts and other pastries!


A maple glaze doughnut from Tim Horton's
A maple glaze doughnut from Tim Horton's


A Canadian butter tart
A Canadian butter tart


-going for a boat ride at Whiteshell Provincial Park

A lake
We got to take a boat ride on this beautiful lake!


-fun fact: we slept through another really bad rainstorm while in Kansas 



About the Author
My name is Sara Desmond and I am one of the undergraduate research fellows for summer 2017. I am working on a morphometric study of Quercus macrocarpa (bur oak) under the guidance of Dr. Andrew Hipp.