Week 3 has come to a close, with many exciting things to share and reflect on. This third week came and went just as quickly as the previous two, but not without leaving many fun memories and learning experiences for the 2019 REEU summer cohort. All five groups were very busy this week, collecting initial data and preparing their project sites for future research. Emily and I were no exception in the tree group. We spent the entire week collecting data on our Butternut plantation, measuring and recording DBH (diameter at breast height), number of cankers below and above 1.5 meters, assigning a canker severity scale, and estimating live crown ratio. After noting all of these data points for nearly 150 Butternut trees, it is safe to say that Emily and I are well-experienced in detecting and categorizing cankers due to the Butternut blight.
Another very exciting part of week 3 was the opportunity to meet, work with, educate, mentor, and hang out with three very nice high schoolers. The three girls stayed in Purdue dorms for three nights and spent time with each group, learning about our research projects and the fields we represent within the natural resource department. Emily and I took the three girls up on a lift to look at a Chestnut tree we helped prepare for pollination. The girls enjoyed viewing the trees and surrounding landscape from a new perspective. We also got to take them on a tour of three different Butternut plantations at Martell Forest (the location of our research project and “home base” for this internship program). We educated the high schoolers on the Butternut blight and explained what we were recording all week from each of the trees and how this data collection will help us answer our overall research question. While walking around the grounds of Martell we found some wild strawberries (though they were not as sweet as we thought they would be) and lots of cool plants, insects, and of course tons of TREES! It was rewarding to answer the girls’ questions and see their interests in identifying trees and learning more about them.
With all the excitement and fun times of week three behind us, I am eager to jump into week four and continue the progress we have started with our research projects. I am hoping for good weather and sunshine as Emily and I continue to collect data and begin to analyze our findings. Until next week! #peacelovetrees #plantatree #treehugger #treesareLIFE #Butternutbabies #Butternutmesswiththesetrees #gooutside #nature
My Haiku about Trees
Trees are the greatest
They give life to all creatures
They are beautiful