a symposium and a sendoff
This week all hands were on deck before they were waving goodbye. We rescued the magnolias from their submerged states only to have some unlucky individuals meet an unpleasant fate. A full day of waterlogging project madness was followed by a symposium full of happy future scientists. Before sending off the REU students to chase their dreams and change the world, we all had the great opportunity of learning and listening as they presented the findings of their research this summer. I was lucky enough to get to join in and present as well. We ended the week with a farewell party hosted by the Root Lab featuring pizzas cooked over the fire, a little bit of bocce, and a side of durian. Keep reading to find out more about the above and some emerging updates on our little lab pets.
We used red to represent the third age class of roots. We only traced the control trees during this session. The waterlogged magnolias didn’t show any new root growth.
Don was on leaf counting duty again. This is no small task, the magnolias have 200-300 leaves!
After 10 weeks of full immersion in their projects, all of this summer’s REU students were prepared to give presentations and answer questions about their research. It was great to see everyone’s hard work come to fruition and all of the supportive thumbs up from the mentors in the crowd. Public speaking is a daunting task that doesn’t come naturally or easily to most people. Many of the successful science communicators at The Morton Arboretum have shared that they still get nervous and have to practice their presentations. If public speaking scares you, don’t let that deter you from pursuing a career in research. It is a skill, and there are ways to make the process less anxiety provoking and more exciting! Isabella and I went through many practice runs before the big day. For me personally, I felt like these practice sessions and running through the presentation a couple of dozen times on my own really made a difference.
Durian has many applications, especially if you are trying to fend off a particular intern named Sarah who has yet to acquire a taste for the fruit.
Shout out to Carla and Luke for a wonderful evening! Above is our just-made-a-paradigm-shifting-scientific-discovery faces.
If you look closely at the chrysalis, you can see the outlines of the butterfly's wings. The chrysalis becomes translucent right before emergence.