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Jumping Right In

My name is Christina Hall and I’m a rising senior in AgSci doing an Invasive Species internship this summer in conjunction with Cornell Cooperative Extension. I’m working in the Weed Ecology and Management Laboratory here in Ithaca this summer and will be working specifically with knapweed. Kaitlyn Anderson (another AgSci blogger) is the other intern working on the same project, but based in Saratoga.

This week has been a whirlwind as I just jumped right in to my internship. I showed up at 8:45 on Tuesday morning and by 9:15 we were in the field cutting samples of rye and hairy vetch. Wednesday then took me towards Watertown where I helped to collect data on swallow-wort at Wehle State Park. Swallow-wort is an invasive species that has caused a great deal of concern over the last ten years. Learn a little more about swallow-wort and attempts at control in this article from the Cornell Chronicle featuring my supervisor and his colleagues.

Thankfully, the weather has been perfect for field work this week and hasn’t left us dying of heat, because Thursday took us back out to the field where we continued work on a buried seed experiment and dug up seed packets from years past. Each packet contains one of four species of weed seeds with sand and simulates seed survival as affected by various cover crops. The seed packets–240 of them–were six inches deep into the soil and were found using a metal detector as each packet was attached to three metal washers.

(This would be the part where I post a hilarious picture from the field of us digging up seed packets like they were buried treasure…but I accidentally deleted the photo from my phone while I was trying to upload it–so laugh anyway at the idea of us digging 240 holes to find seed packets)

This week has helped me to casually get to know some of the people I will be working alongside during the summer and has offered a peek into some of the projects going on in this lab.  I’m looking forward to some of the laboratory and other trainings I will have in the next week and am excited to get started on my summer project!

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