Monday, May 30, 2011
Welcome, REU 2011!
In their first week, students participated in orientation where they learned important safety protocols for their lab and fieldwork. Students also learn orienteering skills using a map and compass in the forest and were educated on how to prevent tick bites throughout the summer. The orientation concluded with a walk through Harvard Forest led by researchers who introduced the students to the large variety of ongoing experiments located throughout the property.
Starting Tuesday morning, students began meeting with their research mentors, learning how to identify plants and vegetation, collecting samples in the forest for analysis, setting up experimental structures and teaching each other how to use statistical programs that they will need for their projects.
Rachel Brooks, a senior at the University of Vermont, with the guidance of her mentor, scientist Aaron Ellison, used pipettes to gather the inner contents of insectivorous pitcher plants in Harvard Forest’s Tom swamp, in order to study the larvae utilizing this unique habitat.
The Lyford grid is a 3 hectare permanent plot first mapped in 1969, and every 10 years since for over 40 years, allowing detailed analysis of population-level change over time.
With over 10 different research projects being conducted simultaneously, along with fun trips, special programming and seminars, this summer promises to be exciting!