I also am working on my own research. I reintroduced two types of medicinal plants (ginseng and goldenseal) onto three types of woods that were previously used for other purposes: agriculture, highwall of a mine, and also woods that haven’t been disturbed in 80 years. I will be able to see if the plants are successful growing on one type of site or another, as well as if there is a difference in the success of the reintroduction between the types of plants. As this is my second summer, of three, on this project, having data is so exciting. Hands down, one of the best feelings is making progress.
I think my favorite time during this, asides from spending time outside in the woods, is that ever year my parents come out and help me in the field, on my own research, for a couple of days. For them to donate their time to do hard manual labor is inspiring. Throughout my childhood, they were always encouraging me to be outside and to ask questions; I am happy they can take an active role in watching the fruits of those seeds they planted. The social component of science -listening to what other people know and adding your own knowledge -is an integral part of this field. My parents are avid naturalists, so getting us all outside can lead to some interesting discussions!