Tesa Madsen-Hepp taught us how to press plants and which features to make visible. Most importantly, Tesa taught us about ligules in grasses!
Five pairs of participants were assigned literature that was relevant to Santa Cruz Island natural history, studying islands and endemic species, ecological and restoration theory, vegetation recovery after grazing, and invasive species removal. Each member reviewed assigned literature and presented their findings and taught the other members about the concepts and relevant takeaways for our specific research.
This workshop helped students become familiar with reading scientific papers as well as inform them how to apply the literature to their own research. Also, learning from one another allowed the members to think about our research interests through many different lenses.
UCR Herbarium Curator Andy Sanders taught us best-practices for collecting plants. We learned to precisely record locality information, collect specimens, and tie herbarium knots!
SCIRP Workshop: Research Skills (point-intercept sampling)
Participants learned how to sample plant community composition using a point-intercept approach. We used the CHRRP field site on the UCR campus to practice identifying plants and collecting observations using the datasheets for the island work.
After the official 10 members were selected to participate in SCIRP, those members attended the workshop that discussed the preparation of the field guide. In order to sample the species composition of the established transects, the officers curated the known plant species on the island from past surveying as well as iNaturalist. With these numerous species, each of the members was assigned ~5-7 species and instructed how to curate a field guide with photos and characteristics (e.g. leaf shape, texture, color, etc.) in order to assist us in the field in identifying potential plants.
For many, this was their first time seeing many of these plants and provided a great opportunity to learn about plant species and how to identify them!
Below are a few examples of our final field guide with possible plant species previously found on SCI.