Oct 19th – Drop off week success!

Thanks to everyone who was able to get their kits to a drop off day! Combined with early drop offs, we are up to 113 kits that have been returned! That is about a 75% return rate, which is really impressive for a community science project in a normal year, not even counting a pandemic. I know several more people are still working on getting your kits to either Akron or Newark, so hopefully we can get the return rate to above 80%.

We filled our lab freezer twice over with all of the kits from this week! I greatly appreciate that Dawes Arboretum is allowing us to use one of their chest freezers for this project. This is about a quarter of the kits in this freezer, so their help is greatly appreciated. Also shout out to Dr. Karen Goodell for getting some temporary extra freezer space on Friday while MaLisa was getting even more kits from NE Ohio.

It was great to see many of you (from a distance and wearing masks). We still have a lot of work ahead of us. We are working on hiring a lab assistant and will be ramping up our sorting/washing/drying/pinning capacity soon!

Many thanks to those of you who also donated financially to the project! We will write thank you cards in a few weeks once we get all of our ducks in a row.

Pinning Parties?
Many people asked about pinning opportunities. Obviously, the originally planned 50 person pinning parties are not an option due to the pandemic and hoping the pandemic would be over in 6 months was wishful thinking on my part. However, it does sound like we can have limited numbers of people come to the lab to help pin specimens there.

Once I get things sorted in the lab a bit better, I will send out info here with sign up dates where you can join me in the lab in Newark. The main caveat is that the lab will be limited to the number of people who can visit at one time due to covid precautions. As the number of covid cases in Ohio continue to rise to all time highs, we must be as careful as possible. Thus, at this time, I am planning to take things slowly along with keeping the lab capacity low (max 2 people in addition to me). I’d much rather the sorting and pinning stage take an extra year than to have any of my participants (or myself) catch covid while helping with the project. That also means the projected timeline for identification of specimens will take a while as well, as I cannot identify things until they are pinned.

Anyways, I will try to keep everyone updated on opportunities and progress. My main progress from last week was on acquiring the samples, so I don’t have much else to add at this time.

Everything may be topsy-turvy because of the pandemic, but we can at least count on some nice fall colors and the occasional scarecrow. People who dropped their kits off at Dawes Arboretum also got to see their scarecrow contest. 

Enjoy this lovely scarecrow from Dawes Arboretum and try to enjoy the fall colors while they last!


– MaLisa




2 thoughts on “Oct 19th – Drop off week success!

  1. Thanks for your diligent work on this project and the opportunity to participate. It was a pleasure to meet you. Looking forward to pinning with you.

  2. Agreed with the above. I think you for your hard work and flexibility. I am impressed with your knowledge. I have limited knowledge or scientific training, but lots of interest. I am in it for the long haul, and how ever I can help you , count me in. I am good at grunt work and following directions. Understanding, and thus knowing how to preserve all parts of our environment is beyond important. I believe it is crucial to the survival of all species on our planet, including us humans.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *