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