Field Trip to Maryland Marshes

Post by Erin Nguyen

The McLachlan team recently headed out into the field for some late season sampling. Jason, Megan, and two undergrads, Aleah and Erin, went to the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) in Maryland to work with Pat Megonigal, Matt Kirwin and Nikki Brazzola.  The group’s goal was to obtain live samples of Schoenoplectus americanus as well as sediment cores. These efforts were the latest chapter of the lab’s ongoing project to study S. americanus’s changing genetic landscape in the Chesapeake Bay through space and time.

On the team’s first day out in the marshes, Jason and company took a boat to reach a number of promising sites. With an expanse of blue sky above and golden grasses and sedges below, it was a stunning morning for sampling.

Under the heat of a blazing sun, the team collected a staggering 12 sediment cores to be later sieved through in hopes of obtaining ancient scirpus seeds that can be germinated and compared to their modern descendants.

The day was long and the work was hard but the journey and people were fantastic! To top off a productive and exciting field trip, the team caught one last stunning sight before heading home to ND.

The McLachlan lab is happy to be back in the Bend, and working on exciting, new developments with the marsh project!


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