Echinacea project volunteers

Our volunteers are indispensable to the success of the Echinacea project. Each year they collectively contribute hundreds of hours of service and innovative ideas to enhance the speed, accuracy, and efficiency of data collection. Many of them also bring the aroma of freshly popped popcorn when returning from their well-deserved breaks.

Our volunteers help processing and analyzing of Echinacea heads. Each year we bring an overwhelming number of Echinacea heads back to the CBG from our field sites and experimental plots in Minnesota (this year there were around 1200 heads). These heads need to have their achenes removed, which is often a prickly process - the name Echinacea is loosely translated as, 'thing of spiny-ness.' Later the achenes from each head are placed in a pyrex dish and scanned to create a digital image. Then our indefatigable volunteers count the numbers of achenes in each image; between all the heads we bring back, the total number of achenes each years ranges in the hundreds of thousands. Finally, a subset of achenes from some of the heads will be weighed to predict whether they contain a seed or not.

Volunteers also help out with germination experiments and assist with all the many other things we do in the greenhouse and lab.

We're starting to record the number of hours worked by volunteers for the Echinacea project: they accumulated almost 300 hours between the beginning of January 2008 and the end of March 2008!


Volunteer Lunch
Here's a photo from our volunteer appreciation luncheon on 5 June 2008. We shared some great food, told fun stories, and heard about accomplishments from the past year. Front row (L to R): Char, Jennifer, Marita, and Pat. Back row: Anne, Stuart, Art, Christine, Bob, Bill, Lani, Denise, and Julie.


Chicago Botanic Garden (September 2007 - June 2008)

Art Abt
Pat Babbin
Anne Coughlin
Marita Kuhl
Bob Mueller
Owen Ratliff
Pat Sommers
Charlynn Schweingruber
Suzanne Turner
Bill Wallin

Chicago Botanic Garden (September 2005 - August 2007)

Art Abt
Anne Coughlin
Erin Ellis
Milton Engel
Elaine Juhl
Marita Kuhl
Bob Mueller
Mary O'Conner
Theresa Paluch
Amy Schuetz
Charlynn Schweingruber
Suzanne Turner
Bill Wallin

Chicago Botanic Garden (May 2004 - June 2005)

Art Abt
Aldo Crovetti
Sam Darin
Phil Hiller
Elaine Juhl
Marita Kuhl
Bob Mueller
Melissa Pierson
Janet Rizner-Backs
Amy Schuetz
Charlynn Schweingruber
Suzanne Turner
Bill Wallin

Chicago Botanic Garden (November 2001 - May 2004)

Unfortunately we're missing some lists of volunteers prior to May 2004.

We'd also like to give thanks to all the Lake Forest College students who have served as short-term volunteers over the years as part of their Plant Biology class.