Posted by: csdailyblog | August 26, 2009

Applied Ecology Class Project

Today the Applied Ecology class took on spotted knapweed, a pretty but invasive non-native plant that is on the Wisconsin DNR’s most wanted list and is gaining a toehold on our campus. Students are learning in class about invasive plants, the different methods used to eradicate them, and why certain methods are better for some plants than others. The best method for eradicating knapweed is pulling, and that is what students did today.

Students demonstrate how exhausted they are after an afternoon of pulling invasive knapweed.

Students demonstrate how exhausted they are after an afternoon of pulling invasive knapweed.

Staff members started the effort last week during Staff Orientation, removing 29 large bagfuls of knapweed from around the inner campus during a community service afternoon. Gretchen, Teagan, Andy, Dick, Bace, Ben, Di, and Nicky, the Applied Ecology students, contributed to the effort by pulling 9 bagfuls from the Black Trail behind the athletic fields.

Ben examines the newly-emerged monarchs about to be released in the Butterfly Garden.

Ben examines the newly-emerged monarchs about to be released in the Butterfly Garden.

I visited the class to take some photos and brought along two monarchs that had just emerged from chrysalises in our observation cage. One was female and one was male, so the students could see that the different genders have their own wing spot and vein patterns. The butterflies were released in the Community Garden Butterfly Plot, and then teacher Andy Milbauer pointed out all the native wildflowers blooming in the open fields near the Black Trail. This area was disturbed by campus construction, and a number of science classes over the years have broadcast native wildflower seeds in the fields to help restore them. These efforts are now paying off and the fields are filled with blooming black-eyed susans, coreopsis, vervain, and purple coneflowers. Some examples of what’s blooming right now in our fields:

native purple coneflower on campus

native purple coneflower on campus

native vervain on campus

native vervain on campus

native rudbeckia on campus

native rudbeckia on campus

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Responses

  1. This blog is just WONDERFUL!!!
    Keep up the good work. What a great way to keep everyone informed about what’s happening. Can grandparents access this blog as well?

    • I am glad you are enjoying the blog. Thanks for letting us know you like it. Yes, this blog can be accessed just by going to the blog website at http://www.csdailyblog.wordpress.com .

  2. I am impressed with the daily updates that the maintainer(s?) of this blog have managed. If this keeps up all year, I will certainly be reading along.

    Also: I am impressed with the time travel that apparently happens at Conserve. In my universe, it’s only the 25th of August! How far technology has come these days! 🙂

    –Erty

    • Hi Erty, we’ll do our best to keep adding on to this blog regularly. For some reason the date/time is set incorrectly and I haven’t been able to figure that out yet. You have a sharp eye!

    • I think I’ve corrected the time problem. From now on we should be in the correct space-time continuum.


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