This protects the form of the plant and its much

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substrate (bark, rotting wood, soil, humus, and so on) as well as the plant. This protects the form of the plant, and it’s much easier to remove soil once the specimen has dried. When taking the whole plant is out of the question, cut specimens that contain all essential features (all leaf types, twigs, flowers, fruits, and so on) from the plant. If the species is a large herb such as a thistle, the specimen should include basal leaves as well as enough stem to show the range of stem leaves and flowering and fruiting material. With shrubs, include old and new twigs, buds where possible, and fruit and/or flowers. If lower and upper leaves are different, or there is significant variation between a shaded and un-shaded side of a tree, collect from both. H O W T O C O L L E C T Placing vascular plants immediately into a field press or a traditional vasculum (a sort of metal satchel) is ideal because it prevents petals from being knocked off and stems from being be bent or broken. The bag should be zippered shut or be blown up by mouth and knotted to seal it. Blowing up the bag adds a small amount of moisture and helps to cushion the contents. Keep collections as cool as possible and prevent them from being crushed.
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Science Research Mentoring Program STATISTICS © 2013 American Museum of Natural History. All Rights Reserved. 9 WORKSHEET: Collecting in the Field (continued) L A B E L I N G Firmly attach a label to each plant that has the collection number that corresponds to numbered notes in your notebook. Mosses and lichens should always be collected in paper bags or envelopes, where they can dry. You can write the collection number and notes directly on the bag. N O T E S T O T A K E I N T H E F I E L D Every specimen should be accompanied by comprehensive notes retained in a notebook. These notes will not help you identify the material, but will be used later to complete the information on the herbarium label. It’s far better to take too many notes than too few, and it’s dangerous to trust information to memory, especially as several months or more may go by between collection and processing. Your notes should contain the following information: 1. Collection number 2. Name of the plant (if possible) 3. Locality & GPS co-ordinates 4. Description: This should include everything about the plant that is not obvious on the specimen. 5. Habitat : Describe both the general habitat as well as details about the microhabitat, such as type of soil or other substrate (sand, clay, granite, dead wood, other vegetation), associated species, moisture and aspect (fully exposed on a south facing bank; in a damp hollow under dense scrub, etc). The more careful and detailed your notes, the more useful they’ll be. 6. Date 7. Names of collector(s)
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Science Research Mentoring Program STATISTICS © 2013 American Museum of Natural History. All Rights Reserved. 10 Session Three: Morphometrics and Basic Statistics L E A R N I N G O B J E C T I V E S This activity enables students to generate data to test their observations, organize a data table(s), and begin basic statistics on their data: mean, mode, variance, and standard deviation.
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  • Fall '17
  • Statistics, Natural history, American Museum of Natural History, American Museum, Science Research

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