In my second season at the Chesapeae and Ohio Canal National Historical Park I found several new occurrences of RTE plant species and recorded three new species for the canal. That puts the total number of new rare and endangered plant species I discovered while doing survey work over the last two years at seven. These seven species were Gymnocladus dioicus, Trichostema brachiatum, Heracleum maximum, Ribes americanum, Panax quinquefolius, Aristolochia macrophylla and Liparis liliifolia. The Ribes americanum discovery was the first time that plant had been seen in Maryland for over 100 years and is listed as extirpated.
I greatly expanded my knowledge of riverine habitats and their associated disturbances. I surveyed several areas of high quality limestone habitat and floodplain forests. I learned valuable lessons in regards to managing a large database of rare plant records and was introduced to the process of writing and submitting a scientific paper for publication. I met a lot of nice people working for the National Park Service and saw some of the challenges facing the agency.
I had the opportunity to participate in a sedge workshop in Syracuse, New York led by Tony Reznicek. Tony is a very nice man and an extraordinary botanist. Getting the chance to meet him was one of the highlights of my internship.
I also wanted to mention that I stumbled upon a book called Wild Flowers of the Alleghanies by Joseph E. Harned. This is a very interesting book by one of the less celebrated botanists of Maryland. In the book I found an autographed photo of the author. I don’t know how or why it got there but it was a pleasant surprise. The excerpt on Aristolochia macrophylla I included in my previous post was from this book. It doesn’t have any keys but some of the species descriptions include interesting comments. I really dig this kind of thing and thought I’d share.
This job over the past two seasons has been one of my favorite seasonal positions. I’d like to thank the park staff and the Chicago Botanic Garden for making this opportunity possible.