My internship has concluded and it was a very good experience. I had to leave earlier than I expected, which meant I didn’t get to visit every place in the park I wanted to, but things happen. Perhaps I will visit again. I found over 20 new populations of state-listed plants in the canal including 4 entirely new rare species. I also found a population of Ptilimnium nodosum (Harperella) which is a federally-endangered plant. Check out my previous entry for more details on that find.
I learned a lot about managing a large database of rare plants. The amount of rare plant records for this park meant that I couldn’t possibly survey for all of them in one field season. One challenge was prioritizing which plants to survey for. I gravitated towards the shale barren habitats within the park. I found these to be the most interesting to survey.
My last trip into the field was to survey a shale barren habitat. I found a new population of the globally-vulnerable (G3) Trifolium virginicum. This is one of the discoveries I was most excited about. I can’t quite explain it but I really enjoy seeing this plant. On this field trip I found a population with newly established clumps and one clump that had seedlings sprouting. I was pretty excited when I saw this and considered it a fitting end to my internship experience at the Chesapeake and Ohio National Historical Park.
Field Botany Intern
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park