The MMMILC Project

Growing Green Int. Week:2

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When my group was studying milkweed plant number 312 we happen to see a bee collecting pollen from an umbel. Displaying IMG_4551.JPG

On Milkweed bud number 305 my group found a OLAP meaning Oleander Aphid.

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First Monarch Butterfly I saw during the internship. It flows so smoothly through the air.

My group started earlier today to try and get ahead of the heat. By the time we finished recording all the pants it was overly hot out. I had fun seeing all the insects with the noises they made and all of the plants.

Feline Distraction

Today me (Melina), Julie and Maddy had milweeds 326-354. As we were just finishing 1/4 of our milkweeds we noticed a loud meowing coming from the green belt. We didn’t look though and just ignored it but as I was taking pictures I couldn’t help but look up and saw a cat watching us from behind the fence. Of course we couldn’t help but go and pet it and it was really friendly. Over the course of the morning we also spotted more than 12 monarch butterfly’s. We believe it’s because of the umbles sprouting.


Week 2 of GGI

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Today was a hot day, but we worked fast and finished recording the data. When we were in the process of recording data there were many plants that weren’t emerging. The plants that were emerged they had a few bees. The bees are a good pollinator for the milkweed umbel so the plant can have pods.

Week 11 Data Analysis: Growing Green hits the ground running

The DHS crew is a great job in the last week of the spring MMMILC Project just before graduation, and the Growing Green Internship hit the ground running in week 11 of the MMMILC Project, picking things up without a hitch. Cool data from weeks 1-11, and no sign of discontinuities between the DHS and GGI data:


Looks like there were 222 milkweeds alive in Week 11.


The plants continued to grow. Several eggs observed in week 10, not so many in week 11. A few larvae observed in both weeks, seemingly getting bigger.


Interestingly, it looks like the plants on the south end of the transect are starting to produce more monarchs than the plants on the north end – the opposite of the pattern that we saw earlier in the year.

In summary, it looks like summer is here, and things are going well!

Before we go, I encountered a few data entry errors this week. I was able to correct all of them. See of you can spot them. When I ran the script, it showed me that the dataset contained entries from a bunch of weeks that hadn’t happened yet. Most of these resulted from “dragging” errors, where someone tries to drag dates down, but Google Sheets mistakenly assumes you want a sequence of dates, like this:


The trick is to use the keyboard shortcut CTRL+D (“Fill Down”) instead of dragging:

After I fixed this error, I still saw a few mistaken dates when I tried to run the analysis:

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Can you spot the errors below? This one explains why we had 344 observations from week 8:

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And this one is where there two entries from week 531 came from:

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Have a good week! This upcoming week is going to be very hot, and I wondering how the plants and caterpillars will react. Stay cool out there.



Monitoring Day 1

This is the first day where my team and I collected data from our Milkweed plants (Julie, Alejandro and I ). The milkweeds are located on the North Davis Riparian Greenbelt and they are a part of a scientific study in which we examine the affects of climate change on the relationship between the monarch butterfly and milkweed plant.  As we gather data, we also note other kinds of insects near or on the plant. On milkweed #267, there were four Milkweed Leaf Beetles roaming on the plant. This is my second year in this internship and it caught me by surprise as they were not seen last year. I believe that they are growing in population in this ecosystem because they appear in more abundance this year than the last. My favorite feature from this insect is their green metallic exoskeleton which gives the appearance of a pill of emerald.

Week 10

imageThis week Amy Fang, Maya Mchale and I went out to the ditch to collect our data on our milkweeds. The weather was pretty nice but humid. The plants had gotten a lot larger than in the beginning weeks of data collection and it took more time than usual to collect data. Playing music made the process feel faster, even though it still took a relatively long time. We didn’t find any caterpillars, which was disappointing, but we did find a bee or two. Overall it was a good experience but we all have poky things in our shoes now!

Week 10

This week Carolanne, Nancy, and I went out to the ditch on Monday the 5th of June right after school got out. It was quite hot but luckily we were able to go through the plants at a speedy pace so we could get back to the cool indoors. Some of the plants were not emerged yet while some had upwards of 10 stems. We saw a caterpillar on one of plants which was the first caterpillar I had seen since the first week. This has been a really great experience and I am interested to see what information can be learned in the future.

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First Day on the Job: BUGZ!

Yesterday was so much fun! It was my first day of the Growing Green Internship. We learned about the monarch butterflies and the milkweed that they live on. My favorite part of the day was being able to hold the huge Australian  stick bug. It was a weird sensation as it crawled on me,the experience however was great! I got to experience this at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. Hope to have you continue with me on my great journey of this internship!20170605_141741

First Day of Training

My name is Alexander Espejo and Francisco Sandoval. We’re both seniors at GUHS. This is our second year of MMMILC. One of the highlight that we agreed on was going to Bohart Museum of Entomology. On the museum, Alex held a walking stick from Australia. Alex thought the Walking Stick that he held was interesting and the grip was weird from the walking stick. We’re looking forward to having a great time and furthering our knowledge on milkweed and monarch butterfliesImage result for australian walking stick

First Day Experience as a Growing Green Intern

My day started out meeting new people, we played a game where we had the opportunity to get know each other’s names while throwing stuffed animals. It was pretty exiting. Then, we got to meet two important people at U.C Davis Tabatha and professor Yang . Professor Yang gave a presentation of what we will be doing in this program. Over all the day was fascinating. I am excited to be able to be part of a scientific study. After Lunch, We went to the Bohart Museum of Entomology where I seen a collection of butteries. At the museum, I was able to interact with an Australian Walking Stick.  When we got back from the museum we were given bee’s wax to make a model of the 5 stages of life of  monarch caterpillars. We got to make the smallest egg to a big slug looking caterpillar which we then got to observe others to see how they turned out.