The MMMILC Project

Last Week

Unusually for me, my group went on our expedition on a Thursday. It was after 7th period and was relatively cool compared to the late mornings I was used to. Given the dropping temperatures of the past week, it is no surprise that there was more dead this week than there was last week. Many of my groups observations were not emerged or dead and we finished very quickly. There wasn’t much to see so here’s a recycled photo of Byron. 20171102_151426.jpg

Last Measurement

This week our group was assigned plants 294-325. It was a quick trip. We didn’t see that much activity on the plants since many of them were non emerged. I enjoyed being a part of the MMMILC internship!

Final Day 11/12

Today was the last time that doing this internship. This week I was with Emi and Olivia. We had plants 326 to 357. The measuring went by very quickly as there weren’t too many plants alive. Thankfully the weather was nice and wasn’t raining. We did find a dead bird but other than that it was a pretty standard day.  20171112_120330.jpg

Week 32

The weather was rather cool this week, which made for a pleasant trip to the ditch. Most of our plants were either dead or non emerged with the exception of a few that were surprisingly green. So, as one can imagine, not a whole lot  happened on our trip, save for a opossum that, for one reason or another, sat on the fence for at least the entirety of our trip. IMG_20171109_144804871.jpg


Week 31: Almost the end

It is hard to believe that we are almost at the end of another MMMILC Project field season. Thanks to all of you that have put in time and effort over the weeks. I hope you’ve all gained something from your time in the field, and your involvement in this project. We are still collecting the final week of data, but here are some patterns that we’ve seen so far this season:


It looks like the population of live plants is finally starting to decline, but there were still some pretty large and pretty green plants out there last week. It looks like senescence has started in earnest, with a big jump in the number of “DEAD” plants recorded in week 31.


The figures from this year tell an interesting story. For comparison, here are the figures from 2016:


And from 2015:


The biggest and most intriguing difference I see is the late season spike in larval counts that we saw in 2015 and 2016 was much smaller in 2017. The pattern of egg counts is actually quite similar, and the pattern of milkweed growth is not much different, though perhaps is it flatter in 2015 than in the other years? While this is the end of the 2017 season, it is really just the beginning of my data analysis efforts – over the coming year, I’ll be doing a lot more analysis with these data to examine patterns that might be hard to see in simple plots like these. But this is a great place to start, and I can already see that there are going to be a lot of interesting patterns to examine, and hypotheses to test.  I’ll be looking for correlates with the climate, the mowing, plant-level trends – there is a lot to do. This is going to be fun, and I’ll be interested to see the final week of data that is coming in now.

Thanks again for all your hard work on this project, and I wish you all the best in your future projects!


Louie H. Yang

11/10 Blog

This week there wasn’t much to see. Most of our plants were Not Emerged, except for a couple that were surprisingly still big and healthy. Other than that, the leaves were changing color and it was pretty nice weather, not being to hot or too cold.imagejpeg_1imagejpeg_0

Week 31

It was a nice day recording out in the ditch. The weather has cooled down a lot and we finished in record time. Many of the milkweeds have began to die. It’s kind of amazing how quickly the plants can change. We found a dead fish near one milkweed. We’re still trying to figure out how it got there.Dead Fish

It’s amazing that the internship has gone by so fast.

Week 31

Today Jessie, Evert, and I measured 262 to 293. We did not see that much activity today. It was a quick trip. The majority of our plants were non emerged, but a few of them had OLAP. It was an easy day today and I look forward to next week.


Fiona, Katie, and I went out to measure 421 to 452 last Thursday. It was a quick and relatively easy trip, and the cool weather made it was more enjoyable. There were a lot of people walking their dogs or biking, and lots of leaves have fallen in the last week! Other than a couple plants left alive, there was not much else to see. I’m excited to see what the last week of measurements brings!

11/2 Blog

This week I was in a group with Byron and Emily and monitored milkweeds 230 to 261. We did it Thursday knowing it would be raining this weekend and wanted to do it before the levee was muddy. The weather was pretty nice, cool and overcast. We had a lot of big plants to measure with few being not emerged. Our group found a lot of OLAP and LAMB on the plants, but no caterpillars. Overall it was a pretty awesome field day. 20171102_151426.jpg