We Need Your Help

Join our team of intrepid explorers and participate in a pilot study this summer

You May Be Wondering…

Why are pollinators so important?

Plants need pollinators. Pollinators mediate reproduction, gene flow, dispersal, and in some cases even speciation. In order to understand how the members of Platanthera evolved and diversified in North America, we must come to know their pollinators. With this information, we can not only unravel how they came to be, but we can also predict where they might be now and how they might adjust to climatic and geographic change.

What is Platanthera?

Platanthera is a group of terrestrial orchids found mostly in the northern hemisphere. They are commonly known as the “bog orchid” or the “butterfly orchid”. They inhabit a diversity of ecosystems around the globe, and they make up about 10% of North America’s native orchid species. Despite their prevalence and diversity, documentation of their pollinator relationships is sparse.

What would I do?

The project is relatively simple: Based on your local area, we’ll work together to choose your field site, your specific species of interest, and your research dates. Then you will receive an observation kit that includes everything you’ll need, and all training materials can be downloaded from our website. You’ll set up the camera at your field site, leave it overnight and pick it up the next morning. You’ll repeat those steps for a few days in a row and then send it back when you’re done! Afterwards, your research exploits will be featured on this page.

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