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Methods Project Draft 2

Submitted by samihaalam on Fri, 09/22/2017 - 17:21

On September 21, 2017 at around 4:00PM Durfee Conservatory was approached coming from the stairs in between Morrill N and Morrill S. The temperature was about 25°C and the atmosphere was cloudy, humid, and slightly windy. At the circular courtyard, facing the Durfee Conservatory, there were two paths to take into the garden and the left path was taken. At about halfway down the path, there were observed to be a patch of plants with variegated leaves, with green leaves and pink patches on the leaves. They were located in between a patch of flowers with very bright pink petals and a patch of flowers with small purple flowers. Standing on the sidewalk facing the plants, a picture was taken, holding the camera high above the flowers to capture as many of the target plants as possible.

Staying in the relatively the same spot, another picture was taken closer to the plants, holding the camera on the iphone about one foot away horizontally and on the same level vertically as the plants. An up-close photo was also taken of one plant specifically. The iphone was held about 10cm away from the plant, facing the petals so that inside of them could be seen.

A picture was also taken of the card describing of the plant. The card was approached, and the picture was taken holding the iphone camera about a foot away and directly across from the card. The picture was taken so that the description appeared on the far left of the picture, and the rest of the picture contained the target flowers. 

FIgure Explanation

Submitted by samihaalam on Fri, 09/22/2017 - 10:53

The goals of this experiment were to determine how ozone affects variegated plant species. They’d previously done research on if plants with leaves that were solid colors, and so this study was specifically to understand how ozone affects four different shades of this variegated plant species (Hypoestes phyllostachya) and possibly understand the mechanisms behind it. This figure contributes to the quality of the paper because it visually demonstrates the findings of the study. The ‘Rose’ shade had the highest tolerance to the ozone, while the ‘White’ shade had the lowest tolerance to the ozone. This can be seen in Figure 1 as the top row (charcoal-filtered air) looks like relatively normal leaves, while the bottom row (ozone fumigation) has leaves that look severely disfigured. I think it really contributes to the quality of the paper because it reminds us visually what ground level ozone does to organisms and why this  study was performed. 

Methods Leaf Color Perfect Paragraph

Submitted by samihaalam on Fri, 09/22/2017 - 02:52

Hypoestes phyllostachya is a common house plant. It is also known as the Polka Dot Plant because it displays variegation; its leaves are green with patches of color. These patches can be any shade of white, pink, or red and arise from different amounts of chlorophylls, carotenoids, and anthocyanin. The ones that I've chosen for this project are specifically "rose" colored - so their spots are a specific shade of pink. The pattern of spots varies between different leaves - even between leaves on the same plant. They can range from having mostly green leaves to mainly pink leaves. These plants also seem to display symmetry in their leaves - there is one upper leaf, one bottom leaf, and one leaf on each side. There also appears to be two smaller leaves on the inside of the plant, facing opposite directions. The pattern and shade of rose patches in these small leaves are similar to all the other observable leaves, but the green parts are more yellow-tinted. These plants have distinctive leaves that should hopefully make them easy to identify.  

Methods Project Background

Submitted by samihaalam on Fri, 09/22/2017 - 00:27

Hypoestes phyllostachya is a common house plant. It is also known as the Polka Dot Plant because it has green leaves with spots/patches all over them - which is known as variegation. These spots can be any shade of white, pink, or red. These different colors can rise from different amounts of chlorophylls, carotenoids, and anthocyanin. The ones that I've chosen for this project are located in the Durfee Consveratory. These ones are specifically "rose" colored - so their spots are a specific shade of pink. The coloring on these specific plants appears to be different on each leaf. Both between different plants and even between different leaves on the same plant, there there seems to be a variety in the pattern. They can also range from having mostly green leaves to mainly pink leaves. In one picture, there is a close up of one particular plant. It shows the symmetry of the plant - there is one upper leaf, one bottom leaf, and one leaf on each side. There also appears to be two tinier leaves on the inside of the plant, one facing the right and one facing the left. The pattern of rose patches is similar to all the other observable leaves in that it seems random, but the green parts are slightly more yellow tinted. It was honestly rather difficult to find a variety of  articles on these plants and there is clearly still a lot more research that can be done on these plants. 

Methods Project Rationale and Location

Submitted by samihaalam on Thu, 09/21/2017 - 23:17

I chose the plant Hypoestes phyllostachya, or the Polka Dot Plant. I chose it because of its unique pattern on the leaves - its leaves are green with pink spots all over them. I don't know if I've ever seen it or a plant coloring quite like it before, even though I walk along that path almost every day when I'm on campus. I was originally going to do a tree, maybe near Chadbourne Hall or Brett Hall, but then I saw this plant when walking back from class and thought it would be prettier, and also probably closer for whoever has to replicate this experiment later on. I was first drawn to this section because there were a lot of bees flying around the plants and people kept trying to hurry past them - it made me want to stop and look more closely at all the flowers in the garden. I observed a few of the flowers and plants and then I selected what I thought was the most interesting looking one. The bees also seemed to be pollinating the flowers on either side of this plant, but not this one exactly. The description on the card for it gives the scientific name, as well as calling it a "Hippo 'Rose'". It also states that it is 16-22 inches tall and 6-10 inches wide. It says "shade to full sun." which I'm assuming means that it can grow in either the shade or full sunlight. It also says that this plant is heat tolerant and adaptable as a house plant. Overall, I think this is a pretty unique and colorful organism. 

It is located at the Durfee Conservatory. It is a part of what is labeled as the Demonstration Garden - part of the conservatory that's outside. It is right in bewteen a section of very vividly pink flowers and a secion of small purple flowers. I was walking from the ILC to my dorm in Brett Hall. I took the stairs up the walkway in between Morrill North and Morrill South. When I got to the top of the stairs, there was a center circle rotary/courtyard type of area, and almost directly across the center of that to the right, there are two paths on either side of the Demonstration Garden. I took the left path, and found the plant on the right side, a little ways down the path. Hopefully, it will be clear to whoever has to replicate my methods where this plant is. 

Methods Project Control Factors

Submitted by samihaalam on Thu, 09/21/2017 - 22:15

One thing that I will need to control is the time I took the photographs - they were at 4:00 PM on Thursday, September 21, 2017. Another thing to consider is the weather - it was cloudy, but still humid and warm today - the amount of sunlight will almost definitely be different in the replica picture. The temperature was around 77°F, or 25°C =, when I took the pictures. It was also rather windy. There were many bees flying around all the flowers.

A third factor to account for is the exact angles in which I took the pictures. I stood directly in front of the plant that I had chosen and took one photo standing on the pathway right in front of the plant, in the middle of the section with that plant in it, stretching my arms up a little bit to get as many of the plants as I could into one picture. I then bent over, changing my location towards the center of the section I was in as little as possible, and extended my phone so that I was about 1 foot away from the plants, and took another picture at this angle. My phone was probably on the same level vertically as the plants themselves. This picture contained a few (three) of the vivid pink plants from the section right next to m section of interest. I also took a third, up close picture of the plant. I chose a flower from the section of flowers I was interested in and got very close to this plant/ brought my phone very close to the plant to get as detailed a picture of it up close as I could. I held my phone maybe 10 cm away from one specific plant and took the picture. This picture contains 3/4 leaves of the plant, because the other leaf is covered by a leaf from a neigboring plant. It also shows that in the middle of the four petals, there are two tinier petals - one of these petals is pointing to the left, and the other is pointing  to the right. I also took another picture which included the description of the plant that Durfee had provided. I again stood about a foot away and as directly across from the sign as possible, and I may have zoomed in on the camera a little bit. The card with the description is on the very most right side of the picture. The rest of the picture shows many of the actual plant. The sun may have been shining through the clouds briefly at this point, because this picture looks brighter/sunnier in general.

Methods Project Rough Ideas

Submitted by samihaalam on Tue, 09/19/2017 - 14:20

I'm thinking about maybe focusing on a specific plant on campus for this project. At first, I was thinking of doing maybe the big tree in Goodell Lawn that can be rented out - the only reason I know about it because Active Minds rents it out for their Stigma Tree every year. I'm thinking this would also be a good tree to do because it would be relatively easy for some one else to find and recreate for this project. I've been thinking of doing a tree in general just because they are so big and I think they would probably be easy to find for others. I believe that the other trees near the specific one I mentioned in Goodell Lawn are all labeled with the scientific names of the trees, but I'm not positive about that. If that is true, that makes it easier to learn more about the trees specifically. Other trees I've considered are the tree in the quad that's surrounded by Chadbourne Hall, Greenough Hall, and Baker Hall; the one tree that's right next to Brooks Hall that has leaves canopying all around it; or one of the trees that's right in front of Brett Hall. 

I've also considered maybe doing a plant in the greenhouse in Morrill III, or the one that's in bewteen UHS and the Morrill Bridge - the Durfee Conservatory. Again, I think these locations would make it easy to find and repliacte my methods for whoever gets my project. The plants in these locations are also labelled I'm assuming, which would make it easier to find out the species of the plant than if I just chose a random tree. There will also probably be people working in these locations, which would be helpful if I have any questions about the plants or if someone else needs help finding a plant when they replicate my project. 

I just did a quick google search - apparently there is a tree finder website for UMass that has literally every tree mapped out - it shows both the location and the name of the tree! This seems like a very, very useful tool. 

There is also the Permaculture Garden  in front of Franklin Dining Commons. That has a lot of different kinds of plants, and they are all labeled as well. There are probably a lot of cool flora here that might not be easily found in other places around campus, so it might be worth checking out. 


Submitted by samihaalam on Fri, 09/15/2017 - 15:59

    My primary mode of transportation is walking. There are several places I walk to in a day. The longest distances I went were probably when I walked to and from classes. Other common places I walked were between different locations within my dorm building – such as when I went to and from the bathroom and when I went to the vending machine in the basement of my dorm building, and then back to my room. Walking was probably the most common activity in my day.  

    Alternately, the most time consuming portion of my day was probably attending class. I had three classes yesterday – two in the morning and one in the afternoon. My first class was Cellular and Molecular Biology II in the morning was from 10 – 11:15 AM in Hasbrouck. This is an interesting class because it is primarily discussion-based – we break into groups and discuss figures that we have studied for homework for the majority of the class. My second class of the morning was Topics in Plant Bio from 11:30 AM – 12:45 PM in Morrill II. We had a quiz at the end of this class on the material we've learned so far. My last class in the afternoon was Intro to Communications at 2:30 – 3:45 PM in the ILC. These last two classes were lecture-based, so we took notes while our professor lectured us with a slide show and some demonstrations, with few group discussions. Classes are quite a time commitment and come in a variety of different subjects and styles. 

Brown Leaf

Submitted by samihaalam on Fri, 09/15/2017 - 15:39

Fig 1: A few leaves in the autumn. It has already lost its chloroplasts and started turning brown. 

Perfect Paragraph 1

Submitted by samihaalam on Fri, 09/08/2017 - 16:55

The specimen is approximately 2.8 cm long and has a yellowish-beige body with a dark brown head. It became very active; it walked around the edge of the cup and even tried to climb up the sides. It has several hairs around its face and body - the creature probably uses these to sense the environment around it. It also has several pairs of legs. These were mostly the same color as the body except for the tips of the legs, which were a darker brown and possibly also used for sensing its environment. When flipped on its back, it was very efficient at getting back on its legs. The specimen also has a segmented body. It moves by curling at the last segment furthest from its head and then curling up further and further along its body until it reaches its head.


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