The Study of Life

Indoors at Reiman Gardens with the plants of interest table with different cut flowers in bud vases

My name is Heather, and I am the Plant Collections and Records intern at Reiman Gardens this summer. So far, my responsibilities have included creating and repairing plant labels, maintaining a “Plants of Interest” display, and helping to synthesize information relevant to improving the Plant Collections Policy at the Gardens. As the summer progresses, I will be involved in mapping portions of the Gardens and possibly creating herbarium vouchers for our Buck Rose collection.

I am studying Biology at Iowa State, and I have a particular interest in Plant Science and Ecology. I especially enjoy learning about plant taxonomy and the evolutionary relationships between plant families. My work this summer, particularly the labeling, has allowed me to expand my knowledge in this area. It is much easier to label something when you know what it is! I have also learned a lot about the horticultural value of plants, something I had rarely considered – as a Biology major, I tend to study a plant’s role in nature rather than in an environment that is manipulated by humans.

This summer has gotten off to an incredible start, and I am excited to continue learning here at the Gardens!