Front Range Seed Analysts
1997 Seed Forum Volume 11 Number 2
NOW THAT THE ANALYST'S BUSY SEASON IS OVER...
by Jane Hall, RST
Precision Seed Testing
What about doing some of those projects you've put off for so long? One place to start is to open a file titled "Things to do when time". I started one of these this last winter. In the past, more often than not, I forget the ideas for projects by the time I had a chance to get to them. Ideas always come up when I am smack in the middle of dozens of purities and noxious exams. Of course they come up then because "practicing purity" leads to pure and true thoughts as the analysts' brain goes into the "purity zone". This year I stopped long enough to note the idea and file it into the "things to do when time" file. Now it is payoff time.
We all know that we should clean out the germinators. A little bleach and hot water will do wonders. Maybe it is time to replace the failing fluorescent tubes. The whole interior will shine with bright light and the seeds will germinate into strong, prideful seedlings. (A new vigor definition, "strong and prideful"?)
Time to clean the dust bunnies, dried TZ escapees, cookie crumbs and cast off seeds (so that is where that noxious weed got tot) off of the workbench. I hope this suggestion is unnecessary because everyone's workbench is spotless like mine.
Don't forget the area by the seed divider. I know after several months that I could marked a very unique mix with seed that collects there..."All Purpose Seed Lab Mix" /USE WITH CAUTION.
File that two-foot high pile of memos, faxes and correspondences. This will lead you to reorganize the file cabinet, which will lead you to find those interesting magazine articles, back issues of the Seed Forum, and AOSA/SCST Newsletters. Read them. Study the '97 rules proposals, prepare materials for the annual meeting. Make your reservations to go to the annual meetings. Make contact with the outside world, call a fellow seed analyst and talk seeds. 1-800-TALKSEEDS, well... maybe not.
Try some paired tests on species that have been troubling you. I need to check and regulate moisture levels on blotters. Try pleated paper or a different test method/temperature.
Think about how old and out dated the lab herbarium is. There have been many name changes in the past five years. Plan a better way to present the herbarium so it will be more accessible and easier to use; then redo the whole shebang.
If you have been in a laboratory for a long time and there have been equipment changes, maybe it is time to inventory the lab equipment again. Have your books and "their" books merged and become one? A book inventory might be in order.
We could all take the time to study how to make better use of our computer systems. Or get a computer. Or write a proposal for a new computer.
I am sure I have just scratched the surface of how to fill those down times and there are many projects that would benefit your lab. So get to it because the slow time never lasts as long as we think it will. Now.... If the seed would just stop arriving, and it wasn't all last minute "gotta have results today" seed, I could get to some of those projects.
Editor's notes (Annette Miller):
Jane's "purity zone" is my "cleaning
and planting zone" from whence came a few more thoughts for the "If I have
Do an electronic bibliography of all my references with an index to species.
Explore possibilities of one big on line data base where analysts could add all manner of germination tips, experiments, results, anatomy.... really anything to share. I know I can search the web, but have you ever entered "germination" on yahoo? I rest my case. We need a place of our own.
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