Posted by: Laura
My internship had ended months ago, but I still kept in contact with my former supervisor well into fall quarter. We had to coordinate harvest dates so that I could drive to the valley to harvest my experimental trees for my senior project.
I went through several senior project topics and partners before I was fortunate enough to have a project at work that caught my attention. My project was about how photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) influenced ‘Wonderful’ pomegranate yield on a single tree basis. I took all of the PAR readings with a ceptometer (pretty much…quantified how much light the trees are intercepting and can use for photosynthesis) over the summer, so I only needed the yield portion of my data. Here are a few pictures of how my project was set up for one tree:
Pomegranates are harvested by hand so I spent a Saturday twisting, clipping and occasionally dropping pomegranates off of the six trees. Of course, after a summer of triple digit heat, it rained during parts of my harvest day. With the help of a field worker, all of the trees were harvested in a day and run through a Compac fruit sorting machine to sort diameter size. I finally had all the data I needed to finish my analysis and write up! Senior project? Check.