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Audra, left, doing her field research in North Dakota.

Like many Native single mothers, Audra Stonefish knows what it means to struggle. She works hard to put food on the table and teach her children about the importance of their culture while earning top grades as she works towards a college degree in science at Sitting Bull College.

Audra’s academic success makes it look easy, but it’s not. She says that for students living on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, even something as simple as getting to classes is cost-prohibitive for Native students. The college does not have dorms and many students must travel one hour or more each way in a place where most people cannot afford vehicles and gasoline prices are high. The remoteness of a rural Indian reservation also makes it hard to do research and homework, since many students, including Audra, cannot afford a computer or Internet access at home, requiring them to travel to the tribal college to complete assignments.

“Most Native students are going through something that is holding them back whether it is the lack of transportation, funding for tuition, or the lack of a computer to do homework at home,” she says. “The American Indian College Fund scholarships enable them to go forward with their education.”

Thanks to the help of our supporters, scholarships from the American Indian College Fund have given Audra the opportunity to excel at her studies without the added worry of paying for her schooling and the additional costs associated with an education.

Audra is studying the health benefits of the wild prairie turnip, a plant that was traditionally harvested by the Lakota and Dakota people. Audra hopes to carry on her research into her graduate school studies.

“It is one of my dreams to see myself, later in my career, to have the ability to be a donor for the American Indian College Fund. I believe the donors give the students a lot of hope,” Audra says.


12-01-2011 at 4:35 PM
Lyncho Ruiz
Audra Stonefish Plantae– Plants Subkingdom Tracheobionta– Vascular plants Superdivision Spermatophyta– Seed plants Division Magnoliophyta– Flowering plants Class Liliopsida– Monocotyledons Subclass Arecidae Order Arales Family Araceae– Arum family Genus Arisaema Mart.– Jack in the pulpit Species Arisaema triphyllum (L.) Schott– Jack in the pulpit You are an Awsome Person! Keep up the Great Work for our natural heritage.I hope to meet you soon. Be sure to utilize the information on :!/pages/Balancing-Act-Research-and-Education-BARE/116864055058437?sk=wall Be safe my Friend if you ever need help Iam just a button way. Ecosystem Management Director and Ethnobotanist Lyncho Ruiz
12-04-2011 at 8:09 AM
Lyncho Ruiz
Audra Preparations were also made to treat rheumatism, bronchitis, and snakebites, as well as to induce sterility Many plants accumulate calcium oxalate crystals in response to surplus calcium, which is found throughout the natural environment. The crystals are produced in an intriguing variety of shapes. The crystal morphology depends on the taxonomic group of the plant. In one study of over 100 species, it was found that calcium oxalate accounted for 6.3% of plant dry weight. Crystal morphology and the distribution of raphides (in roots or leaves or tubers etc.) is similar in same taxa but different in others leaving possible opportunities for plant key characteristics and systematic identification; mucilage in raphide containing cells makes light microscopy difficult, though. Little is known about the mechanisms of sequestration or indeed the reason for accumulation of raphides but it is most likely as a defense mechanism against herbivory. It has also been suggested that in some cases raphides may help form plant skeletal structure. Raphides typically occur in parenchyma cells in aerial organs especially the leaves, and are generally confined to the mesophyl. As the leaf area increases, so does the number of raphides, the process starting in even young leaves. The first indications that the cell will contain crystals is shown when the cells enlarge with a larger nucleus. Raphides are found in specialized plant cells or crystal chambers called idioblasts. Electron micrographs have shown that raphide needle cystals are normally four sided or H-shaped (with a groove down both sides) or with a hexagonal cross section and some are barbed. Wattendorf (1976) suggested that all circular sectioned raphides, as visible in a light microscope, are probably hexagonal in cross section Microscopy using polarized light shows bright opalescence with raphides. Common names vary. The following list is incomplete. Alocasia (Baibing in NE India) Arisaema (Cobra Lily) Arum (Cuckoopint) Brassaia (Umbrella Tree) Caladium (Angel wings) Caryota (Fishtail Palm) Colocasia (Taro, Cocoyam, Eddoe) Dieffenbachia (Dumb Cane) Epipremnum (Devil's Ivy, Pothos) Fuchsia (Fuchsia) Monstera (Swiss Cheese Plant) Philodendron (Elephant Ears) Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily) Spinacia (Spinach) Tradescantia (Wandering Jew) Raphides can produce severe toxic reactions by facilitating the passage of toxin through the herbivore's skin when the tissue containing the raphides also contains toxins. The lethal dose to mice is around 15 mg/kg. Raphides seem to be a defense mechanism against plant predators, as they are likely to tear and harm the soft tissues of the throat or esophagus of a plant predator chewing on the plant's leaves. The venomous process is in two stages: mechanical pricking and injection of harmful protease. Typically ingestion of plants containing raphides, like those common in certain houseplants, can cause painful edema, vesicle formation and dysphagia accompanied by painful stinging and burning to the mouth and throat with symptoms occurring for up to two weeks. Airway assessment and management are of the highest priority, as are extensive irrigation and analgesics in eye exposure. Raphides cannot normally be destroyed by boiling; that requires an acidic environment or chemical solvents like ether, but heating raphide containing plant materials (like tubers) can fix the raphides into a dried starchy matrix so they are no longer mobile and thus less harmful. Some other plants store raphides in mucilaginous environments and also do not taste acrid. Turnips are a popular and delicious vegetable that prefer cool weather. In the Deep South, turnips are grown during the fall, winter and spring, while in more northern locations, they are started early before the last frost for a summer harvest. A second planting occurs later in the summer for a fall/winter harvest Planting Seed The edible portions of the turnip include the greens and the bulbous underground stem, typically referred to as the root. Propagation by means of plant division is not optimal with turnips, and they do not respond well to transplanting. Therefore, the normal propagation method for turnips is to grow them from seed. Seeds should be planted thickly, and covered with ¼ inch of soil. Planting in rows 24 to 30 inches apart is ideal. Timing As noted above, seeds can be sown prior to the last frost in early spring in the north, but are more commonly saved for a late summer planting. Late July or early August planting helps them avoid turnip root maggot damage, as well. Leaving mature turnips in the ground until you are ready to eat them is the best storage method, as the plants can withstand freezing temperatures in the air until the ground freezes. Any colder and the greens will wither, and freezing in the ground will change the consistency. It is also reported that frost improves the flavor of turnips Location Turnips prefer full sunlight, and a soil pH of 6.5. A loose soil with medium water retention is best. Amend the soil with compost and rotted manure prior to planting your turnip seed. Later, feed regularly with worm casting tea, compost tea or a fertilizer containing higher levels of potassium and phosphorus, which will help with root development. The trace element boron is also helpful to prevent the disease brown heart, though boron can be sprayed separately after planting. Companion planting is an option for turnips, as they thrive in the company of peas and onions as well as other members of the onion family. Thinning Germination of turnips takes place in less than a week. After sprouting, plants can be thinned if desired, particularly if planting for the root as opposed to the greens. If growing for greens, leave the plants close together, and pick your greens without pulling out the roots. Leaving the plants close together discourages growth of the large bulbous stem, and the greens will replenish consistently. A higher Nitrogen content in the soil encourages production of leaves rather than the root bulb. If growing for the root bulb, thin the plants out to 3 to 4 inches apart. The shoots that you pull are delicious eaten young in salads, or they can be steamed much like spinach. Water In addition to their preference for medium water retention in soil, turnips prefer to be watered deeply before the soil dries out entirely. Frequent shallow watering or erratic watering can bring on early flowering, resulting in poor root development. Working with Hydro as we speek. I would like to get some SEEDS Please Good luck, Ecosystem Management Director and Ethnobotanist Lyncho Ruiz

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