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Trunk Show

Sarah Mahon with cross section of oak tree

When Sarah Mahon saw that a massive oak tree near Texas Hall had been toppled in a powerful October storm, she created a learning opportunity. The biology doctoral student left a note for campus landscapers, asking if she could use part of the trunk to give students in plant science labs a hands-on lesson. “Some students think plants are boring,” she says, “but it was a chance to show how they evolve and affect our lives.” Mahon, who works in biology Professor Laura Gough’s lab, says the tree was about a century old.