I spent the eighth week of my project in the Botany department, completing my notes and making sure that all citations were accurate before my internship period ended, because my direct access to the sources themselves would be ending at that time as well. Over the remainder of the summer, I worked part-time on finishing my project. This involved a rather time-consuming editing process. I reviewed my notes, added several new sections to my paper and expanded some of the existing sections, revised the paper, and created my bibliography and citations.
I originally intended to focus my paper on the contributions of the expedition to the biological (particularly botanical) collections at the Smithsonian. The collections are still the focus of my paper, but I expanded the topic slightly to include the contributions that the collections in turn made to science in the 1800s, such as the connection to Darwin and evolution made through Asa Gray’s 1859 memoir on the flora of Japan. I found these connections particularly interesting, because they showed how the U. S. North Pacific Exploring Expedition had significant impact not only in the rather narrow field of gathering specimens for collections, but also had broader effects on science, such as in the birth of the theory of evolution by natural selection.