As the field season approaches so does spring! The infuriating yet familiar haze of Juniper pollen, the increase in temperatures and the beautiful greening of the landscape. All this has encouraged me to get outside and explore!
Over the last couple months I have had the opportunity of travelling all over the Southwest: St George, Phoenix, Moab, Carlsbad, Roswell, Las Cruces, and Taos. Through these travels I have: presented at a scientific conference, improved my skills in writing NEPA documents, increased my understanding of the (perhaps threatened) Endangered Species Act, enhanced my skills as an AIM instructor, as well as attended many fascinating interdisciplinary team discussions.
While these have been valuable learning experiences, above all I have treasured visiting such a variety exceptional natural areas. This last month has really crystallized my love of the desert and the mountains in this part of the world.
However, there is much office work still to be done! In preparation for the coming AIM field season I have been involved with planning sample designs, purchasing crew equipment, hiring crews and much more!
This month I got the opportunity to work remotely while visiting family in London, England. This gave me the chance to check out some amazing botanical gardens including the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and the Royal Horticultural Society’s gardens at Wisley. Below are a few highlights: A Heliconia and passion flower.
This month I am really settling in to life in the State Office! My cube now has 5 posters and I’m slowing growing my book collection; although my shelf is mostly occupied by a
few beautiful sea shells I picked up in Mexico over Thanksgiving.
My current hobbies include making maps in ArcGIS, playing with pivot tables in Excel and learning about endangered species.
This month has been very busy; several visits to the Taos Field office including a introductory tour for the new botanist, a successful interdisciplinary team meeting at the Rio Puerco district office and more DOI Learn trainings than you can shake a stick at.
It has been very busy! Rare plant surveys in the Ojito wilderness study area, AIM training in Albuquerque, visits to the Las Cruces District Office and the Jornada researchers and of course lots of data analysis! The New Mexico State Office has been very welcoming and I have enjoyed meeting the plethora of managers, scientists and interns. Now I just need a few plants for my cube…