Today was the first day of my CLM internship. My mentor went over quite a bit of paperwork with the other three interns and myself. It was mostly tax stuff and liability forms, but we eventually got to discussing the research projects that we will be working on this summer. It sounds like there is some very cool science that is going on in the desert that I had never considered interesting before. The way Sara and Leslie describe the adaptations that both desert plants and animals have to survive the harsh environment seems really neat. Tomorrow we will start our first over-night work trip, where we will be camping out on BLM land east of Las Vegas. We will be working on a monitoring project to collect annual data of a native shrub that is vital to a threatened desert tortoise species. Invasive grass invasion to this habitat has made severe wildfires more frequent, which has been decreasing the population of this desert shrub. We will be taking turns recording data in the field notebook every night this week, and I am sure that Leslie will show us exactly how to write it since taking good recordings and observations are extremely important!
I am looking forward to this first field experience very much, and I am sure that this summer will give me many invaluable experiences for my future.