Workshop at the Botanic Garden

Hey curious readers!

You’ve probably heard a lot from interns who’ve been out in the field, so now it’s time to get the low-down from an  intern fresh to the program. This week was the CLM workshop held at the gorgeous Chicago Botanic Garden. There were about 50 of us in attendance, and only a handful have yet to start our exiting adventures at our respective field stations. My fellow intern at the Eagle Lake Field Office and I will head out west to Susanville, CA. next week to begin our work helping the BLM with a number of tasks. Meeting so many interns who’ve been out in the field for some time already was great. I got some clues as to what to expect from my job and future home, and I am more eager than ever to get started.

The workshop was a wonderful experience. I’ll give you a quick summary of our activities:

  • Monday: Introductions to the CLM Internship Program and federal jobs, an overview of the Endangered Species Act, and a fun activity on field navigation using a compass and GPS
  • Tuesday: Monitoring and Inventory Methods and Great Basin Ethnobotany
  • Wednesday: Flora of the West
  • Thursday: Seeds of Success Training (and a tasty BBQ at the Garden!)
  • Friday: Career and grad school advice, Conservation Genetics, Field Hazards, and some more on field navigation

These sessions were taught by an experienced and wonderful group of professionals from both CBG and federal agencies and were jam-packed with great information. I’m honored to have the opportunity to learn so much from such knowledgeable people. The interns came from all over the US, are interesting, enthusiastic and a lot of fun to be around. Some of us are already planning a 4th of July trip to the Tetons! I’m shocked this week is already over. Before I know it, I’ll be writing a post about my first month in Eagle Lake!

Until then, I’ll leave you with a picture of the Chicago Botanic Garden:


A beautiful day for seed collection!

After two weeks in Carson City, NV I have experienced camping with the crew, HAF transects (a form of vegetation-based range monitoring), seed collection, and I’m getting to know Jepson (Key to higher plants of California) pretty well. My fellow interns have been welcoming and extremely helpful, and camping with them has been a delight! The days have been hot, as expected, and the nights have been refreshingly cool. I have already visited a variety of sites, from desert/sagebrush to subalpine, and have enjoyed each site in it’s own way.

I would have to say that seed collection has been my favorite activity so far. I put my headphones in and could spend the whole day collecting Achnatherum speciosum seeds (wonderful little feathery seeds!). Wandering throughout the sagebrush with various lizards sunning themselves and the occasional jack-rabbit, accompanied by the constant drone of cicadas, it is easy to forget that it is work (although the heat is an ever-present reminder).

I am happy to be learning plenty of new plants and excited for whatever experience is coming next!