Month 2

The last time I posted here, I had been in town for all of a week, and was just getting settled in. It’s honestly a bit shocking to me that that was only four weeks ago: I’m already feeling very comfortable with the job, even as I’m thrown/throwing myself into new tasks every few days.

The focus of my internship is the restoration of a desert oasis and the surrounding area, and the main project from the last four weeks has been planting seedlings to encourage recovery following the removal of invasive tamarisk. Since I arrived we’ve planted nearly 200 individual plants in areas that had been opened up or damaged by the removal process, and though we still have some 80 plants waiting to get in the ground, this phase of my internship is nearly done.

The other thing filling my work hours has been GIS training, something I’ve always wanted to learn both because I’ve always been a little geeky about maps, and because it’ll be a huge help finding work in the future. I’m happy to be able to say that in two weeks ArcGIS has stopped seeming overwhelmingly complicated, and is now merely frustratingly complicated, similar to how I feel about R or MATLAB, or every other computer science tool I’ve worked with.

Next week I’ll be starting with the two main projects that will occupy my time and energy through August: vegetation surveys, and seed collection for the Seeds of Success project. I’ve already got experience doing both veg surveys and seed collection from university and previous jobs, so I don’t expect much difficulty jumping into these projects either.

I’ve attached some pictures this time. I’ve always been bad at taking pictures, both in that I don’t have much talent for photography and in that I typically forget that I even own a camera. So I’m sorry to say that I don’t have as many pictures as I’d like to. But let me say: the experience of standing on the San Andreas fault line just after dawn and looking out over Dos Palmas oasis as it is both still shrouded in nighttime fog and lit by the sun rising over the mountains? Definitely worth getting up a few minutes early for. Sorry I don’t have a picture of it! You’ll just have to come see it in person.

habitat restoration in progress

habitat restoration in progress