Hi all –
I believe this is my last required post to the CLM blog before my internship ends. It is refreshing to browse the blog and see so many interns starting out there positions with the various Federal agencies CLM partners with. This internship has been a great experience, getting to know a new part of the country, as well as making connections with scientists leading their field.
I’m happy with the diversity of the projects us interns have been able to work on. This job has built on my past experiences working on large-scale vegetation restoration projects. For me it’s the best way to understand the workings of a landscape, and finding the best ways to bring back native plants to degraded areas is a cause I truly believe in. I’ve been lucky enough to see these landscape-scale restoration projects in action from the tropics to the desert and I can still say there’s always much more to learn.
In this internship I have helped out on several different restoration and ecological monitoring projects. We’ve surveyed and monitored plots seeded with native species in efforts to restore severely burned areas in Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument; installed moisture sensor probes to study water use by two endemic dune species–as well as taking growth and reproductive effort measurements–in Death Valley Natl Park; outplanted almost 2,000 native seedlings across the Mojave desert in common garden experiments, an effort to delineate zones within which seeds can be safely transferred for restoration projects; done nighttime mammal surveys to estimate Golden Eagle prey densities; and finally I helped inventory and measure perennial forage species for the threatened desert tortoise. It’s nice that each one of these projects grabs my interest, but most importantly they helped me develop skills useful in a variety of science jobs–whether it’s in the field, in the lab, or as an educator. It’s a shame the internship only lasts 5 months, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
USGS Las Vegas Field Station