My internship situation is quite different than many in the CLM program. Having been born and raised in the country about 10 miles outside of the ‘city’ of Grants Pass, Oregon and then going to school at Oregon Tech (about 4000 students) in the ‘city’ of Klamath Falls, Oregon (twenty-something thousand people), I have little-to-no big city experience. Getting stationed in Boise, Idaho meant that for my internship I was going to be living in a city far more populated than anywhere I had lived before. Boise has a population of more than 200,000 with a metropolitan area population of close to 700,000. I feel lucky to have found a relatively inexpensive apartment ideally located between, and easily within biking distance of the BLM office and downtown. I moved in about a week before my start date of May 18.
As expected, the first week was largely spent on training, introductory information/preparation, and getting acquainted with BLM processes and locations. After the first 3 weeks, we had already collected vouchers for Eriogonum heracleoides (wyeth buckwheat), Eriogonum sphaerocephalum (rock buckwheat), Pseudoroegneria spicata (bluebunch wheatgrass), Elymus elymoides (squirreltail), Festuca idahoensis (Idaho fescue), and likely a few others whose names escape me at the present moment. We have also made 3 seed collections: Balsamorhiza sagittata (arrowleaf balsamroot), Crepis occidentalis (western hawksbeard), and Lomatium triternatum (nineleaf biscuitroot). Enough plant names already!
Here’s me assessing the buggy-ness of some seeds
In addition to feeling lucky about my housing situation and location, I am also very thankful for the great people that I get to work with. The three of us get along very well, and I think there is a pretty great group dynamic between all of us.
Emile (my internship partner) and Joe (our mentor)
Our mentor Joe is actually a wildlife biologist, so we aren’t solely focusing on plants and/or seeds. We have also been doing some habitat assessments, some of which have been in extremely beautiful and remote areas a few hours outside Boise.
Approaching the top of the first ridge on one of our beautiful and steep hikes
Because many of our drives are 2 hours or more from the office, camping near sampling sites is a good way to maximize work hours spent on collecting data and minimize those spent in the truck. We spent 2 nights and three days based at this inviting spot, central to a few habitat assessment sites.
My hammock tent in an Aspen grove near a creek
After three weeks in the field, we headed off to Chicago for a week of training with about 62 other interns. There was some great information at the workshop, and Chicago has many fun and interesting things to offer. In an effort to keep this post concise and interesting, I will finish it off with a few of my favorite photos.
A species of Blues enjoying some Eriogonum umbellatum
Some fritillaries enjoying more sulphur buckwheat
Lark sparrow nest hidden under an Eriogonum elatum plant
A super-sweet caterpillar
Thanks for reading/looking! To all of you who I met, I say hello again, and I look forward to reading your posts. To anyone stationed near Boise or planning a trip near here in the next 5 months, don’t hesitate to look me up if you want to do something or need a place to stay for a few nights.
CLM Intern – BLM Boise, ID