Coming from the East, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Colorado Plateau. Now that I’ve been here for three months, I’ve gotten to explore the epic landscape and familiarize myself with the flora and fauna of canyon country.
I remember my first field day when I saw sagebrush and tamarisk for the first time and wasn’t quite sure what they were. As I am approaching the end of my internship, I am able to see how much I’ve learned about this ecosystem and have fallen in love with Colorado (which, considering there are so many beautiful outdoors activities within a few hour radius…is not hard!).
I have really enjoyed my work as a range technician. The focus of my internship has been evaluating the health of BLM land. We look at soil, erosion, and vegetation, as well as the potential of the land the provide habitat for the Gunnison Sage Grouse. I’ve gotten to collaborate with the range staff and ecologists and have learned so much about how the BLM manages for livestock and grouse.
I’ve also accompanied other biologists in the field and learned about rare plant surveys, bighorn sheep radio-telemetry, and fire-effects monitoring.
I learned to identify a lot of new plants. I had no previous experience identifying grasses in such a dry climate—so I’m always excited when I see one I know and it’s alive!
I have also gotten to enjoy and explore Colorado.
I’m sure that you all appreciating this experience as well, but I am so grateful for this opportunity. I love this job and the chance to work with such knowledgeable and passionate people. It’s hard to believe that my internship ends in less than two months. I’ll be sad to leave Grand Junction, but I’m excited for the next journey!