Southern Oregon Seed Collecting

It has been a great few weeks, since the beginning of my internship. As a member of the Seeds of Success team in Medford, Oregon, I am responsible for locating and identifying populations of native plants. When we find a promising population, we prepare quality botanical vouchers, and later return to the site to collect seed, which will be used for long-term germplasm preservation, as well as for restoration projects. The days are spent researching geography, exploring beautiful natural areas, identifying and mapping plants, and collecting seeds. Since I would normally do most of these activities on my days off from work, I don’t know if I could think of a job better suited for me.

My mentor, Doug is an enthusiastic seed collector

Some of the highlights so far, include visiting botanically rich serpentine areas, collecting the uncommon Ashland thistle, and making the trip to Chicago to see the gardens and meet the CLM crew.

 

Heritage diversity display at the Chicago Botanic Garden

As much as I love my job, It would be good to have a couple of extra days in the week. Returning from the trip to Chicago, I am feeling the pressure of the ripening seeds and the possibility of getting behind in our collections. Not to mention the data management (including GIS) and volunteer coordination responsibilities that I have accepted. I am optimistic, however, that with proper planning, persistent effort, and a little patience, we just might do alright.

Marcus Lorusso

Medford Oregon

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