Hello Current and Future Interns!
As I reflect on my internship experience, I am flooded with positive thoughts. I have benefitted greatly from the training and practical experiences and have significantly expanded my botanical knowledge and comfort with common techniques and protocols. Thanks to the CLM program I possess proficiency keying out plants, collecting voucher specimen, using GPS and GIS technologies, designing plans for and carrying out monitoring of rare species, using a Munsell soil chart to determine soil color, and writing up technical reports for both public and internal audiences. In the last weeks I also got CPR/First Aid Certification. I think it would be very valuable if this was incorporated into the initial CLM training workshop, because many of the interns spend significant time out in the field in often isolated conditions.
Still, the greatest rewards of this experience were the personal ones. Spending everyday outdoors in such a majestic landscape has truly ignited my passion for conservation work. As I wandered the sanctuary of trails other flock to on their days off, I was constantly filled with appreciation. My job was a privilege and, even more importantly, by doing it I was contributing to the preservation of the landscape and the feelings of elation and tranquility we get as its visitors. Getting to work with a fabulous group of people, my mentors Carol Dawson and Peter Gordon and fellow interns Lorenzo Ferrari and Teresa Olson, was a pleasure. Carol’s animation made even the most commonplace tasks seem exciting and Peter’s polite encouragement contributed greatly to our learning. Lorenzo’s caution, Teresa’s focus, and my optimism made for a well-balanced team despite, or perhaps because of, our very different assessments of the situations we encountered. I would also like to thank Krissa (CLM Manager) and Marian (CLM Coordinator) for always making themselves available to assist with any questions or problems that came up. Thank you all for making these 5 months such wonderfully memorable ones for me!
Best of luck to all my fellow interns! I am sure you will continue to do great things!
Here are some photos to illustrate a snippet of my CLM experience:
Conservation and Land Management Intern
Colorado State Office of the Bureau of Land Management