So I really have to begin this blog post about the furlough, which is an unavoidable topic. The furlough was really a mixed bag for me. However, I used that time to study for the GRE, spend some time with my girlfriend, and had a much needed break from a long hard field season. I tried to make the most of a bad situation and I feel like my time wasn’t wasted.
On to happier things. We interns participated in a CNPS training that was really interesting and something I hope to use in my career in the future. The focus of the training was using a system developed by CNPS to characterize an area by its vegetation quickly. This allows for quick reconnaissance of an area that will give you a good idea of what can and can’t occur in the area, botanically speaking. We stayed near Truckee, CA in the Sagehen experimental forest, which was an incredibly beautiful place in the middle of the Serra Nevada Mountains. The training was very helpful and I am hoping the methodology catches on around the country due to its speed and ease.
Finally, we also held a national public lands day seed collection day at Washoe Lake state park. It was a lot of fun interacting with the public and teaching them how to collect seed and why we collect seed. The turnout was smaller than expected, but what it lacked in numbers it made up for with enthusiasm. We made several collections that day of Ericameria nauseosa and Grindelia squarrosa and then we had a nice lunch with the volunteers.
As the internship begins to come to a close, my last day is at the end of December, I am beginning to look toward my next step. Looking into grad schools and for a job takes a ton of time and I am keeping my fingers crossed that I won’t be unemployed for too long. Along with thinking about my next move, I suppose it would be a good time for some reflection of my experience here in Carson City. Perhaps that will be my topic for the next blog post. Until then blogosphere, until then.