Time sure goes by fast. It feels like just last week I was talking about cheatgrass. Much has changed in the last few weeks; including the weather. It went from cold, to colder, to below zero all too quickly. Rather than wishing I was out in the field, I am now pleased to be inside where it is warmer. I can’t imagine what it is like for some of the other interns in Utah, Nevada, Colorado etc. Since compiling information about cheatgrass, I have worked on three separate projects. The first was for internal purposes and dealt with gathering information about cultivars that the Bureau of Land Management uses on a regular basis. It was interesting to see how many different varieties of seed are used on a yearly basis. Not only that, but to realize that there are many different kinds of one variety as well. Once I had gathered all the information on the seed for the booklet, I printed it all out and placed it into a binder by variety. Now, when anything is needed, there are fewer steps to take in order to find what you’re looking for. Grab the book, go to the specific variety that is in question, find the answer, and you’re done. It will be a very useful booklet to answer questions, as well as to educate.
The second project I was assigned dealt with evaluating the functions and processes of the Boise Regional Seed Warehouse to determine what could be changed in order to become more efficient. Questions that I asked related to how the office could more efficiently complete and process paperwork, implement computers more often, and reduce paper trails. Through the use of iPads and computers, the warehouse has decreased the use of paper when filling orders, and utilizes software to complete inventories. I created a few flow charts to help ease any confusion that may occur from this change and, so far, it has proved successful. It is unclear just how much this will reduce the amount of paper the warehouse uses, but we are certain that anything we do to reduce the paper trail will have a positive impact.
The third project I have been working on deals with identifying the eight most commonly used varieties, indicating where they originated, and where they have been purchased and planted in the last 5 years. This project will be completed using PowerPoint and, as of right now, will have a decent chunk of information regarding popular varieties that go through the warehouse, the amounts purchased, and where those varieties are being planted. It will help to shed a little more light on how many native species are being put on the ground in comparison to introduced species.
It is crazy how fast time has gone by since starting my internship. I really hope things slow down a little, or I will be done before I know it. This has been a great experience and I am confident that things will only get better. I might as well say Merry Christmas to all reading this, too. I probably won’t be posting again until after the New Years. I hope you all have a good month, a restful holiday, and a Happy New Year. Until next time…
Boise Regional Seed Warehouse
Bureau of Land Management