Even office work can be fulfilling

The first half of the week has focused on the mounting and verification of more voucher specimens. These have been collected and identified by the previous Seeds of Success interns, some of whom obviously had a greater proclivity for the process than others. Luckily, verifying these specimens at the University of Nevada’s pristine and spacious herbarium provided many of our group members with an excellent opportunity to further their knowledge of ideal voucher specimen collection techniques. The herbarium curator, Arnold Tiehm, was exceedingly knowledgeable, helpful, and encouraging. He even invited us to attend a 2 day workshop on grass identification later next month.

As the week has progressed, our team has been focusing on furthering our knowledge of ArcGIS. Some of us are more familiar with the program than others, but we can all agree on the fact that it is an extremely powerful and indeed indispensable suite of software for environmental conservation. Another unexpected benefit to this program is that tons of these GIS training classes are offered to us free of charge. Many of these online classes typically cost hundreds of dollars!! An added kicker is that our access to these tutorials persists for a year after we have enrolled in them, affording us the opportunity to continue our studies of the material post internship!!

As the week has begun winding down, our supervisor has begun to assign team leads to several of the specific projects we have been working on. Since my MSc was in Ethnbotany I have been put in charge of collating the existing ethnobotanical data for a couple hundred plants in the region. Documenting the various indigenous usages of different species has always allowed me to commit them to memory much more easily than mere rote memorization. I am extremely excited to encounter more of these species in the field once the warm weather has arrived!

Until next time,

J

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