I spent 1 year as a CLM intern working for the BLM Surprise Field Office in Cedarville, CA. My experience was unforgettable and extremely beneficial. I gained such a wide variety of experience and new skills which as made me into a stronger, more confident individual ready to take on new challenges. Here is a short list of some of the projects I worked on:
-Native Seed Collection for Seeds of Success
-Assessment Inventory and Monitoring (Vegetation monitoring on SageSteppe habitat restoration sites)
-Developing seed mixes and implementing seedings as a part of Emergency Stabilization and Rehabilitation (post-fire rehabilitation)
-Training with NRCS soils scientists on how to dig soil pits and identify soils
-Lots and lots of GIS work
-Sage-grouse trapping and collaring, and Sage-grouse lek surveys
This is not even a complete list. I learned so much from this experience and I highly recommend anyone thinking about applying to do so. You will make many connections and gain valuable skills. Not to mention meeting many great people at the CBG training in Chicago. It’s awesome.
These are my last words of advice as a CLM intern-
-Don’t limit yourself to location. I can’t stress this enough. I was so nervous to move to Cedarville, fearing that I would feel isolated and bored out of my mind on the weekends. However, after a few weeks, I was enjoying my work so much that the location didn’t bother me one bit. I actually really enjoyed a break from civilization as most of us know it.
-Communicate with you mentor and be open about what skill you want to gain. Yes, your mentor will have an agenda for you but there is usually room for opportunities to learn. Let them know what skills you would like to develop.
-Be involved. A lot goes on at the BLM and other federal agencies. We are employed by Chicago Botanic Gardens but that doesn’t mean you can’t be in the loop as to what’s going on at your local field office. Talk with the experts at your office and soak up as much knowledge as possible!
Thanks to everyone at Chicago Botanic Gardens for making this program happen. Krissa and Rebecca you have been especially great! You are so good about being available and getting back to us with any questions or concerns and being flexible to meet our needs.
Thanks so much CBG and good luck to all the current and future CLM interns!
BLM- Surprise Field Office