There were numerous times this season, looking upon the vast mountain ranges of Oregon, I stopped and asked myself how did I get here? I’m so thankful that one cold winter day in Upstate NY I found the CLM internship in an my colleges job listings and months later I ended up on the other side of the country; What a dream it has been!
I am always amazed with the infinite knowledge in science, it is exciting but often overwhelming! Before coming here I was intimidated by learning the flora of a whole new place but week by week I was piecing together the species of the region.
I had the pleasure to take a few classes this summer and am proud of the knowledge I accumulated. I took a botanical drawing course, expanding my botanical terminology and observation skills. I also attended a Graminoids course, trying to grasp the minute parts, microscope skills and general ecological discrepancies. When I thought I had a grasp on most of the common species of the area I took a bryophyte class and was yet again astonished at the diversity of life, even on one small rock or tree bowl. There are over 400 species of moss in Oregon, I’m pleased to say I know 10-20 of the common ones!
Just being around people with a vast wealth of knowledge and passion really inspires me to try my best and I hope someday I can be that person for others.
Throughout the season I have created a small study book of plants I learned throughout the season. Packaging tape and index cards make a great little book to learn and review species. It has been incredibly helpful for me to learn the plants this way! It’s sort of like stamp collecting but more fun for botany nerds!
Apart from traditional botany knowledge I was able to help out in a variety of unique tasks. From rafting the Rogue river, driving a huge pick up truck on the scariest roads, building fences to protect endangered plants, entering stacks of contract data using ArcGIS ….to name a few. Botany careers are not all about the plants!!
I have grown immensely from this unique experiences and would 100% recommend this program to anyone – well anyone who doesn’t care if they get dirty, sweat in the blazing sun, hike miles to see rare plants and come home exhausted and sore; In my opinion, its absolutely worth it!
Thanks to everyone who has helped me on my journey! Especially my mentor Stacy (she’s awesome – couldn’t have asked for a better mentor) and crew Shannon and Andy – wouldn’t be as fun without you guys. Cant wait to see where I will be next season!
Grants Pass, OR BLM
Today is your day .
Your off to Great Places!
Your off and away!
You have brains in your head.
And feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
Any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go. –Dr.Suess