Scouting up in the mountains

July, 2018

Still acting as a sort of third wheel, I have gone out with a different duo working out of Reno. This team could not function more differently than the first team that I worked with. While they still of course do a great job, they are much more independent and quiet. This was a tricky transition for me as I came from a team of two who constantly chatted and joked, cooking and walking together even when the day was technically over. It took some adjusting, but I figured out how I fit in with the new team, finding my own ways to spend my solo time in the mornings and evenings. I am learning a lot about group dynamics and team efficiency in a field setting.

We have been scouting out for small, research collections for the Rocky Mountain Research Station. As the summer continues, we have to move higher up into the numerous mountain ranges where plants are flowering later in their phenology and where there is more moisture.

Camping spot south of Austin, NV

I have started to keep a list of reasons why I love the Nevada landscape. Here is a sample:

  • So much BLM and USFS land! You can camp basically anywhere.
  • The milky way is incredible basically every night.
  • Constant night hawks and poor-wills at night.
  • A species of mountain mahogany that is new to me! Cercocarpus ledifolius. 

Quick pit stop at Diana’s Punchbowl! There’s a hot spring in this formation that reaches 200°F!


Zoë Moffett

US Forest Service, Sparks NV

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