Farewell Carlsbad

Hi everyone,

As my internship comes to an end, I am starting to really think about all of the skills that I have learned and friendships that I have formed during the past few months. I am so grateful for this fantastic opportunity to work alongside some amazing people in the Carlsbad Field Office (BLM). The truth of the matter is that Carlsbad is one of the most difficult and busy field offices to work in due to the high oil and gas activity in the area. Thankfully, they have a great team that does their best to make the work environment as great as it can be and show that they really do care about each of their employees, even the interns.

Throughout the entirety of this internship, I have gotten to experience so many different things, both good and bad. I have helped monitor Bureau Sensitive Species, experienced just how hot the desert can get, hike in the beautiful Guadalupe Mountains, find out what it feels like to have prickly pear spines stuck in my leg, collect from some really amazing plants, and many more! Although field work can really test your patience and push your limits, it also allows you to get out and experience an ecosystem that you might not have had the opportunity otherwise.

I am truly thankful for the practical work experience that I have gotten from this internship. I am especially grateful for being placed in a Bureau of Land Management Office. Being from Kansas, I had no idea that the BLM even existed. If I had not had the opportunity to work in this office, I may have never pursued this federal agency. Now that I have been in a BLM office, I would love the chance to work in this area of government again. It has sincerely been a fantastic experience.

Below are just a few pictures taken in our resource area:

A collection of Riddell’s Ragwort (Senecio riddellii) that we were able to do.

A really fun collection of Texas Madrone (Arbutus xalapensis) that we were able to do just last week!

More Texas Madrone

Some of the Texas Madrone seeds collected.

We found some Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) in the dunes of our resource area! I was particularly excited about this one because of my previous work in the prairies of Kansas.

 

This little Manybristle Chinchweed (Pectis papposa) was a cool find because of its lemon aroma.

You can often find some really cool animal tracks in the dunes of our research area. Maybe this guy was a Greater Roadrunner?

Speaking of Greater Roadrunners, we had a surprise visit while wrapping up a collection.

Below are more pictures from the area, but not in our county:

A hike taken through the Lincoln National Forest.

Another picture from the Lincoln National Forest.

This was taken at the “Top of Texas,” which is in the Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Another picture of the Guadalupe Peak.

As I finish up the next two weeks and begin my trek back to the sunflower state, I will be thinking about all the experiences I’ve had here in Carlsbad, New Mexico. I just want to thank the Chicago Botanic Garden for allowing me to be apart of the Conservation and Land Management Internship Program, it was an experience I will not forget. I also want to give a huge thank you to my new Carlsbad family for making the last five months fantastic, I am so grateful for the time I have had here.

Signing out,

Caitie

Seeds of Success

Carlsbad Field Office (BLM)

 

P.S. I also can thank Carlsbad for a very special new member to the family, Ollie:

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