This is the end

Today is my last day in the Carson City, NV BLM field office.  I have been working here since February, so it’s odd to think that I won’t be doing this anymore.  Over these past few months, I have had a lot of new experiences that I would never have expected before.  I have been to places far from my home and met so many new people.  Before taking this job, I had never even been camping!

Although there were a lot of positive experiences during this internship, there were also a lot of difficult times.  Whether in the field or in the office, there was always work to be done (and never quite enough time to do it all), but that is the nature of working for a multi-use agency.

I can honestly say that I don’t think I would have lasted too long at this job if it hadn’t been for the rest of my intern team.  I always enjoyed working with them, and their moral support made the hard days less difficult for me.  We had so many wonderful experiences together, and they will always be an important part of my life.

Most of the 2013 CCDO intern team at Moon Rocks in Nevada

Most of the 2013 CCDO intern team at Moon Rocks in Nevada (18 July 2013)

One thing I have learned from this internship is that I would like to be involved with scientific research in my future career. Perhaps I won’t end up working in natural resources at all.  Having said that, I’m glad I did it.

Stefanie Ferrazzano
Botany Intern
Carson City, NV BLM

I sit here typing this at the end of a day of hiking around looking for rare plants and weeds in the Carson City area, so I’m quite hungry and tired, but glad to have been outdoors for the day.  Since last blogging, the team has done a lot of new things.  We participated in two outreach events for Earth Day, got some ATV training, went to a pollinator class to learn about native pollinator management, and have done some fire transect monitoring.  A couple of us also participated in a grueling weed survey in one of our range allotments.  This area consisted of nothing but steep mountain sides, and we hiked it for about eight hours and found not a single weed in the allotment.  Good news, of course, but what a day that was!

I’m getting a lot of practice identifying plants in the area, but there’s still a lot to learn.  The field season is picking up, so we have many outdoor days to look forward to and hopefully many adventures ahead.  Now that spring is here, the desert is starting to heat up, but we have yet to experience the worst it has to offer.  Being from a hot, dry climate myself, I’m kind of used to this type of weather, but my teammates are definitely not.  I was honestly more worried about the snow in winter, so I guess we all have new challenges to deal with.

Good luck, Team Manatee!

I love it when my office isn’t an office

Monday morning isn’t something one often looks forward to, but yesterday was perhaps one of the best Mondays I’ve ever experienced.

My fellow interns and I spent the first half of the day planting Jeffrey Pine seedlings in a fire rehab area at Indian Creek in California.  In the afternoon, we split up into teams to do some weed surveys near by.  My team went to the Indian Creek Campground Reservoir where we, unfortunately, found its entire perimeter full of mullein, a species that is on our noxious weed list.  We also found a few noxious thistle species, but there were nowhere near as many of those in the area.

Although noxious weeds were abundant, the experience of planting and surveying in that landscape was a lot of fun.  Rarely in my life have I had the opportunity to spend time among mountains, conifers, and the types of wild animals we encountered there.

It was definitely a good Monday.

Indian Creek Campground Reservoir

Surveying for noxious weeds