I am writing with some bitter sweet news. I was recently offered an emergency hire biological tech. positionwith NPS at Carlsbad Caverns. I have been volunteering in the park on the cave swallow mist netting/banding program and met some of the park staff, including the seasonal bee surveyor. We share a love of all things insect, so when his co-worker unexpectedly left he brought my name up as a possible replacement. After much debate I have decided that the NPS job is a better opportunity for me. I will be collecting and identifying hymenoptera and the corresponding flowers they are visiting as part of a three part project with NPS, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Utah State University. It is hard to find entomology-only jobs and the chance to learn how to identify bees down to genera and even species is going to a valuable skill set. Long story short I am leaving the Carlsbad BLM and CBG intern program early.
In no way is my job transfer a bad reflection on my previous position. The time I spend as wildlife intern has been jammed back with useful information and monitoring techniques. My experience with the Chinuaiuan desert at the BLM was one of the reasons they decided to hire me here at the park service. While sad to leave the BLM, I have always wanted the opportunity to work for the Park Service and catching bees all day is going to be a dream job!!
Thanks again CBG!
I have been working throughout different locations for the past year or so in ecology jobs and so I have a comfortable routine of moving, readjusting, and fitting into new environments. But as I drove into New Mexico from the El Paso Airport I felt completely out of place. Where were the deciduous trees, grass, and oceans I had either inadvertently or purposefully chosen to live near before? Everything was foreign to me and I realized I was no longer in a place that I personally felt connected too but instead was in a land I had only read, seen pictures, or heard of. At first everything seemed vast, brown and desolate from the green rolling hills I was used to. But as I have started to work and explore New Mexico I am continuously surprised on the habitat diversity, life, and sometimes even lushness of the BLM land.
While working in the wildlife department for the first week I was like a kid in a candy store. Everything we saw was a first for me. First jack rabbit! First
- Aeshnidae spp. While mist netting for bats we caught a large number of otherwise rather net elusive dragonflies
roadrunner! First antelope! And man oh man, the arthropods! Arthropods, especially insects, are my study group of choice and the diversity and sheer size of some these animals in the desert is astounding. I have seen giant tarantula hawks that paralyze their victims, burying them underground with ferociously hungry, soon to hatch eggs inside. Large owl flies with furry faces, hundreds upon hundreds of mating stick insects, and my first scorpions. Working for a multiple-use agency is also new to me. After working for Fish and Wildlife and USGS I am used to wildlife and environmental needs being the first priority. But as land space becomes scarce for both human and wildlife, compromise and multiple use sustainable practices are going to become more common. The BLM is a great place to learn how different agents work together to tackle this issue.
- Sunset at the Black River. We caught 15 bats, all Mytois velifer, at this site!
I have been working on a number of different projects in just one week, including sand dune lizard presence/absence searches, small mammal trapping in either mesquite removed or control land, and maintaining wildlife waters. I was able to attend a three day bat conservation international workshop on how to incorporate bat habitat and resource management into new and existing habitat plans. As work continues I am excited for the large number of opportunities available to me but also hoping to be able to concentrate more on single projects so I can understand all the mechanisms and considerations that go into them. Its only been two weeks, but so far so good!!
- Myself, some large chili peppers, and the next 5