Leaving Big Sky

Over the past five months I’ve been with the BLM as a wildlife biologist in Glasgow, Montana. As a result of the skills I’ve gained through this internship, I will be leaving early to fill a wildlife biologist position out east. I am surely going to miss working in the prairies and especially the people I’ve had the opportunity to work with and meet since arriving here.

I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived here, but over the past months I’ve really gotten to know this ecosystem and further understand the perils many of the wildlife species here are facing in light of extensive energy development and exploration. The work that the BLM does here is invaluable and further gave me a new perspective in the field of land management.

While here I have worked with a broad array of taxa such as: greater sage-grouse; mountain plovers; black-tailed prairie dogs; burrowing owls; insects (horray) and black-footed ferrets. Aside from the animals I’ve worked directly with, I have had the opportunity to spot many rare and endangered birds here in the prairies.

Being here has allowed me to broaden my background and build upon my previous skills. This is a program that fits perfectly between academia and a full-time career. I have been integrated into Federal work and treated as a professional. Montana is a state I plan on returning to in the future, it has a bit of everything! I will surely miss it.

I cannot speak highly enough of the people I’ve been working with and the CLM internship program! As a direct result of this internship I have been given a position in my desired field.

Best of luck to everyone!

My time in Glasgow, Montana

For the past few months I have been lucky enough to work with John Carlson at the Bureau of Land Management in Glasgow, Montana. Being here has been quite an experience for me; my background is in marine biology and being located in a land-locked state and working in a prairie is considerably different from the coral reefs of the tropics! However, since my start date I’ve developed strong interests in this ecosystem…to me, it’s new and fascinating.

I have actively been engaged with a broad array of wildlife work that this office conducts on an annual basis. Projects have ranged from Greater Sage grouse habitat assessments to burrowing owl surveys to NEPA training and writing. Learning a new flora and fauna early on seemed like a daunting task, however, it came quickly to me and now it’s official…it made it to the resume people.

Now, as the field season has really winded down and we’ve completed all of our objectives (as far as field work is concerned), I’m working in the office every day. Though considerably less exciting than field work, it’s a good time for me to focus on an entomological project I began earlier this season…the hope is that the results will be publishable, but time will tell. Other than delineating a mass amount of insects, I maintain my sanity by learning GIS and familiarizing myself with NEPA analysis and writing. These are two skills that will surely make me more marketable and I’m glad to take advantage of the opportunity to become better acquainted with them.

Aside from the work I’ve been doing at the BLM, the town of Glasgow, Montana is a pretty good time. It too has grown on me a great deal since I made my way here about four months ago. I spend a good deal of my time fishing and running around the town…the fishing here is rather amazing, Fort Peck Lake is stocked (I mean REALLY stocked) with walleye. I would consider myself to be a bad fisherman at best, fishing here is like cheating…you just catch stuff, all the time.

I’ve also become addicted to Glacier National Park, which I regularly visit about once every two weeks now. I’ve spent a fair amount of time camping around the country, but Glacier is by far my favorite…I would highly suggest it to anyone who enjoys the outdoors (all of ya!).

As my time here is now beginning to wind down, I intend to learn as much as I can and enjoy myself as much as possible. I’m hoping to head westward (Washington/Oregon-ish) once this internship has ended for me in late November. I grew up in Buffalo, New York and I enjoy the left (west) side of the country a fair bit more, my hope is to kick it out here for awhile/ever @_@. This internship has been a wonderful experience thus far and has provided me with a great deal of useful skills that will certainly buff up my resume a bit. Aside from that, working in a federal government setting has been fantastic; it is something I will hopefully have the opportunity to do again in the near future.

Hope ya’ll are having as good (or better) of a time as I have had thus far!


Joe Carlo