Diverse experiences in a Distinct place…

Wildlife Tech: Matt Fountain setting up camera traps for bobcats... he's becoming the cat

Wildlife Tech, Matt Fountain, setting up camera traps for bobcats… he’s becoming the cat

Fisheries Intern Cacey Sylvester in his natural habitat among the fishes

Fisheries Intern, Cacey Sylvester, in his natural habitat among the fishes

Wildlife tech Quentin Parker as we hiked the northern portion of The Lost Coast booting hikers off the trail during a wildfire

Wildlife tech, Quentin Parker, as we hiked the northern portion of The Lost Coast booting hikers off the trail during a wildfire

Fellow CLM intern Kate McGrath on The Lost Coast as we surveyed for rare plant species

Fellow CLM intern, Kate McGrath, on The Lost Coast as we surveyed for rare plant species

Ready for whatever is next!

Ready for whatever is next!


I have been lucky enough to have many great internship experiences, both at school and since graduating. But none can compare to the experience I have had here at the Arcata Field Office. When I first found out that I was California bound, I was extremely nervous about the culture I would find. I was nervous about the fact that despite being hired as a Forestry Intern, I had taken no forestry classes and had no experience with forestry techniques. Luckily though, all of my fears were completely unfounded, for in Arcata I found not only a supportive community but also a supportive and quite frankly epically awesome work environment.

I have learned so much during my time here in Arcata! When I interviewed with my mentor, Dan Wooden, he had said that he really encourages his interns to go out and take on as many new learning opportunities that come and boy, did a lot come! From forestry to fisheries, from botany to wildlife I was all over the place, helping and contributing to projects small and large! This internship has been unlike any other for this reason, for while I focused on the forestry projects my mentor assigned I was able to simultaneously branch out and learn about the management of other resources.

While working for the Arcata FO I monitored a prairie restoration project, flagged and marked a unit for a commercial timber sale and Sudden Oak Death mitigation treatment, and initiated the transfer of over 3,000 forest stand data entries– from FORVIS a stand information system– to Excel so that now the information can be easily accessed and related into ArcMap. I helped the office prepare and execute a visit from the Secretary of the Interior and hiked the entirety of The Lost Coast while mapping rare/ invasive plants and when I had to as backpackers to leave the trail during the Horse fire. I hooted for spotted owls in Headwaters Reserve and collaborated with an HSU student on a bobcat inventory and identification project. I dove for steelhead along the Mattole River and helped remove pampas grass in the dunes. Every opportunity to learn I have grasped with eager and enthusiastic hands and with the support of my mentor and the rest of the Arcata team!

I leave this internship knowing that I have gained experiences that will better prepare me for whatever may come next (hopefully graduate school!) and that I have more than met the expectations of my mentor and peers. I have made many friends here in Arcata and it is through these friendships that I have had such a great experience!

Thank you to all of the people who allowed me to have such an enriching learning experience and to all who are thinking about applying to the Chicago Botanic Garden Conservation and Land Management Internship Program, DO IT!


All the best to my fellow CLM’ers and best of luck to future interns!

Till next time,

Stephanie B.

Forestry and More…

Hello CLMers,

My first month of working for the Arcata CLM has been an absolute blast! I have learned so much and I can’t wait to learn even more. What has been especially great about my internship so far is that while I am learning tons about forestry- a subject I had zero training or experience in before this appointment- I have also been able to work with many of the other resource specialists in the office. From taking out invasive scotch broom to working on archeological surveys with the Redding, CA BLM interns it has been great getting to know and learning about other topics besides just forestry!

One amazing experience I have had recently- while working with Kate the botany, range, and weeds CLM intern- was to hike the southern portion of The Lost Coast! I had never been backpacking before and I was definitely nervous about slowing our mapping project down, but in the end not only did I have an amazing time, but I was also able to keep up just fine! I always tell my friends and family that every time I leave the house I see something amazing in Cali, well The Lost Coast was no exception! From the sheer cliffs along the coast to the ocean itself, the trail was stunning! While it was a little stressful having to mind the tides- which make portions of the trail inaccessible at high tide- being completely locked in and totally isolated at our campsite was strangely calming. I don’t think I have every had a camping experience like the backpacking trip I took with Kate, and I honestly can’t wait to hike it again with my friends here!

Time and again I am reminded by how lucky I am to have chosen a field of work that gives me the opportunity not only to constantly be learning but also to be outside and see some of the amazing things this world has to offer! It is easy to be happy when you are doing something you love!

Keep Learning,


Sea Otter tracks along The Lost Coast

Sea Otter tracks along The Lost Coast


The Lost Coast

The Lost Coast

CLMer Kate McGrath the Botany, Range, and Weeds intern for Arcata, CA BLM

CLMer Kate McGrath the Botany, Range, and Weeds intern for Arcata, CA BLM

Look at me I'm backpacking!!

Look at me I’m backpacking!!


Hanging out with Redding, BLM interns after an Arch survey

Hanging out with Redding, BLM interns after an Arch survey

From Sea to shining Sea…

Hello Fellow Interns,

This is my first CLM internship and boy what an adventure it has been thus far. My internship with the Arcata, CA BLM started this past Monday. In order to get here though, I moved from Washington, DC! To say that there has been a change of scenery would probably be an understatement. Yet I find myself constantly in awe of the locations and amazing sights I have seen thus far! Going to school in Lynchburg, VA I was surrounded by the comfortable Appalachian mountains and leafy deciduous forests. Here in Arcata, the redwoods, Douglas firs, and other conifers encase me with spiny needles and the mountains surprise me with their sheer faces.

My forestry internship with the BLM will have me working on a variety of projects. From monitoring SOD (sudden oak death) to helping write a EA (Environmental Action) plan for encouraging old growth redwood restoration. But honestly so long as I am able to be outside seeing the amazing things I have seen thus far, I know I will be happy!

Till next time, stay safe and keep learning fellow CLM’ers!


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