My last blog post as a CLM intern is definitely a bittersweet occasion. Although I’m excited for the next step (grad school), I will miss working with such a great team at my field office and beyond.
When I showed up for my first day at the Motherlode Field Office, I didn’t know what to expect. I remember waiting confusedly outside, not sure whether to use the public or private entrance, and not wanting to call my new mentor yet because I was a bit early. Luckily someone showed up and let me in, and Graciela (new mentor) took me under her wing, introducing me to everyone in the office.
Since then, I have gotten to visit amazing landscapes and have learned countless new skills. To avoid a making a laundry list, I will highlight three of my biggest take away lessons.
First and foremost, I learned how to work in a team. I have always been an independent person, generally preferring to work alone rather than in a group; but of course a nationwide effort like SOS can’t materialize from a bunch of lonely botanists refusing to talk to one another. Working with my mentor and coworkers, and training new volunteers and interns, taught me a lot about how to coordinate the efforts of many people towards a single goal and how powerful it is to do so.
Another big take away was to be ready for anything and that attitude is key. The nature of our fieldwork is such that plans can easily go awry – weather, dead electronics, locked gates, steep hikes, and countless other obstacles can stand in between you and your 10,000 seeds. Staying positive and on task no matter what was crucial in this internship and has been a good general life skill.
Last, I have learned that opportunities will unfold if you seek them earnestly and enthusiastically. Graciela and other BLM/CLM employees have opened so many doors for me – I am grateful and humbled to be moving on to my next step with such wonderful allies. Thanks to all, and best of luck to current and future CLMers!