Hello from Utah- one final time! Last week was the end of my time here in Vernal. In a couple of days I will be packing up and heading to northern Minnesota, where I will be collecting MORE seeds with the University of Minnesota-Duluth for two months. I’m very excited!
It has been a blast getting to know all the botanists at the Vernal Field Office. I will treasure all my memories of this summer, including hacking away at teasel, wandering up mountains surveying for rare plants, floating down river rapids on an inflatable kayak, and navigating the truck through some questionably well-maintained roads. The town of Vernal itself was not my favorite place, but the nearby recreational activities were seemingly endless. I have visited 10 national parks and five state parks this summer, along with countless hikes and scenic drives. I would definitely recommend having a car if you are planning on working in Vernal, because the town itself is not that spectacular, but the surrounding public lands should not be missed.
This internship has helped me to cement my knowledge that I am obsessed with plants, and that I would be perfectly happy wandering around outside all day looking at plants… probably for the rest of my life! I thought I might get bored collecting seeds after six months, but I really haven’t. Each plant population is unique and interesting in its own way, and it makes me realize how much more I’d like to know about plant community ecology. I am planning on attending grad school in the near future, and the workshop at the Chicago Botanic Gardens earlier this summer was incredibly helpful in teaching me the next steps of applying to grad school.
So, that was my summer in a nutshell! I will never forget my time here in Vernal, and I hope to cross paths with some of the amazing people I have met here again in the future.
BLM- Vernal, Utah Field Office