See ya later Cedarville

Well, today’s my last day in the Modoc. It’s crazy to think that 7 months have passed since my arrival. My first impression of this small isolated town is definitely memorable. I drove into town and the first thing I noticed that the town population was 514. There’s one of everything- one bar, grocery store, gas station….you get the idea. It was a little unnerving to live in such small, isolated, and conservative place but I really enjoyed working in the sagebrush country. The townspeople here are nice and friendly and the people I worked with all very knowledgeable and easy to work with.

This internship was very rewarding. I got to see the beautiful landscapes of Northeastern California as well as Nevada and Oregon and experience real seasons (unusual in other parts of California). Word to the wise: if you end up in Cedarville in the winter time, have a 4×4 or AWD vehicle. It makes life much MUCH easier.

This internship gave me an opportunity to get hands-on field experience in disciplines that I didn’t really know much about. For example, I helped out with evaluating rangeland health by assessing bunchgrass utilization. Before Cedarville, I didn’t have any knowledge about rangeland. Also, I got to work on various projects like flagging juniper trees for cuttings, monitoring vegetation, planting sagebrush seedlings, and doing pika and raptor surveys. Moreover, I got to hone my ID’ing skills for plants and wildlife. I actually got to use the information I learned in school. Ha!

I guess the final advice to future interns is: JUST TRY IT. It may be out of your comfort zone, but once you do it, you’ll look back and be glad you did it. To think that 8 months ago, I was stressing about making a decision about this internship and another job offer. I’m glad to say that I made the right decision and really enjoyed my time here in the Surprise Valley.

Well…I’ll stop rambling now…and end with some cool  and memorable pictures.

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Amanda and I in our cave. At the Lava Beds National Monument

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Sledding up at Cedar Pass on our off day. It’s great that we have a “ski park” only a couple miles away from Cedarville.

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Avenue of the Giants. California is a gorgeous state.

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View of the Pacific Ocean up in Humboldt county

Lunch time with new friends

Lunch time with new friends

Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park

Treasure Hunting!


Hey Everyone 🙂

It’s been a while since I last posted…I’ll try to keep it short and sweet.

First off, out here in the sagebrush country…. every collection day is a treasure hunt. Pretty much everything here is a crispy critter. Sometimes we get lucky and are able to collect a neat population. Since my last post, we’ve done twelve more collections. We’ve collected:

Poa nevadaensis (Nevada bluegrass)

Bromus marginatus (Mountain brome)

Lomatium dissectum (Fernleaf biscuitroot)

Rosa woodsii (Wood’s rose)

Juncus balticus (Baltic rush)

Lomatium triternatum (Nineleaf biscuitroot)

Leymus cinereus (Basin wildrye)

Achillea millefolium (Common yarrow)

Calochortus macrocarpus (Sagebrush mariposa lily)

Potentilla gracilis (Slender cinquefoil)

Carex nebrascensis (Nebraska sedge)

Cercocarpus ledifolius (Curl-leaf mountain mahoghany)

We are still hoping to collect the sagebrush species later on in the season and hopefully meet our targets. Because of the drought, many of the perennial bunchgrass species are not fully seeded so it’s been pretty nerve wrecking to make sure we collect enough for our program.

While on the subject of treasure hunting, Amanda and I had a couple of opportunities to tag along with the Alturas interns (Jaileen & Nate) and their mentor Mike Dolan to conduct some rare plant surveys. It was pretty cool to learn that there is a penstemon species (Penstemon janishiae) that’s listed as rare and endangered. What we essentially did was walk around an area that has been cleared for a juniper fuel reduction project and do some final flagging around areas where the penstemon grew. I still find it intriguing that the soil composition can change so dramatically within a few feet of each other. No wonder our Mama Duck (Andrew) gets so excited digging soil pits.

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Penstemon janishiae

Penstemon janishiae


Anywhoo…that’s all for now. I’ll be posting real soon this time..promise =P