Strengthening my weakness for next field season!

With my CLM internship extending into the next field season I have an opportunity to learn from my experiences. This awareness will help me through this next year, adding efficiency to the whole process. From field planning to data analyzing, it’s not an easy task to learn in one season. Well, not for me at least. The thought of having one more summer working with BLM’s Central Yukon Field Office (CYFO) adds a new layer of excitement and potential.
Coming from a lab background and working mostly with the microbes and plant molecules I hit a learning curve in the field. Since we can’t easily extract DNA and sequence the plants in the field ( there’s a tool out now I had not had much experience with plant identification. Although, I have a very good eye for spotting and recognizing them (helps to grow up in Alaska) it was an area I wanted to strengthen.

I’m taking a systematic botany course up at University of Alaska, Fairbanks and getting a great hands-on experience with proper identification.

Fabacaea (= Leguminosae) Order Fabales
Pea Family, Legumes
Specimens provided by Professor S.M Ickert-Bond at University of Alaska, Fairbanks
Collaborative Collection Management Solution (ARCTOS)

The most notable terrestrial plant invasive species in Alaska interior are Vicia cracca and Melitotus alba and they happen to be in the same family. It’s important to be able to find distinguishable features in order to do a valid vegetation survey. Can you find them?

worth the risk

The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore. – Vincent van Gogh

Most of my memorable and worthwhile experiences comes while taking risks. BLM has standardized safety regulations to prevent accidents that allows comfort during such adventures as flying in a helicopter. Although risky, this last field assignment left me feeling susceptible and free. The heightened view from the air is beautiful, grand, and the closest thing I’ve felt to being a bird.

Here’s some images of me out monitoring for vegetation during a mining compliance trip up North off the Dalton highway


Concentrated season 2016

From the hum of spring, into the midnight sun the field season at BLM in the Fairbanks district office is concentrated into 3 short months.


This week I headed down to NCTC in West Virginia for a GIS class and learned tons!

This next week I’ll be heading back up the Dalton highway to initiate AIM vegetation monitoring on few mining sites.

I’ll update more after next month once the season slows 🙂

spring hum!

The Fairbanks BLM office is filled with excitement with people gearing up for projects in the field. For the past few months, I’ve been training to drive ATVs, ride in helicopters, participated in wilderness CPR, and will do a bear and wildlife safety all in great effort to appropriately prepare myself. Meanwhile outside the office spring has come!

Signs of spring in Fairbanks, AK.




Transitioning from lab to the field


Let me start with a short introduction of myself. My name is Kristin and I live in Fairbanks, Alaska. I’ve been working in an environmental microbiology lab for the past 2 years, learning and working with the molecular side of life. Since we are known to thrive on balance; balance between logic and intuition, work and play, I thought it would be a great idea for my future career prospects to extend this concept into a scientific perspective. Transitioning from lab to the field takes determination, supportive mentors, and a lot of paperwork 🙂

Although, the first few weeks of my CLM internship are dedicated to fieldwork preparations, I am excited and dreaming of the great outdoors. FullSizeRender (598x800)