So long Sagebrush, Shoshone, and Southern Idaho.

It is now my turn to say goodbye to Shoshone, Idaho. As everyone else has stated, this internship has flown by. But in hopes to truly appreciate and learn from the growth that I have experienced here – I am going to attempt to reflect on it all. Wish me luck.

The Adventures:

Looking back on my calendar from these past few months, I can confidently say that I’ve tried my best to explore the area as much as I could. Camping and road trips stacked up nearly every weekend. It would be an understatement to say that Southern Idaho is a beautiful and adventurous place. No doubt, if you are an outdoorsy individual, don’t overlook Shoshone. During the summertime, this area is truly a dream. A quick escape to forests, mountains, rivers, canyons, and so much more.

The 360 degree sunset on top Hyndman’s Peak (12,000 Ft) during the 2017 Eclipse.








The Internship:

I have already reflected a little bit about this in my most recent post, but to reiterate: for me, this CLM internship has provided me with extensive opportunity to immerse myself in government work culture, further develop my communication, project management, and problem-solving skills, and gain the valuable insight I needed to help me decide where and what I would like to do next and further down the road.

I’ve decided that after two seasons of fieldwork – first with the Forest Service and then this summer with the BLM -I do not want to continue working in ecological research and instead, I am going to navigate towards community outreach and development work. This doesn’t at all mean that I did not enjoy my internship this summer. It simply shows that I’ve been able to learn more about myself. I have had the problem of having too many interests. I love the environmental field, but there are so many things you can do! So yes – I’ve had a hard time figuring out what I like, but with every new opportunity (especially seasonal work), you are given the chance to explore your interests, and really narrow it down. And, even though, I am going to be going in a different direction – I stand very confidently as a candidate, knowing I have this experience to speak of.

Communication. Time Management. Project management. Reliability.
 Willingness to take the Initiative. Independent and Team Worker.

Just to name a few – these are skills I strengthened this summer, and they are all extremely valuable in any field. For a future employer, I can not only emphasize that I have these skills, but I have a personal/unique experience and reference that I may use to back it up. At the end of the day, even if you don’t 100% like what you are doing, you need to perform and accomplish the work that you were brought there to do. Employers are going to remember your attitude and willingness. Plus, nothing is ever permanent, and I’ve experienced way more good than bad days this summer. Life is all about learning and adapting, and for me, simply coming to sense with that, made this summer 110% worth it.


Overall Highlights:

Because looking back, calls for remembering all my favorite moments 🙂

  • Taking a chance and finding my housing through Craigslist – rooming with a complete stranger, and it turning out to be the best situation I could have ever gambled for. (My boyfriend did drive up with me to scope out the situation…so if you are going this route too.. do whatever you need to make you feel comfortable.)
  • Backpacking trip to Hyndman’s Peak in Sun Valley, Idaho to watch the totality from 12,000 ft.
  • Girls Goat Lake Backpacking Trip
  • 1st time rock climbing outside-  all the amazing places I got to climb around Twin Falls: City of Rocks, The Fins, The Basalt Channel in Shoshone, Boulderfest in Dierkes Lake
  • Stanley, Idaho camping trips
  • Grand Tetons and Yellowstone
  • Chicago for Training Workshop – This work trip allowed me to visit family in Chicago that I haven’t seen in years! I got to reunite with my cousins (for free!) and we went to the Blues Festival in the park (also a free event in the city!)
  • Boise – really awesome city that I would highly consider moving to
  • Rafting in Buhl
  • When my little sister and boyfriend flew out to visit me 🙂
  • Getting together with highschool friends in Ketchum (small world)

Thank you for the amazing opportunity CBG!

Thank you Danelle for your mentorship!!

Wishing all the best to all future CLM interns and all my fellow interns that I was so lucky to have worked with this summer.

Goodbye Shoshone, Sagebrush, and Southern Idaho. You’ve treated me well.


The Last Intern Standing (in Shoshone)

Checking in from Shoshone right now – what started as a summer with 9 other interns has now transitioned into me being the last one here. I was able to get a small 3 week extension that has allowed me to stay until the 2nd week of November. And, this has left me bittersweet.

While it was pretty sad watching everyone else go, I know that we all must move forward. It’s the next chapter, and I am extremely happy for my fellows CBGs.  Nearly all of them have been reunited with their loved ones. I’ve heard from one that she has found a job in her preferred town! And, a couple of my closest friends made this summer, are now (or soon to be) traveling internationally – onto their next adventure 🙂 It truly is exciting to see where everyone goes. Life is pretty sporadic during this time, and it is really up to you what you want to do. Anything goes.

Anyway, back to life in Shoshone – So, for me, work has been pretty laid back. It has been really great getting more time with my mentor and the other people at the office. I’ve felt like I’ve really established a trusted relationship and presence here. I am able to work independently, and with this, I no longer feel so much like “one of the interns.” I am blending into our office community, which has boosted my confidence and showed me that I think I am ready for a more stable, long-term job (or masters program? – that is still an IDK).

This CBG internship will be my second seasonal job. I graduated in May 2016, and the summer after I graduated, I took a 4-month AmeriCorps position with the Forest Service through the SCA. While both internships have taught me so much, both personally and professionally, and did wonders to my resume (giving me the skills and experiences I needed to find other jobs), I think I am ready for something a little bit more long term. Don’t get me wrong – it has been so beneficial for me to be able to “test out my interests” with these seasonal positions. And in the scheme of things, that is what I believe they are really meant to do. With this job, I’ve been able to explore: this field, this career path, a new part of the country, a new town, a new culture, etc. But, now, I am fairly certain what direction I want to take next, and I am going to just roll with that right now. I need stability. I need to live closer to my partner. I need community so I may build stronger connections and collaborations, which would in turn allow me to test my skills and abilities. And, I just need to give this all a try.

Well, that’s where this Solo Intern is at right now.

Cheers to my last 3 weeks working in Shoshone. Change is always weird, but this experience has thus far, been much more fulfilling and necessary that I could have ever predicted.

Wish me luck with the continuously dropping temperatures being that I’m an Arizona girl (and haven’t experienced a “real” winter in ~7 years.)



The ins and outs of BLM roads

Alright friends, here is where I am at.

Summer is officially over, and the blazing sun has now been traded with freezing rain. I’m an Arizona baby, so this new take on “cold” will definitely be interesting.

If you ever wondered what the government lets you do during your free time – well…it’s pretty much anything (that has to do with driving out to the middle of nowhere on BLM roads). Driving, driving, driving. All day everyday. To every far, reaching corner of the field office, and the Twin Falls District Field Office is enormous. Most days, I am driving out to scout and map out Wyoming Sagebrush sites for one last SOS harvest that’ll occur early November, and then on the other days, it is of course catching up in the office with all the data management and herbarium mounting that needs to occur.

As a tech/intern, it feels as though my job is to be the “eyes on the ground.” All of the monitoring and mapping has really shown to me that a large part of land management is simply keeping up with the land & making sure our data is up to date. Without a doubt, I can definitely see the importance of this, but not going to lie – some days – it is exhausting when the majority of your 10 hour days are spent driving in the car. So, with that said, I have come up with some handy dandy tips that I hope you find helpful.

The Ins and Outs of BLM Roads: A Survival Guide

  • Podcasts & Music: No brainer. I hope you/your coworkers enjoy the same taste and I am sincerely sorry if you don’t find any common ground. Honestly…sad violin playing for you.
  • Spark some interesting and deep conversations with your coworkers about life: YES. We are all thinking it. You worried about what you are doing with your life? Um. Who isn’t?  Plus, people in this field tend to be very very understanding, compassionate, and awesome people to talk to. This makes the time go by so fast, and always lifts some of that stress off of your chest. Do it. (*Side note: obviously use your best judgement when deciding if it would be appropriate to have this type of conversation with whomever is in the car).
  • Stop the car for anything. This is now a moving tour. There have been multiple occasions when I have been out in the field with my mentor or simply encouraged by her to check out something or a place in the field office simply because it was cool. Wildlife. Roadside botany. A strange looking thing that you thought was something else. You name it. The car can be stopped. You are in no hurry. Stretch out your legs and be curious. Or be like me – and just enjoy the view.
  • 4 WHEEL DRIVE ROADS CANNOT BE TRUSTED – Take at your own risk or better yet find the guru in the office that miraculously knows every dirt road like the back of their hand. And, if you’re already out there – make sure you still have plenty of time – just in case you have to turn around. But really, who wants to do that? So go forth only if you have 100% confidence!
  • Straddle the rut or divet in the road. Pro tip.
  • BLM roads are like a labyrinth & once you go deeper – prepare yourself -because it is an abyss!

Well, if you ever find yourself in this situation. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Happy driving fellow CBGs 🙂

In mid-September, I was able to reunite with my partner in Telluride, CO to enjoy the Brews and Blues Festival 🙂 So grateful to have an internship opportunity that allows me to still have these experiences!

Eclipse backpacking trip to Hyndman’s Peak in Sun Valley, Idaho. Hiked to the 12k summit for the totality – one of my best experiences this summer!




2 Month Marker

2 months down.

13 SOS collections completed.

Timeless friendships made.

A new Found Love for Southern Idaho.

It is both rewarding and bittersweet to reflect back on this experience thus far. Rewarding because I can’t believe how much I have grown as an individual and bittersweet because time keeps dwindling on. This “internship” has definitely been a wonderful and enlightening opportunity for me to learn and challenge myself. I’ve found myself well-balanced and motivated. I’ve made time for hobbies I have always wanted to pursue, and I have learned to trust in where my passion for the environment and people take me. The people I have been working with and new friends I have made have definitely contributed to all of this, and I thank all of you for that. I hope the rest of my CBG interns can say the same about their experiences, and may the rest of my time here start to move forward much more slowly.






Southern Idaho at First Glance


Hello there from Shoshone, ID!

Wyethia field in Sawtooth Mountains



My name is Patricia, and I am working primarily on SOS with Danelle Nance for the BLM. I came out here late May from Phoenix, AZ and life in Southern Idaho (so far) has been treating me very well. (A pleasant surprise! — Sorry, I have to be honest and admit that I was definitely a skeptic about Idaho before I arrived here, but I couldn’t be happier that I just went for it with this one.)

With Danelle and my SOS partner Jenny, and Harpo (another CBG intern) in the Bennett Hills scouting out potential SOS populations of our target species (field of Yarrow on right)

Dierkes lake at sunset – great rec site located in Twin!

One of my favorites so far this summer – spiny hopsage *Grayia spinosa*

SOS partner and new friend (Jenny) killing it on a climb at City of Rocks – definitely recommend going if you’re into climbing!

Similar to a lot of the other interns in my office, I am living in Twin Falls, which is approximately 30 minutes south of the Shoshone Field Office. Compared to Shoshone, Twin has a little bit more going on in regards to groceries, people, and not feeling too isolated. It is in a great location — Sawtooth National Forest, Yellowstone, City of Rocks, Sun Valley, etc. are only a short drive away! Plus, there is also a ton of great local climbing, biking, and hiking spots too. Dierkes Lake near Shoshone Falls, in particular, has been a great place to boulder, sport climb, run, and swim with both work and new friends. I think that this effort to explore my new surrounding area extensively after work and during the weekends has helped me immensely in adjusting to this new environment.

In regards to work, I cannot express how awesome Danelle has been as a mentor.  She truly has been an approachable and helpful guide these first few months: helping me feel comfortable in the office and pushing me to take advantage of the ample learning opportunities here in our field office. With that said, my knowledge in botany for the area, plant identification, and field skills have all been strengthened immensely, and my interests have become much more apparent to me.

Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls – great spot to watch and meet crazy base jumpers who come from all over the world!

Until next time.