It’s almost a month now in my new home in Boise, ID and I’m having a blast!! I am originally from Chicago and so stepping out of Illinois was new and different for me. I left the busy traffic of the city to begin my journey west! This summer, I am working with Jessica Irwin at the USFS station in Boise for the Seeds of Sucess (SOS) collection. Our goal this summer is to find populations of species: Chaenactis douglasii, Phacelia hastata, and Crepis accuminata . These species are important as they benefit pollinators such as bees and insects as well as sage grouse. Chris, Kimberly (my coworkers), Jessica and I collaborate to create maps of various regions in Idaho to monitor and collect seed. These species grow in various habitats such as rocky hillsides, ridges, sagebrush habitat, valley grasslands and forest communities. It’s always a wonderful surprise at work because I am usually in awe of the beautiful views! It’s great to drive and explore different regions in Idaho on a daily basis to find these species. It’s been an amazing experience so far to challenge myself to be in a new environment, meet new people, botanize, hike, camp out and enjoy the moments outdoors with my coworkers!

Here are some of the cool photos I’ve taken during my trip so far:

Castilleja angustifolia

Orobanche fasciculata

surveying out in the field at Salmon-Challis National Forest with my mentor Jessica

Fritillaria meleagris


Me enjoying the view of Little City of Rocks!

Crepis acuminata 

Sphaeralcea munroana


Penstemon deustus

I also had the opportunity to attend the Idaho Botanical Foray early June. It was a great chance to meet others and nerd out about plants! We also came across a short-horned lizard!

Idaho Botanical Foray 2018, our group enjoying the view during lunch

Don holding a short-horned lizard!


just a few of what we all collected and pressed!

On my free time, I ride my bike on the Green Belt in Boise and check out the farmers market on Saturday. There are plenty of delicious restaurants, breweries and coffee shops in town that I enjoy going with the friends I’ve made here. I’m loving Idaho!




Allison Buiser

USFS Boise, ID