First weeks in Idaho!

Hi everyone! My name Liza Chang. Never having visited this part of the country, I am excited to be doing work for the Rocky Mountain Research Station in Boise. Although I’m based out of Boise, I will be doing a fair amount of traveling to places I never would have seen on my own. We have already visited some remote places in Idaho and Nevada, and have scheduled trips to Utah and Washington.

So far, work consists of orientation tasks, data collection from the common gardens, scouting new sites, and lots of camping. I work with another CLM intern named Katherine, under the mentorship of Jessica. For the first couple weeks, we worked in tandem with other biotechs that we will occasionally see throughout the season. Camping together, we very quickly developed a strong sense of community over the first couple weeks. I can only imagine what 4 more months of camping will bring.

We learned the ins and outs of collecting data on forb species in the common gardens. Not only did we learn about the different species, or how to use Survey 123, but we also learned that bur buttercup is painful to weed, and some good stretches to unkink your back!

On our first scouting trip in Nevada, we drove the trucks off the beaten path. It was a good thing they had four-wheel drive because we drove down steep mountain passes and rocky streams, alongside plenty of cattle. There was not a lot of vegetation in flower, but we recorded the first cactus in this specific mountain range!