While the start of our internship has been limited to mostly office work, we have been quite busy preparing for the many field days that will require our forethought and ingenuity. Doug and I joined the Carson City field office in February as noxious weed technicians. We were immediately immersed into the BLM’s Integrated Pest Management Training where we not only learned about the numerous methods used to control pests, but also received our Pesticide Applicator Certification. Since our training, we have been joined by three other interns with four more yet to come–welcome interns!!!
Over the past weeks, it has been enjoyable to see how the Seeds of Success Program can directly support the efforts of weed removal and restoration efforts. Specifically, any area infested with noxious weeds can be monitored, treated, and eventually re-vegetated using native seed collected from nearby populations.
Our first field days were spent learning to operate 4-wheel drive vehicles and identifying both the native and non-native plants covering the Nevada ecosystems. These species provide quite the challenge as I am not from this area and am unfamiliar with most of them! Nonetheless, it has been an agreeable assignment to spend time discovering the tiny (0r BIG!) and beautiful plants that can handle the incredible temperature extremes and/or highly alkaline soils. I’ve included a picture of two of the native species that we have encountered in the past few weeks: Balsamorhiza deltoidea and Nama sp. In upcoming weeks, we will continue to monitor the native and noxious species. Soon, we will be implementing control methods for the noxious ones.
As I mentioned above, I am not from Nevada. I am from the Midwest, and my assumptions regarding Nevada’s climate were completely shattered when I was greeted by eight inches of wet snow on my first day at work! Since then, I’ve enjoyed and respected the highly variable mountain weather. If you don’t have mountains nearby, you should come by to expereience it yourself!