Of my first week in the field I have learned an incredible amount. For the first time in my short field career, I am experiencing a project where the field dictates the work to be done. In my past, although the plants may be unpredictable, the methods that I experienced were mostly predicable. Currently, however, I go out to a location that threatened plants occupy to map how the landscape has changed and how it may affect these sensitive species. Most of my work concerns the species commonly known as the bladder pod and the twin pod. These plants grow in areas that are inflicted with cattle grazing and ferrel horses. When I wander across an area occupied by bladder pods, I may find horse “highways” that must be mapped, or I may find nothing at all, and the hiking continues!
With this, I have learned to be even more observant in the field. My observation skills must expand beyond what plants are growing below me, and out into what is all around me. It is so easy to get lost in the search for tiny plants in broken shale, but it is so necessary to keep my awareness cycling all around me. I am certainly developing my abilites to focues while multi-tasking… a certain benefit for all areas of my life!