My last day of work in Lakeview, Oregon has arrived, or rather snuck up on me. Between work and exploring the area on the weekends with fellow interns, this field season has flown by!
I was fortunate to have been able to participate in a diverse array of assignments. Through my time spent surveying for federally listed species and seed collecting, I have learned much about local plants and their communities. I assisted with post-fire monitoring and learned how different treatments work or fail depending on the situation. I was also able to help with rangeland monitoring plots. And even though I loved my time spent in the field, one of the most important skills that I honed this season was in the office: GIS data management. The various projects that I worked on have helped me to recognize what I want to do in the long term, both educationally and in my career, which I find to be just as valuable as the field-related skills that I have acquired or improved upon this season.
Of all the different aspects of this internship, I will miss the land and the people the most. This area is gorgeous, and I got to explore so many hidden spots that I would probably never have gone to otherwise. I was also lucky to have ended up where seven other interns were also posted. This meant that a diverse group of awesome, smart women (yes, all women) from around the country were here to go camping, hiking, to music festivals, and have barbeques with. Not only were they fun to hang out with, but also to work with. Fieldwork often requires people to work closely for long hours at a time, in the middle of nowhere. It felt like our crews worked well together and made the assignments more of an adventure than a task.
While I am excited to move on to future plans, I feel some sadness for moving on from this endeavor. I hope to visit this area again in the future and to keep in touch with the many people I have gotten to know in the past six months. The CLM internship has been a rewarding experience that I would recommend to anyone considering a career in environmental sciences or natural resource management.