Winter in Wyoming

I have happily been extended as a CLM intern. As the weather got cold (there is a high of 18 degrees today) it was a transition from field work mainly focused on collections for the Seeds of Success Program to more indoor activities including lab and office work. My time is split between the University of Wyoming and the BLM state office in Cheyenne.
As the Sate office, I have been experiencing all the behinds the scenes work that makes the SOS program run. We have been coordinating reports and compiling data in a map. I also did a bit of research to find out what forb and grass seeds native to Wyoming are available commercially. I was struck by how few forb and grass seeds are available that represent the local genotypes and genetic diversity. Many of the plant species I collected seeds from this summer are not available on the market. This provided a lot of prospective on how important the SOS program is. Not only does it provide seeds for long term storage, but also for research with the hope that one day local seeds will be available for restoration projects around the United State.
This provides lots of perspective for the other half of my intern experience at the University of Wyoming. I work in a lab exploring germination variability in native seeds using many of the seeds I collected this summer. I record data on the germination totals for seeds and get excited when the root tip emerges for a new species. The variation in growth forms, germination requirements, and speed of germination both among and between species is amazing. I know that this work is an important step in the process to get viable native plants into the ground for restoration.

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