This will be my last blog post as a CLM intern & my last day in the Buffalo Field office is tomorrow. It’s hard to believe that it has been 8 months since I first arrived here in Buffalo! I feel very fortunate to have been placed here and am taking so many great experiences and memories away with me. I have been kept busy this January with exciting new projects and outreach opportunities! I recently had the opportunity to be a co-author on an ethnobotany paper here in the office. I helped the archaeology staff identify a number of plant species from one of their archaeological sites back in September and have now been able to research and write a report on the ethnobotanical significance of many of those plants to Great Plains prehistoric groups. I also participated in the Midwinter Bald Eagle survey through our field office, which was a great opportunity for me to work on my birding skills. Last week I was able to participate in an outdoor ecology lesson with 100 first graders put on by Audobon Rockies. Teaching the kids about adaptations that allow different animals to survive the cold Wyoming winters was a fantastic way to spend the day!
As I reflect upon the last 8 months, I feel incredibly proud of my accomplishments and the breadth of projects I have had the chance to participate in. During my time here in Buffalo I have gained experience conducting monitoring for sage grouse habitat and rangeland health, took part in numerous outreach events with elementary, middle, and high school students, conducted surveys for rare and sensitive plant species, collected over 7 million sagebrush seeds with a Montana Conservation Corps team, participated in archaeological surveys, mapped fenceline and made sage grouse fence markers to help decrease fence mortalities, helped set up a soil crust inoculation trial in a previously burned area, surveyed limber pine populations and mapped healthy trees for cone collection, and mapped saltcedar in an extensive basin drainage system.
Thanks Buffalo BLM Field Office & the Chicago Botanic Garden for such a fantastic opportunity!