So far the CLM Internship program has been quite the adventure for me. My first week was spent at the workshop in Chicago, where I met dozens of fellow interns and several mentors. Krissa, Wes, and Matt were there too, of course. It was excellent to spend a week with some of the CLM team, and the Chicago Botanic Garden was a hoot. I loved the greenhouses!
I’m just ending my first work week in Rawlins, Wyoming. So far there’s been paperwork, CPR and first aid certification, an off-road driving test, a computer access test, and a few hours of seed collection site scouting. One full 12 hour day was spent counting individual Penstemon haydenii plants. These vanilla scented forbs are endangered in Wyoming, and are known to occur only here and in Nebraska. We battled windy, steep dunes to find these beauties, and although it appears we counted an all-time low number for that location (and perhaps even more so because we did), the experience was thrilling and quite special.
I’m excited to learn the local flora, and should be starting some seed collections soon. We’ve been given a long list of native plants categorized by priority. It’s been a dry year so far, and we’re starting late, but hopefully we’ll still be able to check a good number of species off our SOS list. Two weeks down, twenty to go.