Big Thicket 2-month update

This week wraps up nearly 2 months as an intern at Big Thicket, Texas. The last 4 weeks began with a trip to Chicago for a weeklong workshop at the Botanic Garden, where I had a great time meeting all the other CLM interns and enjoying the cool, comfortable Chicago weather. Back in the Thicket, I’ve been continuing to work on updating the All-Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI) by organizing spreadsheets and creating maps of species locations. But, I’ve also seen a healthy portion of fieldwork. With our office’s spiffy Garmin Montana 600 series GPS, part of my job is to journey into the Thicket to obtain geographic information to map. On one such quest, I discovered a dried-up tupelo bog whose presence had been long-suspected, but never confirmed. Last week, I made a trail map for the Watson Preserve, a local, privately owned rare plant preserve.
The ATBI is dependent on specialists visiting the preserve to do species collections so they can accurately tally species of all orders, including all types of animals, plants, and fungi. Two weeks ago, researchers from the University of Nebraska came here to do collections of nematodes. We took them to three different units of the preserve to get soil samples, which they took back and will analyze under a microscope to count the number and species diversity of nematodes.
Outside of work, I have been trying to explore the surrounding area as much as possible. I went to nearby New Orleans, LA, a few weekends ago to take in the jazz music and consume copious amounts of catfish, crawfish, shrimp, beignets, and po boys. I’ve also fallen in with a cycling club in Beaumont, TX that I’ve been riding with on the weekends.

Alex, Big Thicket NP

Here are some pictures:

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