Greetings from the Windy City!

My name is Justin and I began my internship this week with the training workshop at the Chicago Botanic Garden. This week-long clinic not only teaches skills to succeed in a Federal agency, but is also a blast! About 50 interns attended the workshop, which provided a great opportunity to make friends and share experiences about life in a field office. Solidarity was evident immediately. Arriving from all across the west at O’Hare airport, we issued a collective sigh of, “ahhh, TREES.” Stationed primarily in arid Federal lands, the lush Midwestern ecosystem was a nice perk for the week. Days consisted of intensive classroom sessions on Conservation Genetics, Plant ID, Field Monitoring, Seed Collecting, Management Legislation and Field Safety, supplemented with outdoor activities. Evenings we were set free to enjoy the extensive culture of Chicago and the beauty of Lake Michigan.

Armed with new knowledge and connections, I am confident in my preparation for the BLM field office in Carson City, NV. Can’t wait to apply these new skills!

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