Colorado Winter or Lack of?

Here on the front range in Colorado it seems like a very mild and sporadic winter.  One week we get anywhere from 2 inches to 8 inches of snow and then the next day or the next week the snow is gone and it is 60 degrees out.  I’ve been told that the spring along Colorado’s front range is when the snow comes in feet and it is a heavy wet snow, so I am looking forward to seeing how my mountain bike handles those commutes.

At work I have realized that model building in excel will be somewhat helpful to a certain extent, but after that I believe a more robust modeling program will be require to produce the results that I am looking to find for the species I am studying.  For a week and a half I was scouring every biostatistical text that my mentor had, trying to figure out how to apply a McNemar’s sample size specific equation to the data for the Phacelia I’ve working on and did figure it all out.  The issue was the results for the sample size, which was considerably higher than excepted.  Since I am trying to establish an easily followed monitoring protocol, a high number of transects might introduce a risk of misidentification due to fatigue possibly and the fact that it won’t be as quick.  So I have decided to find a different method to monitor the Phacelia that is quick and results in data that is robust enough to hold up to scrutiny from peers.

As much reading and research as I have been doing, I have only been able to get out of the office a couple of times.  I went up to Fort Collins for a Landscape Genetics workshop, which was a part of the Colorado Chapter of the Wildlife Society Meeting that was happening the entire week.  At the workshop the subject matter was all wildlife related as expected, but the methods used in tracking gene flow across the landscape could possibly be implemented into a plant population or at least the software could be utilized.  Even though my main focus right now is on plants, I still found the methods use and subject matter quite interesting (wolverine movements, greater sage grouse, a general overview of genetic lab work, how population genetics can help you transfer into landscape genetics).

The group here at the state office also went to silt to a Level 1 group meeting which include personnel from USFWS, USFS and BLM and was a discussion of the current management going on for sensitive species, both plants and wildlife, and updates on listing status and certain projects that have been completed or want to start.  It was an open discussion type meeting where inputs were given on methodology and application and overall was a very interesting day to see the differences in management priorities between the different federal agencies.  It gave me some insight into the type of management that I would prefer doing in my career and then which agency I would like to work for based on those management priorities.


Nathan Redecker

BLM CO State Office

Lakewood, CO

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