Hello again from the San Juan Islands National Monument.  The seasons are changing here as they assuredly are everywhere else.  Here the transition means finding your rainboots and collecting your favorite rain jacket from the back of the coat closet (then finding your second, third and fourth favorite rain jackets wherever they may lie).


ripening apples are yet another sign of fall


It means pushing back the ice cream maker back on the highest shelf of the kitchen cabinet and restocking your tea collection.  It means not having to fight the horde of tourists for the last package of hot dog buns at the small grocery store.  You get the picture.


autumnal landscape outside my house on Lopez Island

Working as a botany intern in a small office, fall means no more data collection in the field, pages of colorful excel sheets with long tabulations, and report writing, lots of report writing.  For the past five months, I have been working on a project collecting baseline information about plant communities in the newly designated San Juan Islands National Monument.  The monument was created in part to preserve and enhance the natural/scientific value of the landscape.  My project aims to collect information useful in planning processes which will determine how to best follow that mandate.  With the guidance of J. Vacca in the Wenatchee, WA field office as well numerous people within the BLM and the San Juan Islands community, I determined the monitoring protocol for this project and completed 53 plots on 8 islands. For each plot I did a Line-Point Intercept survey, photo point monitoring, and a species inventory survey.  Now I am analyzing my collected data and generating a report of my findings.


I pass this dilapidated boat house each day on my route to work. In the foreground are some pearly everlastings, Nootka rose, and Kentucky bluegrass.

Through the process of planning, field work, and data reporting, as well as through a variety of other projects, I have met an incredible group of people, all extremely knowledgeable and passionate.  I couldn’t be happier with the people I have worked with and the projects I have been a part of during my time here.

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