Extending the Good Times

Things have been winding down a bit here in Susanville.  The field work has slowed down and my extension has begun.  I have been working on several different projects recently, helping out different employees at the Eagle Lake Field Office.  I helped install a soil monitoring data tower with the hydrologist/soil scientist and folks from the NRCS.  This tower uses solar energy to power several instruments that measure air temperature, soil temperature, wind speed, soil moisture, and air pressure.  The tower then sends the data back by bouncing signals off the tails of meteors!  I had no idea that meteor tails could be used in place of satellites, but this technology is great for gathering data in remote areas where satellite signals aren’t reliable.

I also finished up packaging and shipping out all of the SOS collections I made this year.  It was bittersweet to send out the final box, knowing I won’t be collecting seed anymore.  Some of the best days of the internship were spent collecting seed; it can be relaxing and productive at the same time.  However, I now have a lot more space in my office cubicle with all the boxes of seed gone.

With field work slowing down, I have been spending a lot of time using ArcMap to complete various projects and make maps for other employees in the office.  It isn’t as exciting as field work, but my skills in ArcGIS have greatly improved over the course of this internship.

In my spare time I have gone on a lot of cool adventures recently.  I hiked to the top of Sonora Peak in the Sierras, went to Santa Cruz to see Neil Young’s Bridge School Benefit Concert, and took a trip up to Enterprise, Oregon.  Every weekend has been a new adventure with great friends.  I thought coming to a small cow town in the middle of nowhere would be pretty boring, but I met a great group of people and have traveled to some awesome places.  I am truly grateful for the friends I have made and the times we have shared.

I will leave off with some pictures from the last few weeks.


Bighorn Sheep on the way to Enterprise


Sunset over the Pacific in Santa Cruz


Spelunking in some caves near Eagle Lake


Old ranch building


View from the top of Sonora Peak


Sam Gersie

BLM Eagle Lake Field Office

Susanville, CA

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