Having a blast seed sucking

Time has really flown. I feel like I have seen every season Montana has to offer; from the blazing mid summer heat to the frigid sub-zero temperatures coupled with ceaseless winds. I have learned so much about the Northwestern Great Plains and I have really grown fond of them. I came in knowing nothing about the plants of this area, but working with many range people and other experts in botany, these plants have become my family. This internship has been challenging at times; I did feel like I was thrown into this seed collecting project on my own, and it was a little daunting.  I knew nothing about these plants and I was worried that it may very well take me a summer to learn them all, let alone know when their seeds will be ripe. Luckily, my mentor had faith that I would complete it and do it well, and I’d like to think I actually did alright. I began to realize that I was surrounded by smart, kind, helpful people and that was something I got better at; asking others for help and offering up my help so I could learn from them. So that is my advice to new interns; ask a lot of questions and don’t be afraid to sound stupid because you are still an intern, you’re allowed to be. I am so thankful to have met so many wonderful people who work hard at managing these lands whose jobs are never ending and thankless. I haven’t yet decided if I’d want to continue working with the BLM, but I do know that this internship confirmed my passion for plants and allowed me to look at plants in terms of how they relate to animals and the people that use the land.
Thank you Chicago Botanic Garden for this opportunity, it has been swell.



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