The Sierra Front District BLM botany team is now complete. Stevie, the final member of our team, and my roommate arrived last weekend. The six of us interns are now gearing up for a busy field season. Of course, in this first month we have all been busy completing various trainings. Much time has also been spent on processing herbarium specimens from previous years.
During the beginning of this past week, we all attended a grass identification course at the University of Nevada Reno. As part of the class, we dissected and examined under the microscope 49 different genera of Poaceae, as well as several genera in Juncaceae and Cyperaceae. I have done work with grass in the past but have never had such a comprehensive overview of the family. I’m sure the information I learned in this class will prove to be quite useful going forward.
Field activities over the past couple of weeks have revolved around post-fire restoration. As reported by Olivia and Maggie, we spent a good deal of time scouting for locations to plant Mountain Mahogany seedlings at the TRE fire site. We found a site with a bunch of charred Mahogany remnants and determined that it would be suitable for planting the seedlings. We were all excited for our first camping trip of the season and the trip did not disappoint. Just fewer than 300 seedlings were planted successfully and the crew was treated to some amazing views of the Sierra and Sweetwater ranges.
Today the six of us will depart for Boise for the Integrated Pest Management and Pesticide Application Training and Certification. This certification is valid across all government agencies and will likely be very valuable in future job hunting endeavors.