This is my first blog post, as well as my first experience as a CLM intern. I am originally from Seattle, Washington, but I will be working primarily as one of two Seeds of Success collectors for the Vernal, Utah BLM field office. Going from a temperate rainforest to a dry desert basin has been quite the climactic adjustment, and I find myself drinking around three times as much water here. In addition, I am seeing a plant community in the Utah Basin that is completely different than what I have experienced before (such as sagebrush, tiny cacti, and pinyon-juniper woodlands), which is great!
Here are some pictures of us in the field during our first few weeks:
So far, the majority of our time in the field has been spent scouting for candidate plant populations that will be used for seed collection. In this picture we were collecting a voucher for Vulpia octoflora, a native grass.
Last Friday we helped set up some transects, which will be used to monitor Penstemon flowersii populations in the future. Despite the ominous clouds, the weather was actually very pleasant!
This little guy is a horned lizard, I believe!
My mentor likes to say that we have the best job in the office, and so far I think she is probably right! I am very happy with the amount of time we get to spend out in the field, the diversity of tasks we work on each day, and especially all the plant knowledge that we are gaining! (Ohh boy, am I going to learn about Astragaluses this summer…!)
I will end this post with some things that I am excited about for this season:
-Learning new plants
-Getting the opportunity to wear my snazzy new sunglasses
-Exploring national parks in Utah over the summer
-Experiencing what it’s like to work with a government agency
That’s all for now, folks! Tomorrow I will be heading down south to spend the weekend exploring some of Utah’s awesome national parks.
BLM Vernal, UT