From San Juans to Seattle: a desperate search for title aliteration

This post doesn’t really have anything to do with aliteration.  Or searching.  Or Seattle to be honest.  I just wanted to quickly share my anguish coming up with titles before I get into the meat of my blogpost

I spent most of this summer working on SOS. The San Juan Islands National Monument, a newly designated monument where I’ve been working for the past two summer seasons, consists of 1000 acres of rocks and islands off the coast of Washington state. This was our first year with an SOS program, which meant lots of work for me choosing target species, working with partnering land managers in the area, scoping, and collecting seed.


Dodecatheon hendersonii (mosquito bill) collected on Patos Island

Eriophyllum lanatum (Oregon sunshine) collected on Lopez Island

Eriophyllum lanatum (Oregon sunshine) collected on Lopez Island


Lomatium nudicale (barestem biscuitroot) collected on San Juan Island

I collected 21 species of seed while supporting a number of projects and outreach opportunities. Of course, I was not alone in my SOS adventure. I was assisted most of the summer by our intrepid intern from Western Washington University and had endless advice from area botanists and managers. Thanks to these people, these SOS successes and many days spent on warm breezy coastal prairies, this summer was incredibly rewarding and fun.

Now that SOS work has ended for the year, I am turning my attention back indoors and back toward GIS. For the next few months I will be working remotely from Seattle, WA to complete a vegetation classification dataset using Line-Point-Intercept data I collected in 2014. Although I am sad to see the end of warm weather and cheery wildflowers, I am excited about this project and its potential use for the monument. The San Juans Monument is in the process of creating a resource management plan and needs the most accurate information possible about natural resources, recreation, boundaries, etc to make accurate planning decision. My GIS layer, in giving an accurate picture of vegetation type and plant locations, will be an important resource informing these decisions. I am happy to be able to create a product that has immediate use (and I’m actually excited to sit in on these planning meetings).

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