This past month in the BLM office has been a lot of office work. Since collections have come to an end, I have getting the last bit of information wrapped up. With Seeds of Success out of the way, I have free time to help co-workers in extra work they might not have all that much time for. Many of my hours have been spent organizing the herbarium. The goal is to get our herbarium up on a symbiota so it can be found by fellow researchers who might be wanting to herbarium research in our area. This is a long and tedious process, since each herbarium specimen needs to be entering manually into the symbiota, but it sure does give me something to do.
Other extras I have had the chance to do is help out with the greenhouse. The greenhouse has been neglected for about 2 years now and getting it up and running again takes a lot of work. Special measures have to be done to ensure everything is sanitized and ready to use. We also get to do a education outreach with the greenhouse for 6th graders from the nearby elementary school every other week. This is a good experience because it gives me skills in working with children and education.
Mussel surveys have been another task that filled my spare time. This was a nice change from other tasks I have been doing. The surveys would of been a great thing to do when Redding temperatures were out of control, but it was still cool to wade in the cool water and count native fresh water mussels that were fastened to the stream floor.
With one more week to go in my internship my emotions are feeling scrambled. I am excited to take my new found skills and apply them to other jobs in the future, but am also scared to leave the secure feeling I have here. I have made friends and I like my co-workers; I will be sad to leave them. Life will go on though and I am eager to see what comes next.
-Amanda, Redding BLM Field Office