As the crisp weeks of fall in the Sierra roll on, I find myself reflecting on what a wonderful summer field season this internship has provided and look forward to adventures beyond CLM. Seed collections here at the Carson City BLM office are piling up as a new host of late season species go to seed. Sitting around 86 current collections, my team and I aim to knock out 14 more to hit our 100 collection goal within the last two weeks of our internship.
We are gearing up to make our last collections of Atriplex, Artemisia, Krascheninnikovia, Ericameria, and Chrysothamnus seed. These collections make up a set of species that flower in late summer and fruit in the fall. Luckily for us, chenopods, sage and rabbit brushes put on large amounts of easily collectible seed so these last several collections should go smoothly. We are also in the process of the wrapping up the year with data entry into the SOS Data Portal, verifying and labelling herbarium vouchers, and writing annual reports.
Earlier this month we had the amazing opportunity to attend a Rapid Vegetation Assessment/Relevé course at the Bodega Bay Marine Lab in California! Taking advantage of the trip to California, our team left early to explore San Francisco, Big Basin Redwoods State Park, and Angel Island. The training course was held by the California Native Plant Society as an overview to the official protocol for RVA/Relevé to determine the “Vegetation Type” of a stand. Vegetation types are used in mapping and designating conservation areas for critical habitat because they concisely describe vegetation communities and relevant ecosystem characteristics. The instructors were knowledgeable and made the course an enjoyable positive training!
I experienced so much more throughout my 9 months with the Carson City BLM than I ever imagined. From technical skills in plant identification and restoration ecology to ESR and NEPA work, the program exposed me to a range of work experience that will be extremely useful moving forward. Bittersweet goodbyes to the Great Basin and Sierras, but I’m confident that I’ll make it back soon. To all the future CLMers, good luck and enjoy!
Carson City District Office – BLM