Branching Out; Moving into the Coniferous Forest

Let me start this blog entry with a huge thank you to Krissa Skogen and Marian Hofherr for a wonderful training week at the Grand Canyon. As part of one of the SOS teams with an early start date, it was questionable as to whether Drew and I were going to training week since we had received SOS training in March. But, I am really glad that we got the opportunity since there was a lot more to learn and really great people to meet. The Grand Canyon was gorgeous (of course!) and there were so many opportunities to hike, enjoy the sunset/sunrise, and spend time with fellow CLM interns. Plus, it was really helpful for job planning to learn about the various government agencies that commonly employ botanists and wildlife biologists.

Sunrise at the Grand Canyon

Back at work after the 4th of July weekend, seed collecting has become slim-pickings due to the heat and high speed winds that have been blasting the desert and its flora. There are only two collecting trips left before the August/September lull and we will be collecting Larrea tridentata, Krameria sp., and Eriogonum fasiculatum. By the end of these trips, our seed collection count will be around 100 collections, which isn’t too shady when our goal for the season was set at 50 collections. Later, in November, it will be time to monitor and collect some of the common Atriplex sp. that seed in the fall.

At the Iron Mountains with Tommy and Josh

With SOS collecting finishing up, the team is getting involved with floristic surveys that the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (RSABG) has been contracted to do in the San Bernadino Mountains. This means that the team will split up and get mixed in with ever changing small groups of garden staff that get sent out to the various locations under survey. It will be a great opportunity to experience floristic survey work, learn new plants in a new environment, and work with various RSABG staff and interns.

San Bernadino Mountains

– Jackie McConnaughy

SOS Intern at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, Claremont, CA