Going through orientation with all the new forest service employees brought me back to training in San Diego! The difference being that it was colder, wetter, and the EFTA crew was missing (those were the days!). Getting to know all the new faces was fun, too bad there was little downtime in between training to do so. We all had gotten to meet each other at the bunkhouses, but it took awhile for names and jobs to sink in. Not only did we have to learn that, but orientation was chock-full of so many introduction lessons, lectures, and mandatory PowerPoints that I thought I was never getting out in the field again! Since I have been around for a couple of months now, I had to sit through some of these talks for a second time. It seemed like forever to be sitting down but luckily, I had plenty of coffee to keep me going. I don’t know what I’d do without a good cup o’ joe in the morning…
Eventually we got around to paddle boat training and we were able to step out of the classroom for some hands-on training. The wildlife and fish crew were present at this training and we split into small groups to practice gearing up and getting into the water. The day was one of the nicest I’ve seen here so far, which made for a good day out in the lake. We practiced riding around poke boats (kayak-like rafts) and we also rehearsed how to flip over a canoe in the water. The dry suits that we wore made the difference between being freezing cold and comfortably floating in the cold lake.
After we went through most of the training, some of the wildlife crew got together to start prepping for dusky camp! This camp is where we base ourselves to work on nest island monitoring and maintenance for the season. These nests are prepared in hopes that Dusky Canada Geese will use them to improve the outcome of a successful nest. We brought supplies out to the area and prepared camp by setting up weather ports and tents for use later when the whole crew can come out. It was a good set of warm days and the time out there felt as if I was back in the lower 48 in a swamp! There was plenty of slough, mud, and bugs to make it feel super steamy inside waders and eventually people started to overheat. We were able to get the job done though and I’m excited to come back later in the month. It was fun to be on the airboat and Nick, the wildlife tech who piloted the airboat, was awesome at driving it out to camp. Good times!

Great view from the top of the stove!

Categories: 2017 Interns

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