I have 10 more weeks left in Boise, surveying the sagebrush. I am enjoying learning a lot about what this type of work (agricultural field research) is, but it can be quite monotonous and a little boring. My days are spent identifying and collecting plants in the baking sun, which is really just as fun as it sounds. I know the work is important, and I potentially want to have a career in field research, but the work is just plain difficult and physically demanding. A major challenge I see is combatting the boredom I experience out in the field, in addition to the loneliness I am feeling here in Boise. It’s difficult to be away from my UM friends! Luckily I work with a great group of people who make it all worth it, and I’m making friends with the other interns. I am experiencing many transitions and new experiences here – kind of a gauntlet – but I know I will come out of this a better person with much more knowledge of what my future career will be. It’s just a matter of diving into it all.
I am very excited to just simply learn more and more about the field – physically where I work and the field of agricultural science. As the summer wears on we will be moving to steadily higher elevations to do more data collection on the different plants that grow up there and that will be very interesting. I am always up for learning more about ecosystems and their dynamics, and my boss is a great resource for that. He’s pretty laid back but really smart, and I can ask him as many questions as I want and he knows the answers. Working out in Reynold’s Creek is definitely a different world and experience, and the research done out there is to benefit the people who live there – ranchers and their families. I know it’s important, but I’m learning that it’s not an area of research I want to go into. It’s a desolate place out in the sagebrush country, and I’m not very connected to the type of life that’s experienced out there. I’ve lived in cities all my life and have a certain impatience about me that’s not being satisfied with the monotony I’m experiencing here. But, the place really is gorgeous and like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I’m learning what science on the ground is like, and it’s an interesting experience.