Field Work Adventures

A review of my Field Season

As my internship progressed, so did the field season and I got to venture out into the field more often.  I worked closer with my fellow Monarch Joint Venture (MJV) team and specifically with those of us focused on Western habitat. Throughout the summer I had the opportunity to visit landowners that participated in our Monarchs & More Western Habitat Program (M&MWHP). Which provides free, or highly subsidized, CA native wildflower seeds and milkweed plugs, in order to establish habitat for pollinators. I visited sites all over the Central Valley here and California, and was always amazed at what I came by. 

Surveys

Once at these sites, I took standardized photos so as to have a comparison in future visits, and performed general Integrated Monarch Monitoring Program (IMMP) census surveys. The sites greatly varied in size and condition, but I was always greeted by a friendly face, curious to know more about pollinator habitats and the monarch butterfly. For these surveys, I looked for blooming plant and pollinator biodiversity and asked general questions about maintenance of the site. Once surveyed, I informed the landowner of my findings and gave tips for management of their sites. I was inspired coming out to see not only the sites, but the quality people that work in agriculture and recognize the need to incorporate sustainable practices into their land stewardship. And they are very passionate about it! 

Conclusion

It has been an illuminating experience to see how we bridge the gap of agriculture and the environmental sector, and move towards habitat connectivity. In general, I was truly amazed at everything I am learning. And blown away by the potential our society has for ecological restoration if we continue to overlap these types of outdoor work. Although the jobs may seem odd to the average person, this line of work is crucial (and rewarding, may I add) to better understanding our ever changing environment. Personally, it is satisfying to say that my line of work does not feel like just a job, but rather a passion I get paid for.  So if it has ever crossed your mind, I encourage the venture of outdoor field work!






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