By Lydia Fahrenkrug
In the past two weeks, CNHP launched its Siegele internship program by attending three Bioblitzes. The first of these was in the recently designated Browns Canyon National Monument in Chaffee County. The following week, we co-hosted Bioblitzes at the Spring Valley and Rifle Ranches in Garfield County. A BioBlitz is an intensive period of biological surveying to find, identify, and record all the species within a designated area.
|Early morning birding by Delia Malone, Mary Harris, Maddie, Alyssa Meier, Lydia Fahrenkrug, and John Sovell (left to right) at Rifle Ranch Bioblitz, in Rifle, CO
At Browns Canyon, the six interns, Lydia Fahrenkrug, Alyssa Meier, Blaise Newman, Gary Olds, Tyler Stratman, and Brandi Thomas, along with Director Dave Anderson, Pam Smith, and Scott Kellman, had an amazing time surveying the diverse landscapes and using the opportunity to work together with many different organizations and professionals. Students gained hands-on experience in a variety of disciplines, such as small mammal trapping, plant identifying and collecting, birding, insect collecting, and bat surveying. It was exciting to collaborate with different professionals while students were introduced and helped to achieve the goals of a Bioblitz.
|Entering Browns Canyon National Monument for a full day of surveying, Chaffee Co.|
|Pam Smith, CNHP Botanist (left), works with CNHP intern, Brandi Thomas, (right) to identify plant in Browns Canyon National Monument, Chaffee Co.|
For the Spring Valley Bioblitz near Carbondale, students were introduced and assisted in data collection for a Modified Whittaker Plot and helped to implement a Picture Post, which allows citizen scientists to take pictures at 9 permanent orientations over time to support environmental monitoring. We learned about the climate monitoring site being installed by the Aspen Global Change Institute by Elise Osenga and Adam Korenblat. At the Rifle Ranch Bioblitz in Rifle, students explored a riparian area and they were surprised by the amount of species they found on this ranch property. Additionally, it was exciting to have interns from the Rocky Mountain Sustainability and Science Network (RMSSN) join CNHP and focus on pollinators at both of these ranches, and also to meet students and faculty from Colorado Mountain College who helped out at Spring Valley. At both ranches, we documented birds with the Roaring Fork Audubon Society, and learn about the ranches from the owners, John Powers and Jana Six. From the Bioblitzes, students learned valuable skills and gained important experience that will help leverage their field projects through the summer.
|Implementation of Picture Post at Spring Valley Bioblitz, in Carbondale, CO by Adam Korenblat, Tyler Stratman, Blaize Newman, and David Anderson (left to right).|