My name is Emma Thompson and I am a Summer 2021 CNHP Siegele Intern. I am an out-of-state student from Ohio, and I am a fourth year majoring in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and minoring in Spanish at CSU. Before this internship, I did not know much about field research or how projects operate. Over the course of the season, I received so much support from my different mentors each week in exploring and learning about the different topics our projects focused on. It was an absolute pleasure being a part of the team and working in the field with them all across Colorado. I have learned so much about keying plants, how to organize field work operations, botany as a career, and the characteristics of Colorado’s different ecosystems. This summer was great exposure to apply what I have learned in my classes to my work out in the field.
One of my favorite highlights from the summer, shown above, was during the Rollins Pass BioBlitz. A bioblitz is a sort of jamboree of scientists and community members conducting an intense biological survey of a given area over a certain period of time in an attempt to record all the living species there.
On the last day we held an Education Day where we invited the public to come learn about what we had found during the Bioblitz. One of the stations we had set up was a Mosses & Lichen tent led by one of the bryologists, Stacey Anderson.
The BioBlitz was my first exposure to bryology (the study of mosses and liverworts) in practice, and I was enthralled with the world of bryophytes. So, I soaked up as much as I could about this field of science from the presentations the bryologists shared and the activities they had prepared for us to practice our keying skills.
From listening to their explanations, I became very comfortable with discussing the different types of bryophytes and some of their amazing fun facts! To the point where during the Education Day, Stacey had asked me to lead the Mosses & Lichen tent while she took a lunch break. I was honored that she provided me with an opportunity to put to practice what I had been learning that week in this outreach setting.
I would like to take a moment to thank you all personally for awarding me with the opportunity to be a Siegele Intern this summer season, and for hosting part of my undergrad education. The skills that I have learned out in the field this summer will stay with me moving forward in my journey. Thank you all so much for all that you have done for me! I look forward to keeping in touch and staying a part of the CNHP family!