Follow Me: SCA member blogs from the field

Follow Me is the place to read field dispatches from SCA members serving the planet all over the USA.

Generally, when we think of science we think of lab coats and test tubes. Sparkling, sterile laboratories where PhDs churn out new truths. At least when it comes to most environmental sciences this is not the case. While a large part of science will always take place in the lab, it has to start in the field.

Captures are the most interesting part of this job, and the best opportunity to improve wildlife field skills. We have done a few captures in the last two weeks. I was involved with two of them, Yellow 70 and Orange 66.

Yellow 70 was a 7-year old male bear that we put a radio collar on. And we finally captured bear 3565.

WOW! I cannot believe it has been a YEAR since I packed my bags, left the great state of Texas, and moved to Maryland to begin my SCA adventure at the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park.

Time really does fly by when you’re constantly learning, engaging in new activities, and truly enjoying your job.

Some weeks you’ve got to move boxes. Moving is one of those inevitably dreadful tasks that we all must undertake throughout our lives. It gets even more interesting when the stuff your moving isn’t yours and the stuff was packed by yet another person. That’s the situation we’ve been in this week up at Schoodic. Unfortunately the construction up here took longer than planned.

Monarch week has begun at Prairie Wetlands Learning Center! Four generations of monarchs have hatched this summer from their eggs on Minnesota’s milkweeds. The generation, which will be winging it to Mexico and other wintering sites, have emerged from their chrysalis on the prairie. Dozens can easily be found flitting from flower to flower as they fatten up on nectar before their flight.

Climbing Mount McKinley: The Program

The program was developed by an SCA intern a few years ago. It included a simulation of climbing Mount McKinley. One of the interpretation coaches wrote up her program into a “template” so that it could be presented by other interpreters after she left. The template was further developed last year by another SCA intern and a seasonal interpretation ranger.

The Minnesota Waterfowl Association’s annual Woodie Camp is taking place here at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center. For the first time this summer, the Center is abuzz with activity. Its dorms filled with campers, counselors and instructors. The campers are 13-15 year olds with an interest and some experience with waterfowl hunting.

Today we had the end of season barbeque where each department presents what they’ve accomplished for the year. I presented the brood survey portion of the power point. It was a pretty good feeling to share all that we’ve done this summer.

Base camp is where climbers begin their climb on Mount McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America at 20,320 ft. Base camp is at 7,200 ft on the Kahiltna Glacier. Denali National Park and Preserve Mountaineering Rangers from the Talkeetna Ranger Station are camped here during the climbing season from late April until early July.

There are so many random things going on right now in the world of Yosemite wildlife. Variety is the spice of life, and it is definitely keeping life exciting.

The bears are generally eating natural food sources right now, which is great. We have been watching them eat apples, blackberries, and scouring logs for insects. The apples are blooming but are not quite ripe for human consumption.

I’m not going to lie; I wasn’t all that excited about camping on Cape Island last Wednesday night. I mean sure, I probably should have been excited about going camping for the first time in my life. But the thunderstorms that were ripping through the area for the past two nights before this “life altering” camping trip were giving me second thoughts.

Well, now that we’ve gotten the first week of craziness out of the way, it’s time to circle back around to all of those little details like who I am and why this blog even exists.

I’ve had kind of circuitous route through the old education system to end up here in the SCA. I started out my college career at Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio studying wildlife sciences.

When I started my SCA position in August 2010 as a Volunteer Coordinator, I had no idea how critical volunteers were to the operations of the park service. They care for trails, assist visitors, keep the park clean, and a whole host of other things.

Well, I have about two weeks left at my site before I head back to the Lone Star state for school. I cannot believe how fast this summer went. I know I was saying that a month ago…but sheesh!

Some projects are winding down at the refuge as well. We started dove banding early in July and we have about two weeks left.

Going from a crew member to intern to now crew leader apprentice is tough enough but trying to balance being a leader while being a “friend” is even more difficult. But like all things involving SCA it is a challenge and I accepted it with a open mind.

My crew this year was built up of 10 wonderful strong-willed teenagers and two hard working crew leaders.

Hi, Everyone!

My name is Steven. This summer I have been in HOT-lanta and boy is it hot. My internship has been at the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s Southeast Regional Office in Atlanta working in Visitor Services and Outreach.

During my internship, I have had the opportunity to visit field sites throughout the region.

So I went hiking through the forest the other day on Bulls Island.

Beautiful is all I can say! I’ve never experienced such a place that was so beautiful and preserved in its original state. The way the trees bristled and the way the pines stretched for what seemed like miles above my head.

The Minnesota Odonata Survey, represented by its founder and most endearing expert, visited the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center (PWLC) this past Saturday. Kurt Mead, a master naturalist and author of the most comprehensive guides to Minnesota Dragonflies and Damselflies (Order Odonata) was holding a workshop on the refuge.

This week we have been focused on capturing an untagged sow and possibly her cubs. The sow has been getting in to packs and getting near developed areas too frequently. We would like to put a radio collar on the sow and at least tag the cubs.

Hello…my name is Whitney Kempfert and I am from Minnesootah. I grew up in the twin cities, but some of the best times in my life have been spent outdoors and in National Parks.

Pages