Being from the east, the idea of a high elevation desert is hard to imagine. After a full day of flying and a long drive to the park, the sight of the Klamath Basin with the miles of views of buttes, junipers, sage brush made it all worth it. Once I finished moving in and ate some awesome Mexican food from the nearby Klamath Falls, I got to appreciate the incredible sunset in the park for the first time.

My first sunset at Lava Beds National Monument.

On my first day, I was introduced to my team: two Geoscientist-in-Parks interns and the Natural Resource Program Manager. I got oriented with the park by visiting the Visitor’s Center and exploring two caves. I learned that Lava Beds National Monument also runs World War 2 Valor in the Pacific National Monument-Tulelake Unit, which is the site of Japanese internment camps and incarceration centers in 1943. As a Japanese-American, I was emotional and honored to have the opportunity to walk through that site. I loved that this part of history is one that I get to explore through the summer and get to experience a direct connection with my heritage.

I was given some gear for work including: caving helmet, 3 headlamps, knee pads, and gloves.

That evening, our team got a chance to assist in mist netting bats to test for presence of white nose syndrome in the park. It was a late night, but getting to hold my first bat and working within the quiet, rugged setting was memorable. Take a look at some of the Little Brown Bats we caught!

Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus). Photo courtesy of Brian Anschel.

A Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus) was captured in the mist nets on the park. Photo courtesy of Brian Anschel.

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