At Lava Beds even walking through the sage brush and juniper is a learning experience. From scoping out eagle’s nests to scrambling over lava rock to find a cave to inventory vegetation, to setting up acoustic monitors, everything in this desert is fascinating. Since my internship is bat related, I have been having tons of fun learning about the behavior of bats and getting ready to give public programs about bats! I spent most of last week on studying the North American Bat Monitoring Program and learning the ins and outs of two types of acoustic monitors, how to deploy them in the field, and how to process their data.
Then there are the things that your supervisors didn’t teach you, like using more lip balm, lotion, and drinking more water than usual because otherwise you look and sound like a dried sponge. The awe of finding another cave when you are in the back country going to a site and realizing that there is 800 more throughout the park. Also learning that the seasonals here are more like a funny, awesome family than just any other group of co-workers. and always bring a jacket everywhere because low humidity makes you cold and finally, share coffee with your team. The small parts I learn everyday add a deeper level of meaning to my internship. Every park has its own adventure and Lava Beds is one that is refreshing, scented with sage and desert sweet.