Working in a National Park doesn’t always mean working outdoors! That was the case for me last week, as much of my time was spent at a computer. The great thing about living at a park however, is that you’re just steps away from trails after work and on weekends. In my spare time I have been enjoying the trails here at Capulin Volcano National Monument, getting exercise and birding all in one.
The reason I was indoors most of last week was because of special trainings I got to be part of. Two of the NPS regional GIS specialists came down to Capulin last week to teach a few classes, which was a really great opportunity for me to learn new skills. My previous experience using GPS and mapping involved a device called a Trimble and computer software called ArcGIS. The National Park Service is now moving away from those devices, and are instead opting to use apps installed on iPads or other tablets. I learned how to use Collector for ArcGIS and Survey123 for ArcGIS, and can see how they will make mapping easier and more efficient in the future. We were able to program new surveys that will make data collection with our hummingbird surveys a breeze! It was really great to see how the park service will be moving forward with technology and all of the great resources available to employees to utilize these new tools. It has been a busy week, with another busy week to come! Next week I will be spending 3 days at another park- Washita Battlefield in Cheyenne, Oklahoma. Can’t wait to share my new adventures!