The week was full of early mornings, learning, meeting new people, and learning new skills. I loved every bit of it! The focus has changed to willow plant ID, which has proven to be challenging, keeping me guessing still. These plants are very unique, but can cross-breed between different species. In Rocky Mountain there are five species of willow growing; some even create hybrids that express features of two possible willow types.

New work made it feel like week one all over again, and it has been great! Different projects keep the doors open for experience, new skills, and even adventure! At one point you are walking through an area that is very wet and marshy, and it will turn into small rolling hills of long matted grass, and even mud that threatens to steal your boots from your feet. It has been just as much fun walking to the willow sites as it was to learn about all the willow plants we would be studying!

Taking a stroll through the willows.

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Written by Alliyah Gifford
I lived in Pueblo, Colorado and completed my bachelor degree in Biology from Colorado State University-Pueblo. Through this university, I had the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica and work with sea turtles. That peaked my interest in traveling while lending a helping hand along the way. I love to be outside exploring and await new experiences and opportunities.