At the end of my first week in the Park, I have a handle on the two main projects I’ll be woking on this summer. The first project will be an anthology of all the research done in RMNP about the limber pine, a five-needle-bundled pine tree also known as the Rocky Mountain white pine.  The history of research of the limber pine within the Park has spanned many years and a breadth of topics, such as how blister rust has affected the tree in recent years.  My second project focuses on a phenology of Lily Lake, a publicly accessible lake within the Park.  The goal of the project is to develop a survey for park-goers to answer questions about the seasonal changes of certain plants around the lake to help ecologists determine if the seasonal changes are shifting in time because of climate change. Overall, both projects are helping the park with its mission “to preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of national parks for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.”

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