Ever since coming to Arizona, I never expected to learn so much. I’ve learned to record data usefully and also how to go to caves often. Going to Mexico on the weekends has been a truly new experience from getting a haircut, to eating “choriqueso” tacos almost everyday. We have been learning to rate slopes with a new federal lands program called the Unstable Slope Management Program, which will be used to create a database of rated slopes all across the United States. This program will allow many parks to use data to compare and estimate the cost of repairing different roads along steep slopes that maybe affected by rockfalls, or soil liquefaction. My supervisor Jessica has been very helpful and has showed me all around southeast Arizona, from telling me about where to shop, along with identifying the bug that bit my face while I was sleeping. (Thanks Jessica)
With the program we have learned to rate slopes on many different parameters such as instability, stability, and degree of slope. This program will be very helpful for Coronado National Memorial, since it will allow us to get an estimate of how much it would cost to fix up roads in the park. Overall, I have learned many new things about the park and cannot wait until we finish with the rest of the roads to start doing the trails ,which will take a longer time since they are in pretty treacherous areas. The best part of the internship has been going to caves to place humidity loggers to measure the moisture inside the caves. We have gone to three different caves, two of which are unmarked and were part of failed mines, or moonshine distilleries from the 1930’s. There’s many more caves around the park which are closed to the public, but we will be going to check for micro-climate research and water quality studies.