Getting Used to the Guadalupe Mountains

Getting Used to the Guadalupe Mountains

Hello! I’m Ivan Bossert, and this summer I’ll be working as a biology assistant at Guadalupe Mountains National Park (GUMO) in Salt Flat, Texas, which I’m supremely excited about. My main focus will be assessing different threatened and endangered species, both animals and plants, in the park.

But I can explain that later. Let’s talk about me.

I recently graduated with degrees in biology and Spanish from Truman State University in northeastern Missouri. On the drive to the park, my car’s AC stopped making cold air, so I had the windows down for the last 8ish hours, which made it hard to hear the audiobook I was trying to listen to. It did help me get used to the heat, though, so even though I was sweaty, I wasn’t surprised when I stepped out into the desert.


A flowering New Mexico Agave by a trail in the park

The park is an hour away from the nearest town, so there’s plenty of time to do things that usually need to be planned in advance. I’ve been able to go on a few hikes to familiarize myself with the park and its features. The wildlife is pretty easy to spot if you keep your eyes open: So far, I’ve seen snakes, lizards, spiders, mule deer, and so many birds. As easy as they are to see, it’s a lot harder to get a good photo of them, so I will forever be the only witness. But there are lots of other things to take pictures of. This is a good time to mention my love of the self-timer feature on most cameras. Something I really like to do is take self-timer pictures of myself (that sounds very conceited of me), so if you keep up with me this summer, you might see few of those.


An accidentally artsy self-timer shot from my first hike

I haven’t been here for a week yet, but it feels like much longer. Here are 3 things from my first few days that have made me smile:

1. On the tour of the facilities, I met the park personnel who are all very nice, but more importantly I met the office cat. Her name is McCattrick (named after McKittrick Canyon, an area of the park).

2. They gave me my own office?! Complete with a rolling office chair and a big ol’ desk. I’ll have to buy some books to fill the shelves, so I look even more official.       


Me in my office. The power is going to my head already

3. The view from anywhere in the park is outstanding.


A neat evening view

So far, the park has made a great first impression. I can’t wait to get settled in and really start working. I feel like there’s so much for me to learn, but I guess it’s not always a good thing to think you know everything. Anyway, thanks for reading! Until next time.

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