Phoenix Field School week three – Intro to BLM


We started off week three with our first real day of school at Phoenix College. It was a nice rainy day, such a treat for Phoenix, but not so good for watching birds, which we were supposed to do for biology. We were still able to listen to bird calls and learn ten common Arizona birds including the mourning dove and the red tailed hawk. We also saw a cool frog and found out you can take a picture through binoculars for a nice zoom.Tuesday we got to meet a lot of nice people at the BLM and learn about the different jobs they have to offer. Pamela put on a media training so we will be prepared to talk about our program and the mission of the BLM to reporters and the general public. We also met Jeff from the Cadastral Survey Department, and we even got a behind the scenes look at the law enforcement room. Wednesday we went out to Table Mesa with ranger Jeff. We closed off some roads to prevent ATVs from damaging important desert habitat. We built fences and relocated plants to hide the roads so hopefully no one tries to drive on them again.On Thursday we had a nice offroad adventure to get to Boulder Creek where BLM biologist Cody introduced us to MIM protocols – a surveying technique to monitor riparian areas. That evening we headed over to Horseshoe Ranch. On the way, we saw a rattlesnake stretched out on the road. We were able to camp out on some nice cool grass for the night at the ranch. The next morning consisted of a lot of dirt shoveling for a pond restoration project. It felt good to do some solid work in a beautiful place.