Showing posts from May, 2011

Jackson, Wyoming, Part 1

This is my home for the next 3 months.
I'm working as the GIS intern at the Conservation Research Center branch of the Teton Science Schools. My office is in a suite of brand new "high performance" facilities (this term is how you disguise "sustainable" and "green" in red states)...
 ...and there is a short hike on the property that rewards you with this view:

In the past couple days I have seen 9 otters, 2 moose, a herd of elk, and a herd of bison. There's a raven nesting on my office building, and new and exciting birds are all over the place.
I'll be working mainly in the office, preparing maps and reports for environmental consulting projects relating to land management recommendations and habitat inventories. I wish I was out in the field a bit more, but an office job certainly has its perks, like a regular sleep schedule. I'm living with 7 other seasonal interns who are all very much into birding, hiking, camping, and cooking. This shoul…


I toured the University of Wisconsin, Madison, yesterday, in hopes of joining a graduate program in landscape ecology and conservation next fall. The campus has a very cool vibe, there is a street much like Burlington’s Church Street (complete with a Dobra Tea, in fact), and the folks in my potential research lab are fascinating and enthusiastic. I had a lovely day speaking with the professors, post-docs, grad students, and university representatives today, as well as a great bike ride along the edge of the lake that borders the school, and a nice dinner and drink on the outdoor waterfront dining terrace at the edge of campus. I felt quite at-home on campus, probably because Madison reminded me so much of Burlington. 

I then drove 11 hours (750 miles) from Madison to western Nebraska. Technically I’m still in the country, but the last few hours were… unfamiliar: 
I had to provide an ID for my motel room, and the girl saw my strange vertical ID and said “you guys are gay.” She was refer…

New York

Not all parking signs in New York City are this obvious. -$300, Do not pass Go (until you collect your vehicle from the impound at Pier 76).

Aside from this incident, just had a wonderful day in NYC with Michelle, and stumbled into a stellar warbler migration fallout in Central Park.

The World Series of Birding!

Hello! I am finally on the move again. I'm heading out west to Jackson, Wyoming to start a seasonal job in the Grand Tetons at the end of this month. I'm stopping at several places along the way, my first being at the 27th annual World Series of Birding in Cape May, New Jersey. If you have never heard of this (and if you're not a birder, you would have no reason to), this vintage Daily Show clip does a strangely accurate report on this event.

This Woodstock of birdwatching is absolute nerdvana. Binoculars with shoulder straps, spotting scopes in the middle of the night, shouting at crows in strangers' backyards, hooting at the empty woodside in hopes of eliciting a response from an owl, dancing around in a crowded snackbar parking lot while cheering about Parasitic Jaegers. Basically 24 hours of people starting out pretty strange and becoming increasingly insane as the hours draw on. After 12 hours of scouting, 3 hours of sleep, then 23 more hours of game-day birding,…