Every early-career scientist needs this, and our Internship Program provides it

By Michel Wiman August 2019 ‘Experience required.’ Look through any science or land management job board and these words will be there, usually in the Minimum Qualifications section. The experience required for most permanent land management and ecology positions often includes field techniques and real-life data collection. So what’s a recent graduate to do for […]

Welcome to Table Rocks, may I take your order?

By Cia Crowe and Eva Brod June 2019 Have you ever been so hungry that nearly everything around you reminds you of food? Well, that is exactly what happened to our crew while on top of Upper and Lower Table Rocks near Medford, Oregon this April. During our daily hikes up the steep switchbacks, throughout […]

Meet the 2019 Conservation Research Interns!

by Miranda Geller May 2019 IAE 2019 Conservation Research Program Interns Eva, Erica, Cia, Rose and Crew Lead Miranda started on a typical gloomy spring day in Oregon, and have since been settling in and learning about what the season will bring for them. Eva, Cia, and Miranda will be traveling all over Oregon—from the […]

In search of the next generation of ecologists

By Denise Giles February 2019 It is always with a sense of excitement that we sort through applications looking for the team of seasonal interns that will contribute to our research, monitoring and restoration efforts. After 10 years of contributing to this process, I am always invigorated by the interest and passion for the natural […]

Botanizing in the Oregon Outback

Written by Nadav Mouallem and Clarissa Rodriguez May 2018 This season IAE has expanded into new territory, with a crew based in Lakeview, OR. Unlike the lush forests west of the Cascades, Lakeview sits on the edge of Oregon’s high desert country and aptly calls itself “The Tallest Town in Oregon” (at elevation of 4,800 […]

Get to know the 2018 Conservation Research crew!

By Lisa Schomaker, Mary McKean, and Michelle Yasutake May 2018 With the many crews we have going this summer, it can get tough to keep track. We have crews focused on conducting surveys for Willamette daisy, Streaked horned larks, as well as crews conducting surveys for a variety of species throughout Oregon. There are lots […]

Tramplers, Stumblers and Rollers: Observations from our first 2 weeks as interns

By Samantha Hooper and Mary McKean May 1, 2018 The first two weeks of Conservation Research field work were an immersion in the spectacularly interconnected landscape of Oregon’s native and exotic plant life. We joined Andrew from IAE’s Habitat Restoration team at the West Eugene Wetlands for our first field day, where we mulched a […]

Calling all streaked horned larks!

By Monika Lapinski & Michel Wiman, March 2018 The streaked horned lark is native to Pacific Northwest grasslands, prairies and dunes. While the birds eat a wide variety of seeds and insects, it is a ground-nesting bird, requiring very sparse vegetation free of trees and shrubs. Its historic range from British Columbia through southern Oregon […]

Going loco searching for LOCO!

–By Lucy Keehn

We have had many adventures during our Native Plant Society of Oregon internship.  In the first week of May, our crew rapidly expanded from the usual 5 to a lively 16, as we were joined in the field by our Executive Director, Tom Kaye, and 10 volunteers from all over Oregon, in order to monitor the population of the endangered Cook’s Desert Parsley (Lomatium cookii), also refereed to as LOCO. Cook’s Desert Parsley is closely related to Lomatium bradshawii, which is an endangered Apiaceae found only in the Willamette Valley. The Institute for Applied Ecology (IAE) has been involved with monitoring the species, habitat, and community at this location for more than 20 years, in partnership with the Medford Bureau of Land Management (BLM) District. It was exciting to be able to contribute to such a long-lasting project that so many people have invested much time and care.

IAE/NPSO Interns, Lucy and Nadav, monitoring Cook's desert parsley at Reeve's Creek.

We worked in the Illinois Flats, one of the remaining two population centers of the endangered Cook’s Desert Parsley (the other is north of Medford Plains) (Kagan, 1994). Cook’s Desert Parsley is a small and inconspicuous plant when not flowering; its leaves are narrow and compoundly divided, easily hiding among surrounding vegetation.

The vegetation can be so hard to find, it often means monitoring on your hands and knees with your nose almost in the soil. Sometimes it would take waiting for a small breeze to reveal the hidden Cook’s lomatium, which dips and bends in the wind in contrast to the shaking grasses. Besides being glad to see healthy reproductive plants, we were happy that the creamy yellow umbels made the plants much easier to spot! Thankfully, the icy Illinois River, Deer Creek, and the Cave Junction Dairy Queen were nearby to reward the hot search with a cold treat!

We took a field trip one evening to see the Darlingtonia californica in bloom at 8 Mile Mountain; definitely a highlight of this summer. These incredible carnivorous plants grow in the slowly flowing water of the fen and source nutrients from the rotting insects that fall into their hollow stalk. The insects are lured into the hood by the light shining through the translucent “windows” in the ceiling of hood. Confused by the light, they tumble into the stalk where small downward-pointing hairs prevent them from escaping. The flower of the Darlingtonia is one of the most menacing I have ever seen- the drooping dark purplish-red petals enclosed by large yellow sepals definitely looked the part of a carnivorous plant!

This trip was a great opportunity to tap the impressive collective knowledge of the volunteer crew; we learned from the birding expertise of Marcia, Marisa and Sandy, about Oregon botany from Cindy and our BLM partner Julie, about distance biking in Oregon from the power-couple Wendie and Mike, and about the power of enthusiasm and good vibes from Don. Of course, we also all learned about how to relax at the Siskiyou Field Institute like a true “Duke” from the John Wayne cutout! Thanks to all of the volunteers who endured the heat with us, and to the Siskiyou Field Institute for hosting us at such a beautiful base-camp!

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The Land of Milkvetch and Honey bees

–By Nadav MouallemFor the ninth week of our Native Plant Society of Oregon internship (June 5-9), the Conservation Research field crew traveled to Vale, OR, to monitor Astragalus mulfordiae (we refer to it as ASMU), or Mulford’s milkvetch. Although we were already a seasoned field crew at this point, this trip was like no other. […]

Adventures of an IAE/NPSO Intern

— By Abbie Harold As a Native Plant Society of Oregon Intern with the Conservation Research Program at the Institute for Applied Ecology (IAE) we travel to remote corners of Oregon that are home to rare and endangered plants, some of which are endemic to Oregon. Many of the locations we visit are areas of […]

Welcome 2017 Conservation Research Interns!

On April 9, Conservation Research welcomed our new crew of interns: Lucy Keehn, Abbie Harold, and Nadav Mouallem! We have already put them to work, and they have gained valuable experience planting Kincaid’s lupine in Douglas county and monitoring Bradshaw’s lomatium in the West Eugene Wetlands. Lucy graduated from Oberlin College with a B.A. in […]

Table Rocks LIPUPU closeup S.Carter

Table Rocks Rocks!

For our first trip of the field season, we visited Table Rocks outside of Medford, Oregon to study Limnanthes pumila ssp. pumila, or dwarf woolly meadowfoam, a threatened endemic species that relies on vernal pool habitat. Table Rocks consists of two plateaus formed by volcanic activity and shaped by erosion. The trails up to the plateaus wind through oak savanna which is home to many different species, including Cooper's hawk, turkey vulture, lark sparrow, and wild turkey that we observed on our hikes. Once you reach the plateaus, you are surrounded by a magnificent wildflower display and a plethora of busy pollinators, and can enjoy a spectacular view of Mount McLoughlin.

Table Rocks LIPUPU closeup S.Carter

This is a mature dwarf woolly meadowfoam after it has blossomed.

Table Rocks species cheat sheet S.Carter

We monitored plant communities, which involved challenging grass identification.

Table Rocks crew S.Carter

The crew on top of Lower Table Rock after a long, steep hike.

Table Rocks Camassia S.Carter

A blanket of camas along the trail.

Table Rocks little botanist S.Carter

A young amateur botanist that we met. He enthusiastically pointed out flowers to his mom!

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A remaining vernal pool at Lower Table Rock. A home to dwarf woolly meadowfoam as well as fairy shrimp, frogs, and diving beetles!

Table Rocks elk grazing A.Frietag

We saw evidence of elk grazing on wild onion and other plants.

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A spectacular view of Mount McLoughlin from Upper Table Rock.

We really enjoyed getting to know each other on our first trip and learning about the vernal pool ecosystems at Table Rocks!

Conservation Research Adventures to the Desert

In June we said goodbye to our Corvallis western Oregon home and set out for a long day of traveling to Vale, Oregon on the eastern part of the state to monitor Astragalus mulfordiae, or Mulford’s milkvetch. Although the journey was long, it was a beautiful sight to watch the greens of the Cascades turn […]

The Great Fork Migration of 2015

For sometime now, the fork population at the Institute for Applied Ecology has enjoyed a relatively stable and consistent biannual migration, where these lovely eating utensils disappear for some months usually correlating with the start of the field season, and return with the end of the field season.This season however has been markedly different from […]