U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Cryptic Lizards & Crazy Heat: It's intern time in El Centro!
Seven student interns from American Conservation Experience (ACE) are spending their summer monitoring Flat-tail horned lizards (FTHL) in the sweltering deserts surrounding El Centro. The interns, all coming from home states with much higher humidity, are getting a taste of “it’s a dry heat…” Adrienne Savrin, from Georgia, still thinks it’s pretty hot. “So far, the experience for all of us has been awesome. We are enjoying how much we are learning despite the extreme desert heat!” Today’s forecast: 116°F.
A typical day starts early to avoid the worst heat, with the interns walking transects in two teams of three looking for the elusive lizard. Once a lizard is captured, size, weight and age are recorded, and adult lizards are tagged with a Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT). Data collected is later analyzed to help determine the viability of the species.
The interns exemplify BLM El Centro’s youth initiative to build career pathways for tomorrow’s resource professionals. They’ll use their time here to boost their resumes, gain research experience, and learn how government agencies work. Enthusiastic, upbeat and charming, this group is well on its way to success.
- Joya Szalwinski, Interpretive Park Ranger, BLM El Centro Field Office (July 11, 2012)