BLM California News.bytes 
News.bytes Extra, issue 539

Cryptic Lizards & Crazy Heat:  It's intern time in El Centro!

interns closely examine a lizard
Got one!  Interns record data and tag a flat-tailed horned lizard.

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.

interns pose against a pickup truck
Heading out for another day (in no particular order) are Joshua Pierce (MN), Corey Cates (TX), Pierce Holland (HI), Adrienne Savrin (GA), Nick Tosto (GA), and Emily Willard (NC).  Not pictured is Data Intern Brandon Zimmerman (NY).

- Joya Szalwinski, Interpretive Park Ranger, BLM El Centro Field Office (July 11, 2012)

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 539 -- To subscribe to News.bytes, send an e-mail to: OR visit our News.bytes subscription page.