A Warm Texan Welcome to Big Bend National Park

Yesterday I flew in to Midlands Airport where David Larson, Chief of Resource Management, picked me up and shortly thereafter (about 4 hours later; short by Texan standards) arrived at Panther Junction in Big Bend National Park. The Texan landscape is very interesting. It reminds me of Miami in some ways and southern California in others. The heat has been intense, but not yet as bad as I know it often gets. I grew up in Miami and now live just outside Los Angeles, so I’m no stranger to heat. Bring it on, Texas. I’m still recovering from a 13+ hour time difference as I’m just getting back from Southeast Asia, where I was at a conference workshop in Singapore and then traveling around the region for a bit. The late-setting sun here is going to be throwing me off for a few days yet, I imagine, but I’m really excited to be here. My work for the summer if focused on cooperative US-Mexican conservation efforts on the border and in the greater Chihuahuan desert region. I’ll be directly contributing to the establishment of shared monitoring protocols and binational resource management plans. After day one on the job, I’ve already got a lot of fun projects to start tackling. Today I jumped right into things at the office. Two conference calls with CONANP (the Mexican NPS equivalent) officials and several hours of pouring over documents of previous US-Mexican collaboration later, and I have an idea of what the next few weeks will look like. Stay tuned …

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