The Grand Canyon National Park (GRCA) is definitely grand. At the South Rim we sit at 7,000 feet above sea level, so coming from a town that is right at sea level has been an adjustment for me. Altitude sickness is a real thing! However, the views and experiences so far are worth it.

My first two weeks at the park were a blast! I have already learned so much, met so many new people and explored numerous places along the South Rim. My supervisors, mentors, and other colleagues have made me feel exceptionally welcomed here and I am grateful for that. Just this week I have worked on seed collecting and seed cleaning, monarch and milkweed monitoring, and attended several meetings with different stakeholders in this region including the USFWS and the USGS!

Being here for a short amount of time, I realized that the Grand Canyon is not somewhere where you visit for a couple hours, take a quick picture and then head to lunch. The Grand Canyon is an experience that you must stay longer to explore further. That is how you will truly appreciate it. Within a couple of weeks I will have the opportunity to visit the North Rim and do some field work and camping there, then I will visit Dinosaur National Monument and go on a river mission, surveying for monarchs and milkweed. By the end of my internship, I will hike into the canyon and explore its majesty through rafting the Colorado river. I can’t wait!

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