After over 300 hours of service, at least 15 large bags trail mix, 6 weeks of surveying, 5 delicious burrito dinners, 4 small-team projects, 3 big-team projects, and 1 spectacular final presentation, we have arrived at the end of LANDS. Gazelle now sits quietly, relieved from her load of nine giddy interns and bearing only the faintest traces of field-work aromas. The final reports lay proudly stacked, a glossy testament to a successful and productive summer.
Admittedly, endings have a way of tinting our perspective with rose-colored glasses. And admittedly, this ending is no different. The getting-lost-in-the-wilderness, the extended bouts of bushwhacking, the constant battle with mosquitoes all pale in comparison to what was gained: learning about interesting plants, traveling through Vermont’s beautiful landscape, working in the conservation field. The experience has been rich, to say the least – replete with good intentions, hard work, and excellent company.