July 7, 2023
After a very long week at fire school, we are back at the Starker office this week. As much as I enjoyed last week, I’m excited to get back to see what some normal weeks at Starker look like.
On Monday, Emily, Sabrina and I went out with Fred to work on cruising. I had never done it before and while it was definitely a lot of information to take in, it wasn’t as hard as I thought. I thought we were going to have to measure every tree in a stand and that is not the case. It is more like four to eight trees per plot.
For a measure plot we get the height, DBH (diameter breast height), crown percentage, and defect of each tree within the BAF (basal area factor). The BAF changes for each stand so we can make sure we only get the number of trees we need. For a count plot we just get the DBH and defect for each tree.
Basal area describes the average amount of an area (usually an acre) occupied by tree stems.
We had Tuesday off for the 4th of July, which was nice as it made the week feel a lot shorter.
On Wednesday, we got Kathy and Anthony back; they had taken Monday off. While they went out with Fred, Emily, Sabrina, and I went out with Reece. We learned how to recheck stands. For the plots we went to, we had to change the BAF because there weren’t enough trees in the old one. This experience really let me know what I need to work on, which for me is getting the heights of the trees.
On Thursday, Joseph returned from vacation and now there are six of us again. Today was a big step for us as we all were sent out to cruise on our own. Sabrina and I were partnered so we worked together on our plots.
While working the first plot, we got our first experience with bees. As I was walking away from the plot center, I accidentally walked right by a big nest that had fallen out of a tree at some point. I’m definitely lucky I didn’t walk right into it.
On Friday we’re supposed to go out with Fred to check the stands that we did on Thursday. I’m a little nervous to see the results but I’m just hoping we didn’t do awful. Whatever the results are, I’ll at least be able to find out what I need to work on.
Update from Fred: they “slayed” it.
Tonight, is the Philomath rodeo and some of us interns are planning on going to watch. Two Starker employees are supposed to be participating in a donkey race! I’m a backup and I’m not sure whether I want someone to change their mind or not.