Written By: Randi Trantham
Hi everyone! My name is Randi and I was recently brought on to the Native Plant Materials Program as a Botany Intern. I am originally from Las Cruces, New Mexico where I attended New Mexico State University and received my BS in Biology with my main focus being on plant science. Meanwhile, I worked at a fisheries lab studying the White Sands pupfish. While on this project I was tasked with creating a protocol for measuring riparian and aquatic plant growth at our field sites. After graduating I went on to get my MS in Curriculum & Instruction for Secondary Science Education. After completing my Master’s my husband and I took jobs as science teachers in Buckeye, AZ. When we left Buckeye and moved to Patagonia I knew I wanted to use my science background again and began actively looking to work with Borderlands.
I am almost a third of the way through with my internship and so far I have gotten to do some pretty awesome stuff. I spend part of my time at the Seed Lab learning to clean and package different types of seed (some more persistent seeds of which I still find in my clothing). The majority of my time is spent at the BR Nursery learning different techniques and practices to grow native plants. Specifically about native plants that we are growing in the greenhouse and the conditions in which they thrive in the wild. In the last few weeks, I have been learning to collect some springtime seeds and how to take cuttings from various plants.
After leaving teaching my mental health was a little beaten up. Teaching is hard! In no rush to return to the field of education I began searching for a job that would use my research background. During my adult life I became concerned with the state of our environment and this became something that was very important to me personally. I love that besides trying to live differently at home in small ways, I also get to make small (but great) differences through my job. I have seen small glimpses of the projects and goals that Borderlands strives towards and I look forward to experiencing them myself. Besides the rewarding work that I have been able to be a part of, the people I work with are so wonderful. I can truly say that I love the people at the Native Plant Materials Program. Everyone I have had the pleasure of working with has been extremely kind and helpful. This really is a great place to work and turned out to be exactly what I needed. :)
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