Sunday, November 7, 2010

Spotted Owl Study 11/6/10

Ginny Sednek is currently an orienteer on our Spotted Owl project in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in California.  Her job as an orienteer is to help navigate while out hiking with handlers, Jennifer and Liz with CK9s, Max and Sampson.  She is also responsible for collecting any owl pellets Sampson or Max locates.  Ginny has worked at our kennels in Washington in the past, and we are happy to welcome her back to the Pack as a member of the CK9 Spotted Owl team.  Below is her first impression of being on a project with our fun loving and hard working dogs:

Week 1:

This is the first week I have been working with the Conservation Canines on a Northern Spotted Owl study in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in Northern California. I have experienced a wide range of emotions thus far: excitement, apprehension, self doubt, happiness, exhaustion, pain, exhilaration, and determination (just to name a few!). The terrain can be terrifying at times and peaceful in others. It is hard work, but at the end of the day I am always proud of what I have accomplished. I am learning many new skills, such as working with an I-Paq and using ArcPad as well as brushing up on my orienteering (map, compass, and GPS) and hiking abilities. One of the best parts about the job is watching Max and Sampson work. They are ‘the’ Conservation Canines, expertly trained to seek out owl pellets for a reward to play ball! They have so much energy and heart, it just reminds me to keep going and stay positive. Another thing that keeps me going is my imagination. I’m a Lord of the Rings fan and I feel like a hobbit most of the time, or Gollum when I am scrambling over rocks on my hands and knees. I just think of the hobbits when they are following Aragorn (in the movie) and Sam says: ‘Where is he taking us?’ Aragorn replies: ‘Into the wild.’ If only I had remembered to pack my Hobbit costume..... (seriously, I wore it 3 years in a row).

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