I have a lot of appreciation for Utah deserts and I feel very spoiled to live in such a beautiful place. So last year, at the beginning of the pandemic, I decided to take the opportunity of being “stuck” at home to learn a little bit more about the places I like to go to run, climb and camp.
I joined the “Utah Master Naturalist” desert program with the state university. It’s a great course to learn more about the geology, history and ecology of Utah deserts. Last week, I wrapped-up the program in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument with naturalists, geologists, archeologists and paleontologists from the BLM and the USGS. It was incredibly awesome to spend a few days with these experts and learn from them.
I am still far from being knowledgeable but the program taught me the importance of cultivating curiosity, and encouraged me to take the time to slow down and be more mindful about what’s around me.
I am not sure what’s next, but I am hoping to give back some of my time working with the BLM paleontology department in the fall, to work on excavation sites.