Updates From the Field

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement Policy Update

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In accordance with The Great Basin Institute’s duty and commitment to provide and maintain a workplace that is free of known hazards, we are adopting a companywide policy requiring COVID-19 vaccinations. We take this action with deep consideration of the importance of individually held rights and beliefs in order to safeguard the health of our employees, AmeriCorps members, families, partners,…

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GBI Research Associate Presents an Oral History Project on the History of Climbing in Joshua Tree National Park

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One of the things we love most is hearing about exciting and fulfilling activities directly from our field personnel. So we’re delighted to bring you this story and these images from Emilio Triguero, who has been working with the GBI Research Associate Program as an Anthropology Technician in Joshua Tree National Park. “I have been working on the Joshua Tree…

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GBI Media Contest October 2021 Submissions

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We went with a simple theme for the October media contest: Fall. The season certainly brought out the beautiful autumnal colors captured in the images below. And, of course, given the build up to Halloween, we received a few holiday-specific submissions, including our winner above. This photo was submitted by Research Associate, David Fleshman, who is serving alongside the BLM…

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New Upgrades, Partnerships, and Volunteer Opportunities at Tallac Historic Site and Taylor Creek Visitor Center

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While the COVID-19 pandemic, the Caldor Fire, and other factors limited operations at the Taylor Creek Visitor Center and Tallac Historic Site in 2021, the USDA Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) and partners made notable progress toward improving public outreach and developing shared stewardship strategies. “As visitors return to these cherished shoreline sites in 2022, they will…

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GBI Receives $160,000 for Nation’s First Recreation Trail Building School

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Vince LaPlante, GBI’s Trail and Restoration Operations Coordinator, once noted that, “the majority of folks that use trails would rather not even think about the labor or design that went into their maintenance or construction, but rather see trails as a mindless means of conveyance.” But, indeed, there’s much thought and expertise that goes into designing a trail that works…

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GBI Media Contest September 2021 Submissions

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For September’s media contest, our field personnel were challenged with the theme “Still Life Photography.” Unsurprisingly, they came through once again with some stunning images. Alissa Gardner, one of GBI’s Research Associate Program Coordinators (and the person who runs these wonderful contests) is right when she says, “we’ve got some artists out there.” The winner of the contest, topping this…

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Adaptive Strategies in the Face of California Wildfires

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If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you know that this has been a volatile wildfire season, especially in California’s Region 5 forests. GBI has crews located in our national forests throughout the state, and these fires have certainly forced our crews and GBI management to engage in adapted measures, including cessation of field work and relocation of personnel….

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GBI Media Contest August 2021 Submissions

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The theme of the August media contest was “Awareness.” Working so directly with the land and its resources, our field personnel are certainly well aware of what they have to offer, as well as the impact that humans can have on those resources. The images here certainly demonstrate this. Our winner, Research Associate Jeremy Gilbertson, submitted the above picture, showing…

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GBI Research Associate Gets the Statue Treatment Courtesy of IF/THEN

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GBI Research Associate Samantha Wynns has done some pretty remarkable things while supporting interpretation and environmental education at Cabrillo National Monument. She’s led STEM-based summer camp programs for underserved girls, she’s served as an American Association for the Advancement of Science IF/THEN Ambassador, and she’s appeared on an episode of the CBS TV series, Mission Unstoppable with Miranda Cosgrove. And…

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1.2M Awarded for Fuels Reduction in Central Sierra

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The Sierra Nevada Conservancy has awarded GBI 1.25M to support the Twofer Pilliken Fuels Reduction Project. The collaborative effort reduces fuels and fire threat through mechanical treatments on approximately 1,350 acres within the Crystal Basin Ecological Restoration Project area in the central Sierra region. Project work includes mastication and shrub control as part of the Tahoe-Central Sierra Initiative, a landscape treatment strategy that seeks to reduce the density of understory fuels to promote healthy stand structure. Project collaborators include USDA Eldorado National Forest, Blue Forest and the National Wild Turkey Federation. Work will be performed under a Master Stewardship agreement between Great Basin Institute and US Forest Service. Estimated to cost $1.45M including matching contributions from USDA Region 5, the Bonneville Foundation, and in-kind partnership contributions. “The support from the Conservancy is a critical funding piece that furthers our collective strategy to improve forest conditions within this high value landscape,” said Dan Smith, US Forest Service project partner. “We have an urgent need to treat this area which receives intense recreational visitation while functioning as a key component to watershed health for the Sacramento Basin.” The Institute is grateful for ongoing support from the Conservancy which continues to provide the needed fiscal resources for the Institute’s stewardship work across the Sierra Nevada range.

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