Hi, my name is Zane Schneider and I am WSGA’s rangeland intern for the summer. I am a senior at the University of Wyoming majoring in energy systems sciences, with a concurrent major in energy in natural resources. I also have a minor in geology, with a concentration in GIS mapping systems. I grew up in the small town of Eaton, Colorado.
During my academic career, I have managed to accrue two years of work with reclamation monitoring and ecology experience. I had the privilege of working for KC Harvey Environmental, LLC., where I learned valuable professional skills in biomass operations, equipment maintenance, energy systems and energy efficiency. I am interested in advancing my current skills to develop and build robust, durable solutions to the most important challenges facing my profession in invasive species monitoring for rangelands.
I started the move up to Buffalo on May 16, moving into an apartment that the Vignoroli’s are allowing me to live in for the duration of this internship. On May 18, my summer internship kicked off.
On my first day, I helped put out gated pipe in fields numbered two through five, which I found on the map that Larry—the owner of the ranch—showed me. Michael, a ranch hand for Larry, discussed with me some of the main duties I will be working on with him and what he wants me to help with part of the time. Towards the end of the day, Larry and I identified the main patches of weeds and specified those which he wants me to spray and control.
The next day, Larry and I did more invasive species and weed identification in his pastures, located in the northern and northeastern parts of the ranch. While doing this, we also fixed and filled water tanks and mineral bowls for the cattle.
During the afternoon and evening, Larry and I brought the ATVs out to hook them up with a mounted sprayer and backpack sprayer for the following week. After fitting one of the ATVs with a sprayer, Larry allowed me to practice (with water) on some grass and weeds in the arena. This helped me get a bearing for what type and consistency of spraying Larry wants to see.
The next day was a busy and tiring day. A project that Larry and Michael had been planning for two years was set to take place this day. Our group set up half a mile of fencing that needed repairs. This took all day, but I had the opportunity to get to know some of Larry’s in-laws and Michael’s son, Lane. For the next two days, Larry and I did several chores around the pastures which allowed us to become better acquainted with one another.
Overall, in my first week I learned to do several things outside of both the environmental field and my suburban comfort zone. These new skills will allow me to have a broader knowledge of other manual labor applications outside of my degree field.