Streamside Story: Cody Hess

Jim Davis   Website

fact

Swallowtail

Swallowtail

The Oregon Swallowtail butterfly is the official state insect of Oregon and a true native of the Pacific Northwest. The Swallowtail can be seen in the lower sagebrush canyons of the Columbia River and its tributaries, including the Snake River drainage area.  Source: State Symbols USA

Latin name: Papilio oregonius

listen

Great Horned Owls and Western Screech Owls

Great Horned Owls and Western Screech Owls

fact

Young Horny Toad Lizard

Young Horny Toad Lizard

In the summer these lizards begin foraging for food as soon as their body temperature rises as the heat of the day increases. They feed on slow-moving, ground-dwelling insects. In the fall they hibernate by burying themselves in the sand.

Latin name: Phrysonoma platyrhinos

Cody Hess

Cody Hess

Over the course of that summer, Cody went on numerous overnight trips to carry out survey fieldwork. “I would go out with another intern to an area like Hampton Butte and we would use a GIS map on an iPad for navigation. As we found areas of concern, like barbed wire or a rusted out car, we’d take a photo and mark the spot on the map. We did the same for notable natural features, and brought the data back to ONDA’s GIS Specialist, Craig Miller.”  

On each day of a week-long backpacking trip around Steens Mountain, Cody’s team woke up at dawn to head out for six or seven hours of bushwhacking and surveying the area. 

“Whenever we weren’t bushwhacking,” he said, “we were relaxing by the water.” His favorite spot was a crystal clear, perfect creek running through their camp.

“There was this little creek that we would see grow as we walked west, and it ended up turning into a bigger stream that even had a beaver dam!” 

Their discovery was a great data point for Jefferson, who had been wondering how the beaver population was faring in an area that had seen extensive degradation. 

As an ONDA intern, Cody also explored Central Oregon in addition to his work in the remote eastern side of the state. An afternoon hanging out by Whychus Creek Falls stands out in his memories. 

“It’s an amazing spot. I can still remember how the falls sounded now and I haven’t been back since 2015.”

Cody Hess

Cody Hess

Now based in Corvallis, Oregon, Cody works in research administration for Oregon State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences. Although he’s on the other side of the Cascades, Cody has become a regular high desert visitor, with plans in the works to raft the Owyhee and visit the John Day River. 

“I was glad to see that the River Democracy Act will (hopefully) touch all parts of Oregon. It’ll be great to spend more wild and scenic time on waterways north, west, east, and south!”

Streamside Story: Cody Hess

Author: Joanna Zhang  |  Published: June 3, 2021  |  Category: Profiles “While I was out there, I didn’t see a single person, didn’t hear an airplane or truck. There was just pronghorn, and solitude really. It was the best wilderness experience I’ve had.” During summer 2015, Cody Hess took two months off from his...

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Protected: Alder Springs Project

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

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