Day 2 of our Yellowstone adventure was spectacular! We left the lodge and headed in to the Gallatin National Forest in Jardin. The drive up the mountain was beautiful:
Once we reached the trailhead, we needed to get everyone in snow shoes and teach the basics. We didn't have too many experienced snow shoers in the group, so it took a little work to figure out how to get them on and an effective technique that hopefully involved not tripping over your own shoe.
It didn't take long for everyone to get the hang of snow shoeing and after just a few minutes of practice we headed up the trail.
Out on the trail was gorgeous, and we spent a couple of hours enjoying nature. Here's a peek at what it was like:
While in the field, the students were learning a ton about the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Today’s focus was on tracking – spotting tracks, collecting data and measurements about tracks, and determining what tracks can tell us about the animal(s) that passed through. But we also learned about food webs and ecosystem functions. Students discussed trophic levels, predator-prey relationships, animal migrations, and the interactions of biotic and abiotic factors. On our drive, we discussed the differences between National Parks and National Forests and also started to explore the issue of bison leaving the park and what is being done with those bison. Students have started to formulate some of the questions they want to ask the scientists they will meet this week studying these animals.
We finished our winter wonderland hike with an epic snowball fight that ended in what has to be one of the greatest white-outs ever caught on camera.
Oh yeah, they also made snow angels because how can you not make a snow angel in fresh powder?
About this Blog:
I am a former Teachers for Global Classrooms Fellow, a program of the U.S. Department of State. I have completed graduate level training in Global Education and traveled to Senegal in April with the program to explore their educational system. This blog is a piece of the global education guide I have created to support other teachers and students in globalizing their classrooms. My focus area is life and environmental science and understanding the interconnectedness of Earth. For more information on the fellowship please visit the IREX website.