Thursday, May 5, 2011

In Pursuit of the Grizzly

Above are 3 young pronghorn we saw playing in the Gardiner Basin on our way out to the field site one morning.

A bison with the stunning backdrop of the mountains: a typical sighting on the road from Jardine, where our lodges are located, to our field site in Gardiner.

As could be expected in Yellowstone, we have seen some amazing sights so far, both landscapes and wildlife. So far we have quite a list of wildlife sightings: bison, elk, pronghorn, big-horn sheep, moose, wolves, coyotes, osprey, a red-tailed hawk, a ground squirrel, and a possible marmot sighting yesterday.

We still lack one on our list: the elusive grizzly. Our morning "wolfing" excursions have been re-dubbed as "grizzing" excursions. This morning's group came up 0 for 1, but we won't be giving up easily. We will continue to take advantage of any tip-offs we can receive from our connections in the park in hopes of getting a grizzly sighting before we have to return home. Unfortunately, it may still be too cold for the grizzlies. Yesterday we drove deeper into Wyoming in search of a grizzly, near to Norris, and found the center of the park still covered in snow. However, we saw some beautiful scenery and very interesting geology: several geothermal features and an obsidian mountain.

As far as the restoration project is concerned, we have continued taking soil cores and have been measuring ammonia levels and taking biomass samples. We have a few days left in the field before the lab needs to be packed up and shipped back to VA, where more science will await our return.

More to come, as well as some more pictures when we have faster internet back in Lexington!


1 comment:

  1. These stories make me feel like I have been there ! Proud of you and all your fellow students and teachers and the Park personnel who have been so helpful to you all.

    Looking forward to hearing more about the trip when you get back !! Much love and prayer !!