Sunday, May 8, 2011

More About the Trip

Although I have enjoyed the beautiful scenery in Yellowstone National Park, I have also appreciated the interactions with various members of the National Park Service. John Klaptosky has been an instrumental part of the trip, assisting with much of the field work. He shares Dr. Hamilton’s concern with alyssum weed invasion of native vegetation and recently helped our group with the identification of alyssum boundaries using GPS markers. Mr. Klaptosky has some great stories from his time in Yellowstone, and it is worth meeting him to hear his encounter of six wolves in one afternoon!

Speaking of wolves, Rick McIntyre has met with our group during several early morning wolf excursions. As a volunteer for the Yellowstone wolf project, Ranger McIntyre has worked with the wolves for over 8 years. He taught our group about tracking wolves using howls and radio frequency collars. So far, we have met with Ranger McIntyre at about four of our wolf sightings!

Finally, Roy Renkin has been a major help during the permitting process for the project. He was recently appointed as the chief vegetation research scientist. I had the privilege of meeting him during Dr. Hamilton’s presentation to the Yellowstone Center for Resources, and he expressed a genuine interest in the progress inside and outside the treatment areas. Working with people like Mr. Renkin gives me a greater appreciation for the ecological research in Yellowstone.

-Luke Gergoudis

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