Today we launched into formal research on the TSS campus. After exploring interests and considering scientific questions, students formed groups and determined a research question and methods for collecting data. Research topics include animal tracking, tree species frequency, snow temperature and density, and sagebrush dominance. Most of the groups spent a significant amount of time determining their scientific process which, while on skis or snowshoes, can feel tricky. We were fortunate to have beautiful weather again today, not too cold or windy to keep students from digging snow pits or measuring sinuosity. Everybody is eager to finish their data collection tomorrow morning. Students have been digging into their journals during morning art sessions and afternoon “resource time.” This evening, a TSS instructor is guiding a session on mindful communication. This week has stretched us to be more observant and inquisitive. Looking forward to our final field day and research presentations tomorrow.
Our group has had another inspiring day of exploring field science and art in the Tetons. We started off in the National Museum of Wildlife Art, where we had a chance to explore the galleries, sketch, and make connections. The museum has a clear view of the National Elk Refuge, giving us the opportunity to learn about the controversial topic of feeding the elk. The afternoon was spent snowshoeing at the foot of the Tetons, starting from Bradley Taggart. We are gaining a deeper understanding of the relationships between abiotic, biotic, and cultural factors in this ecosystem.
Today was an incredible first day in the field! We explored the Kelly Campus on cross country skis, making frequent stops for lessons on plant communities, winter adaptations, and data collection methods. In the evening, we explored the extensive collection of specimens in the Murie Museum. Students created species accounts and looked closely at field notes and drawings of Olas Murie.