A visit to Yellowstone, thanks to technology

Published 2:42 pm Wednesday, November 1, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Isabella fifth and sixth grade students explored Yellowstone National Park on Nov. 1 — via a video call.

Yellowstone’s Ranger Nicole showed students pictures of key features of the park, while explaining various park ranger career opportunities.

Potential park ranger careers included archeology, museum work, interpretive rangers who explain the features of a park, even law enforcement.

The virtual field trip was the first that the school has attempted.

School Counselor Jillian Green said she wanted to show students something they may never get the chance to experience in person and give them information about potential careers that they may not have heard of before.

The idea was also partly inspired by her family’s trip to the famous national park.

“We were just amazed by all the things we saw, and many of our students may never get the chance to see it,” Green said.

While a few of the students said, they had been to Yellowstone, the majority had only heard about it.

At the end of Ranger Nicole’s presentation, students were able to ask questions. Students wanted to know about the geysers, the volcanoes, how big the park was and how many people work there.

“It is kind of like you and I in that each geyser has its own personality,” Ranger Nicole said. “Under the ground, under those geysers, there are a whole lot of cracks and fissures …where that water is flowing underneath the ground. Sometimes there is a lot of water under there so that means geysers will erupt often and high into the sky. Other times, there is just a little bit of water, and it will only erupt to only a foot.”

There are more geysers in Yellowstone National Park than any other place on earth.

Ranger Nicole said the park is 2.2 million acres with 800 rangers working during the peak summer season.

Ranger Nicole said the volcano has typically erupted every 640,000 years.

“That means technically we could be due for an eruption, but our … archeologists say, thankfully, we are safe and they think it is not going to happen within our lifetime,” Ranger Nicole said.

In closing, Ranger Nicole stressed that the National Parks, including Yellowstone, are owned by the people of the United States.

The rest of the elementary students will take part in the virtual field trip on Nov. 2.