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June 20, 2012

Yellowstone Institute

This morning we slept in and left at 7. We all became a little more human and had coffee before hitting the road. We weren’t five minutes from Roosevelt when we saw a black bear cub climbing down a tree.

At the Narrows, we learned about geology from Melissa and made a timeline of the geologic history of Yellowstone. As we climbed in elevations the temperature dropped — the wind chill was 44 – and we were all scrambling for our fleeces and wool. On the slopes of Mount Washburn we saw evidence of the 1988 fires and the regeneration of the lodgepole pine forest. During Meg’s expert topic we learned that about 1/3 of the park burned in those fires, and Pam talked about the fire dependence of the lodgepole pine community — the serotinous cones require heat in order to open. Studies have shown that large fires like this occur…

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