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Ranger Talk – Yellowstone National Park w/ OA 5/11

respectful of your time here and we'regonna get the presentation started so I would like to say hello and welcome myname is Tim Szczepanskii and I work for Associated Students outdoor adventureprogram which is a nonprofit at California State University Northridgeand tonight we'll be taking a tour of Yellowstone National Park this tourshould last somewhere between 20 and 30 minutes and at the end of thepresentation we'll have some time for some Q&A with our ranger so if you'dlike to grab your water bottles put on your hiking boots and get started Iwould like to recognize Ranger Allison from Yellowstone National Parkthank you I love that idea put on your hiking boots grab your waterbottle and come adventure with me as we go through some of the things that makeYellowstone National Park so special I'm Ranger Allison and I am an educationtechnician here in Yellowstone National Park and I am coming to you live fromthe northwest corner of the park in Mammoth Wyoming so let's back up alittle bit Yellowstone National Park is in theUnited States we are one of just around 420 National Park units and we arelocated where that star is most of this national park is in Wyoming some piecesare in Idaho and other pieces are also in Montana and it would take you about16 hours to drive here from California State University Northridge.

It isconsidered a national park unit it is the first National Park unit that wascreated not only in the United States but on the entire planetall of these National Park Service units are protected and preserved by NationalPark Service Rangers like me so anytime you go to visit one of your NationalPark Service units and you see a ranger with thispatch that's a promise it's a visual promise to you that we will protect andpreserve the cultural and natural resources of that space that being saidthe Park Service Rangers were not the only people who protected and preservedYellowstone National Park this place had stewards of the landeven before the Park Service was created so Native American tribes have a richhistory here in Yellowstone National Park and we have 26 affiliated tribestoday so for thousands of years this place was recognized as unique andspecial and that's because we are on top of a volcano in some places on theplanet there is magma or a heat source 30 to 50 miles beneath your feet here inYellowstone there are places with magma under the surface of the earth maybethree to five to seven miles beneath our feet that means that we have a heatsource that's really closest to the surface of the earth and that gives ussome really awesome features here in Yellowstone so we have heat and we havewater and because of those two things combining we have hydrothermal featuresso here's that word hydrothermal and if you break that down into two pieceshydro means something thermal means something it's the combination of waterand heat so we have four features here in Yellowstone four types of featuresthat combine heat and water together to make some pretty amazing locations andeach of those can be represented in some way bya teapot so if you can use your imagination with me for a minute youhave a heat source if you put your teapot on that heat source you're gonnastart to hear maybe some water bubbling very little low activity and that wouldrepresent a hot spring we have hot springs here in Yellowstone NationalPark and they are home to millions and millions of microbes here and they'realso one of the most popular places for people to visit in the park like behindme is Grand Prismatic it has vivid colors about 12, 000 people every dayduring our busy season walk this boardwalk to experience Grand Prismaticbut Grand Prismatic and these hot spring pools are not the only hot springs wehave in Yellowstone up where I am in Mammoth we have hot spring terraces so these terraces are formed when watercomes up from inside the earth it cools as it flows over the surface and thedeposits sediment and minerals and it leaves shapes like this so we've gotthat low energy but still hot hydrothermal feature and some time haspassed since we put our tea pot on the stove we're starting to hear morebubbling maybe some gurgling and that would be representing our mud pots herein the park we have places in the park where this water is active in erodingrock and sediment away deep underground and then it brings air and otherelements up to the surface and it bubbles so some of these mud pots soundlike this you can tell there's movement in there there are other mudpots that are more like a washing machine was left open it's churning it'sloud it's gurgling and this is an example of something found by mudvolcano in the park I'd say if you're gonna visit a mud pot check out dragon'smouth so we've got our our hot springs our pools and our terraces we have ourmud pots something else that a teapot is known for is steam when that water isreally hot inside it escapes out of the spout sometimes there's a whistlesometimes there's not but there is an example of steam ejecting out ofsomething in Yellowstone and it's called a fumarole so this is where that wateris so hot under the surface of the earth it immediately ejects out is one of thehottest features we have here in the park it's not the only thing that ejectsout of the earth though probably our most famous hydrothermal feature here inYellowstone happens when you've got that teapot there's a lot of energy there's alot of pressure building up and let's say there's a tiny hole it just can'thold all that pressure in that water anymore and it erupts causing a geyser We have more than half of the planetshydrothermal features here in Yellowstone National Park I would sayour most famous geyser is Old Faithful and it's called Old Faithful because iterupts on a pretty regular schedule Rangers here in the park down in the OldFaithful district can predict with about a 10-minute window when that geyserwill erupt so people can plan their day around seeing the world's possibly mostfamous geyser so we had these hydrothermal featuresthanks to the volcanic activity that has been in Yellowstone's past but that'snot all that comes from the volcano or those earth processes we have reallyvaried landscape here in Yellowstone National Park we have our own mountainswe've got a high elevation lake you have rolling plains we even have our ownGrand Canyon of the Yellowstone and humans are not the only living things toenjoy this ecosystem and these varied opportunities of food water and shelterwe have tons of wildlife so here is an example or a photo of just a few animalsthat you could potentially see here in in Yellowstone – and if I were to talk about all of theanimals here in the park I would be on your computer screen for a month so Ipicked a couple of the top favorites here in the park and how appropriatebecause it is calving season for the Bison so we do have baby bison beingborn we call them red dogs because they're about the size of the dog andthey're the color red and they look really really adorable when they'relittle but these animals can grow to be 2, 000 pounds and if you're having a hardtime picturing a 2, 000 pound bison let's see if I can grab this skull check thisout this is a bison skull it's about 20pounds and it's a male skull so we can tell or we can make an educated guess asto whether the skull was male or female based on the circumference of its hornsso since the circumference of his horns seems to be about the same size as theeyes here we would make an educated guess and say this is a male whoa putthis down oh very heavy bison are the only animals that you are likely to seein Yellowstone National Park and luckily enough it is almost time for this animalto start having their babies – and that is our elk these animals start out sosweet they look so innocent but they grow to be these giant majestic animalselk can live and grow to be anywhere from 500 to 700pounds these are really really big animals and they definitely stop trafficif you're having a hard time picturing a very large animal in front of your carlet's just grab this whoa I can show you this is one elk antler this is humongousso this is just as antler you can imagine this crossing the road I woulddefinitely stop and wait maybe snap a picture or two keeping a safe distance Ican't even pretend to put this on my head because I might take out the lightsabove me so these are some really really big and majestic animals speaking ofreally big though we do have other predators here in the park this place isteeming with wildlife which also means it's teeming in food water and shelterfor some of our other popular animals like our bearswe have black bears here in Yellowstone we also have another type of bear in thePark do you think you have a guess go ahead and drop it in the comments youhave black bears and okay okay you are yep brown bears and grizzly bearsthank you we have grizzly bears here as well so if you see a bear that's out andabout first of all that's really lucky second of all the big giveaway betweenthese two animals is not just color but where the hump is so Grizzlies will havea hump by their shoulders here whereas black bears usually thereis higher than their shoulders so their hump is their rump so let's see we'vecovered our hydrothermal features we have covered bison elk we do haveGrizzlies here we do have black bears here oohhmaybe our most debated animal here in Yellowstone National Park let's see if Ican get you to guess this so they are the most debated they were what onepoint eradicated by the Park Service we learned a couple of lessons about ourecosystem and holy smokes you are all on the ball with this one I'm talking aboutour wolves yeah our wolf species our wolf population is doing well here inthe park we have on average about 100 wolves over 10 different packs they havethe appropriate food water and shelter that they need for a healthy populationwe have all sorts of research going on in the park there are biologists who saythat the wolf population is healthy but a good indicator is not only the word ofour biologists and all of our scientists but there is proof in the puppies so we do have a healthy ecosystem herein Yellowstone National Park I touched on quite a few hydrothermal features acouple of our favorite animals maybe biggest or most well known animals herein the park but there is so much more to explore and discover like I mentionedearlier it is our promise as park rangers to protect and preserve cultural and natural resources for everyone involved if you are an Americancitizen this is your National Park you have around 420 'national Park unitsbeing protected and preserved by Park Rangers for you to come visitwhether it's tomorrow or the next year or in the next decade or even yourfuture generations of family so thank you for joining me todayand for participating in the chat and I think now is a pretty good time toanswer a couple questions Tim did anything stand out to you yes so we havea few questions that people are asking one hold up the Q&A here about whenYellowstone may erupt and maybe how they are tracking that if you have anyinformation on that sure let me grab this so we have plenty ofologists studying the seismic activity there studying the content of the waterthey're studying how often or how hard or intense the earthquakes are here inYellowstone National Park and they say that we will have a verydecent head start once this is going to erupt so about a 10, 000 year head startonce these ologists start to see x y&z that's how we'll have that's how we'llknow um let me grab one photo to give you an idea of just how massivethis is here in Yellowstone um is there a way to ask how many of you havevisited Yellowstone before well I grabbed this photo we'll put apoll up if you can answer the poll here just click on it and we'll see how manyof you have been to Yellowstone before ok so while you're voting or whileyou're responding this is a map of the park so this border this green pieceright here that comes across does some squiggles and down that is the border ofYellowstone National Park the orange circle is the caldera that was leftbehind on the most recent major eruption which was six hundred and forty thousandyears ago so this caldera is about in some places 40, 45 miles across whichgives you an idea of how giant that heat source is under our feeta couple questions all our poles up here so have some people who have said yesand some people who hopefully will be joining you soon out there and then oneof the questions is that we've had a couple of is how hot are the geysers inYellowstone? Awesome so I do not have a specific number for you I can tell youthat one of my favorite features called barrel spring can get to be sometimesover one hundred and eighty eight degrees Fahrenheit at the surface thereis water here in Yellowstone that will burn you will give you blisters in someplaces the water in these hydrothermal features have the pH of battery acid sothere is a policy in the park we ask that you don't touch any of the water that'scoming from a hydrothermal feature because even though it looks like it'sclear and it looks like it's okay to touchor maybe the guide that you just watch touch the water seems fine you neverknow what exactly is living in that water as a microbe or what the pH isgoing to be when is a good time to visit Yellowstone all the time sorry I'm a bigfan of Yellowstone all the time but really it just depends on what you'relooking for you're looking for hiking if you're looking for snowshoeing obviouslythere are some very winter specific and summer specific activities it is my highrecommendation to see the park in both that summer spring fall time but alsothe stunning winter time okay we'll try to get a couple more here if youwouldn't mind just letting us know right now if Yellowstone Park is open and whatare some of the CDC and federal government guidelines going on? Awesomeso currently the park is closed to in-person visitation and as decisionsare made we are going to make all of that available to you as we get thatinformation so whether it's on our Facebook pagewe do have an Instagram but the most ideal for you to check would be ourwebsite if you google Yellowstone current conditions that will give you anupdate on the current conditions here in Yellowstone and what to expect.

Great andthen we will.

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places to stay in Yellowstone camping or lodging excellentpoint um so we have camping options and lodging options we have a non-profitpartner concessioner excuse me we have a concessioner and a non-profit partnerYellowstone forever kind of helps us on some aspects like grants but Xanterraand some other of our for-profit concessioners help us help people getinto the park and spend some time here so Xanterra has lodges in most of themajor duty stations here in Yellowstone andthere are also campgrounds you can pick whether you would prefer to camp in yourRV we have hookups for that in Bridge Bay if you would rather camp in a tentor a hammock there are other options for you as wellin campgrounds not to mention all of our backcountry camping sites that would beavailable for you to use how many hiking trails do you thinkthere are in Yellowstone I don't have a guess for how many trails but I do knowthat there are around maybe even over 900 miles of hiking trails here inYellowstone.

One trail even goes all the way through this caldera here it'scalled the Merry Mountain Trail and it will take you through a hydrothermalarea and some woods there's merry lake in the middle it's a very beautiful hikeit's about 19 to 21 miles depending on if you lose your path a little.

Cool, thank you.

What are some other types of mammals in Yellowstone besides elk and bears andwolves excellent someone out there is lovin the underdog the little guy let meget some pictures for you oh my goodness we are teeming with wildlife here thefirst one that came to mind is we have rabbits they are currently in the middleof changing from their winter coat to their non winter coat to help themcamouflage from their predators so we do have those animals we have pikas wholive in our rocks and they cache leafy greens as snacks we have some bigger butsmaller mammals like Wolverines and let's seeI had to pick one more Oh probably our yellow-bellied marmots so we have tonsof wildlife here if you're interested in all of the mammals and the options ofyou to see here in the park I suggest going to Yellowstone's website andsearching mammals we have a whole webpage about all of the mammals here inYellowstone.

Great Alison I would like to thank you for coming out today or thisevening for you and joining us on this I would like to if everybody could justgive her a quick little round of applause and say thank you we would loveto see you back with us maybe sometime this summer talk about some other partsof Yellowstone that we didn't touch upon today those that are here and if you goto NPS.

gov/yell , y-e- l-l that'll take you to their web page and then youcan look up some of the information that Allison gave us you are looking at anyother events that we might be hosting in the near future please go to you cangoogle CSUN outdoor adventures and find our web page we will be hitting someother parks in the United States so some a little bit smaller than Yellowstonebut still national parks and beautiful places in their own right so Allison I'dlike to thank you again I'd like to thank you Caitlyn for interpreting forus and I hope everyone here has a wonderful evening and enjoy your weekthank you so much thanks for having me and if you are curious about Yellowstoneif you want to get those views of outside in the park check outYellowstone's Facebook page we have videos with our education team thatwe're recording about twice a week and we would have to be happy to have you onthere as well thanks again yeah Have a good one Y'all!.

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