This week I was fortunate enough to be able to go to Glacier National Park. We stayed in an amazing house in the research community in West Glacier, just outside the park entrance. We took part of the National Park service’s citizen science program, which included phenology training, high country training, and a mushroom bio-blitz. During the phenology training we were taught how to identify huckleberry bushes, and their varying stages. We went hiking and surveyed huckleberry plants of the park and input the data into a newly developed app for the citizen science program. For the high country training, we learned about animals that live in alpine habitats such as pika, mountain goats, and big horn sheep. We traveled to East Glacier to monitor and collect data on these species. We had a day to do what we wanted, so we decided to take part in a re-vegetation program that involved planting whitebark pine seedlings in an area that was burned two years ago. The whitebark pines grow at high altitudes, so it was a very long and steep hike to the burn area. Despite the daunting hike, we were able to get some amazing views. During our final day in Glacier National Park, we took part in a mushroom bio-blitz, in which we searched for fungi with mycologists from Canada, in East Glacier. If you haven’t been to Glacier National Park, I strongly encourage you to plan a trip there because it is absolutely spectacular!

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