Science & Nature

Recent Posts

‘Geyser Gazers’ patiently wait for Yellowstone eruptions

Self-described 'geyser gazer' Ryan Maurer takes notes after the eruptions of Lion Geyser in Yellowstone National Park.

Yellowstone is home to two-thirds of the world’s geysers, attracting visitors from around the world. Most catch Old Faithful and may wander the boardwalks and accidentally witness other eruptions. Some look at the schedule in the visitor’s office listing the times for the six predictable regular geysers, Great Fountain, Grand, Castle, Daisy and Riverside along with Old Faithful, and plan their day in hopes of catching those in action. But a dedicated few devote weeks, and sometimes entire summers, to waiting, watching and recording eruptions. These are geyser gazers and members of the Geyser Observation and Study Association. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

World’s tallest geyser erupts in Yellowstone

Steamboat Geyser erupts in Yellowstone National Park in 2005. The Norris Geyser Basin feature is the largest active geyser in the world, spewing water more than 300 feet into the air during full eruptions.

Steamboat Geyser, the tallest active geyser in the world, delighted visitors to Yellowstone National Park on Wednesday, spewing steam high into the air in a rare and powerful eruption that lasted several minutes and resulted in ongoing steam and rumbling that persisted until Thursday morning. Full eruptions of Steamboat are rare and unpredictable, and are prized by geyser gazers who wait to witness a rare column of super-heated water that can reach more than 300 feet. Eruptions can last only a few minutes, or as long as 40 minutes, with this week's outburst lasting a reported 15-20 minutes. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,

Busy year for Yellowstone supervolcano rumors

Steam rises from Excelsior Geyser Crater and Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park.

Have you heard about what's happening with the Yellowstone supervolcano? The biggest earthquake in more than 30 years hit Yellowstone National Park in March. Bison were seen this winter pushing outside the park's boundaries. Extremely high levels of helium are rushing out of hot springs and fumaroles. Seismic detection gear has gone haywire. The roads are melting! All of this can only mean one thing: an eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano is imminent, right? Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Yellowstone manages people instead of grizzlies during bear jams

In Grand Teton National Park just south of Yellowstone, a volunteer wildlife brigade is trained each year to help manage people at bear jams. Both parks' programs run up consideral expense, but a study says roadside bears in Yellowstone bring more than $10 million annually to the regional economy.

Yellowstone visitors would pay an additional $41 to ensure seeing roadside grizzlies, a study shows, and the attraction creates 155 jobs and more than $10 million a year for the regional economy. The $41 visitors would pay is on top of the $25-per-vehicle entrance fee. If Yellowstone no longer allowed grizzly bears to use roadside habitat — and instead chased, moved or killed them — the regional economy would lose more than $10 million a year and 155 jobs according to the paper “The economics of roadside bear viewing.” Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Grizzly bears find fall feast in well-traveled moths

A raven waits nearby as a grizzly bear digs among rocks on a talus slope while searching for moths to eat.

As aspen leaves turn the gold of fall, grizzly bears in the greater Yellowstone area endure the final mania of their annual feeding frenzy before winter’s hibernation. The omnivorous bears compulsively pack on the pounds with berries, fish, carrion, whitebark pine seeds and a food unique to the Rocky Mountains—thousands of army cutworm moths. Also known as miller moths, they are the adult form of an agricultural pest, the army cutworm, which migrates to mountain fields in early summer to feed on alpine flowers’ nectar. During the past 30 years, a handful of researchers have established the importance of moths as a food source for bears. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

New field seminars highlight fall, winter programs from Yellowstone Association

The nonprofit Yellowstone Association Institute is offering an array of new fall and winter field seminars in addition to its line-up of private tours and other multi-day packages with guided field trips by day and in-park lodging provided by two Xanterra-operated winter lodges by night. This winter the institute will conduct 35 field seminars, including eight new programs. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , ,

Jackson Hole students help with trout research project

Nearly 200 Jackson Hole Middle School seventh grade students joined biologists and others from Grand Teton National Park, Trout Unlimited, Teton Science Schools and Wyoming Game and Fish earlier this week to help with a trout research project. The Adopt-a-Trout Field Days at the Gros Ventre Campground on September 24 and 25 saw students rotate through educational stations conducted by various event partners. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,

Elk migration project wins Camp Monaco prize for biodiversity research, education

An elk pauses in the light of dawn near Sylvan Lake in Yellowstone National Park. (Ruffin Prevost/Yellowstone Gate)

The path to completion for many research and education proposals is often complex and baffling, and a new project to study and document elk migrations around Yellowstone National Park is no exception. It has connections with the most famous man in the world, touches on the inspirational story of a rotting whale and finds fruition through a century-old family legacy involving European royalty. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Yellowstone’s Heritage and Research Center houses skulls, scooters, skins, sketchbooks

The Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center in Gardiner, Mont. hosts archives and other resources researchers use to learn about Yellowstone National Park science and history.

Most visitors come to Yellowstone National Park to see the abundant wildlife, amazing thermal features or sweeping scenic vistas. But the park also has more than 300,000 cultural and natural artifacts, including skulls, scooters, skins and sketchbooks. Yellowstone's Heritage and Research Center in Gardiner, Mont. is a 32,000-square-foot facility that houses the park's museum collection, archives, research library, herbarium and archaeology lab. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,

Steamboat geyser, world’s tallest, erupts in Yellowstone after 8-year lull

Steamboat Geyser in Yellowstone National Park, the tallest active geyser in the world, erupts in 1963.

The world's tallest active geyser has erupted in Yellowstone National Park for the first time in eight years, sending a steam-powered jet of excitement through geyser gazers who consider it one of the most special eruptions to behold. The water from Steamboat can reach as high as 300 feet, with steam from that spray reaching even higher. By comparison, the Statue of Liberty measures 305 feet from the torch to the ground below its pedestal. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,