ISU Headlines

Craters of the Moon winter ecology workshop set Jan. 12-13

Posted January 7, 2008

The Sawtooth Science Institute will offer the “Craters of the Moon Winter Ecology Workshop” on Jan. 12-13 at the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve.

Located in the heart of central Idaho at the Blaine County Community Center in Hailey, the Sawtooth Science Institute (SSI) is an outreach field study center of Idaho State University's Division of Continuing Education and the Idaho Museum of Natural History. The Institute is dedicated to the study of the natural history of the northern Rockies. The Institute's workshops are site-specific and hands-on, where students enjoy unique learning experiences with the great outdoors as their classroom.

The Craters of the Moon workshop will be led by Doug Owen, a staff member of the Craters National Monument; Bureau of Land Management and Idaho Department of Fish and Game biologists; and Sawtooth Science Institute staff. The class has a limit of 20 participants.

The workshop is designed for educator training about the “wonderful world of winter,” including different types of winter environments, the characteristics and properties of snow and the physical processes that act on snow. It will also discuss animal and plant coping mechanisms, strategies, behaviors and survival adaptations to winter.  Winter health and safety issues, such as avalanches and hypothermia, are also presented.

Workshop leaders will demonstrate a variety of activities, games, and experiments that can be used with students to teach them about winter ecology. Tracks and trails are usually abundant at Craters of the Moon and participants will learn to identify the animals that made them. Participants will cover approximately three to five miles on snowshoes. Snowshoes will be provided.

Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is spectacular any time of year, but the stark contrast between the black basalt and white snow makes it unique among other winter activity areas in Idaho.  The monument has been recognized by the Winter Wildlands Alliance as the first Snow School for Idaho.

The ISU workshop fee is $50 and there is a recording fee of $50 for those who wish one 498P credit.

For more information about this workshop or the many upcoming Sawtooth Science Institute workshops taking place in 2008, contact institute director Chris Gertschen at (208) 788-9686, or visit the Web site http://imnh.isu.edu/ssi.