Our last two days at the Mount Rainier Institute featured a trip up to the park and a presentation of all that we’d learned.
On Wednesday we left campus and went into the park. We started out up at Paradise where we hiked the Moraine Trail. On this hike we learned about glacial moraines and the role of glaciers in supporting downstream life. Using the Nisqually Glacier & River as an example, we learned about how our watersheds are formed, and how climate change and upstream development impact this vital resource.
We also were joined by many marmots who too were interested in hydrology and glaciology
Our second and final stop was Longmire, where we learned more about the history of the park and the early resorts, as well as the volcanic geology that sustained these tourist attractions. Along our walk we identified plants and trees, and made observations about the differences between the forests at lower elevations versus those at higher elevations.
After Longmire we headed back to the Institute campus for evening games, marshmallow roasting, and stories around the fire.
On our final morning we had our Science Symposium where our two trail groups presented to each other on our field study projects from the previous days. The slides from these presentations are available here and here.
What a wonderful trip!