The snow is melting up at high elevations now and we hope you are all having wonderful hikes thus far. As always please let us know if any trail markers have gone missing. All markers are now in for both hikes! After last week's heavy rains many of the Glacier Basin markers had gotten covered over with mud, so you may need to brush some dirt aside to find them. The Reflection Lakes hike is more or less traversible all the way up now, depending on your comfort level with a few remaining deeper snow patches at the higher altitudes.
A couple of weekends ago Janneke and the 1st year scholars from the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program (DDCSP, check them out here!) went out on the Reflection Lakes MeadoWatch hike. This program aims to bring diversity of underrepresented groups into the fields of biology, environmental science, and conservation by inspiring and involving young adults in science. We are happy to have collaborated with DDCSP for two years now, and the hike was a great success! During the hike, scholars learned about the wildflower communities on Mt. Rainer and how climate change is impacting their phenology.
The program includes two summers. The first year scholars travel to a variety of places and programs, attending lectures and workshops and hiking their way around the region (they are currently in Olympic Nat'l Park). The second year scholars have been hard at work since the beginning of the summer, helping collect data around Mount Rainier as well as working on their own research projects! The scholars have many opportunities to think about and discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion in outdoor spaces. Equity and inclusion in the national parks will affect the future of the parks and consequently the future of natural lands protection and conservation in general. This program and others like it around the country help ensure that the conservationists of the future will be more representative of the greater US population, thus ensuring representational justice as well as the ongoing relevance of public lands for all.
Here are some photos of the scholars in action, collecting data and learning species ID!
Thanks to the scholars for all their help in the field!
Enjoy the flowers and as always, thank you for being part of our community!
Your MeadoWatch Team