NOLS expeditions have completed a total of 38 surveys for Clark’s nutcrackers and whitebark pine health in the Wind River and Absaroka mountain ranges to date. Students and instructors have excitedly shared their nutcracker sightings and imitations with program manager Anya Tyson; one group even reported an exhilarating story of a wolf they spotted precisely as they headed out of camp to survey for nutcrackers.
Further northwest in the Tetons, a pilot summer science expedition hailing from Sun Valley, Idaho completed a season record of six surveys in one eventful expedition. Teton Science School groups have participated in the project’s celebration of whitebark and nutcracker symbiosis and completed two surveys despite jam-packed academic agendas. In addition, Cody resident and citizen science extraordinaire, Barbara Pittman, surveyed for nutcrackers and whitebark pine health eight times along an elevational gradient outside of her home on the eastern edge of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Now, we eagerly wait for late-season tales from our excellent volunteer scientists as nutcracker activity heats up in the high country with ripening whitebark pine cones.