Yellowstone Summer Day 14 Field Notes: Woman Proposes, Elk Disposes

Bon jour du Bastille!

I was super excited not to be in the parking lot for most of today, because I had plans for phase two of my little traffic research project. Well, woman proposes, elk disposes, and indeed I was out of the lot all day — doing visitor-elk diplomacy. Today’s highlights:

1. Starting the day climbing Geriatric with Rick M and Scott Wolff to watch Junction 1047M.

2. Having the opportunity to use what pass for my French skills to caution a visitor too close to the elk, only to realise I don’t know the word for either “elk” or “maul”.

3. Running along in disbelief as the elk led me almost immediately back to – yes, you guessed it – the parking lot, where I spent much of the afternoon literally coralling visitors in my own front yard.

4. I’m figuring out that if you stay on duty after all the interp and general rangers have signed off (which is also generally when the visitors’ center closes), you can really make a huge difference for folks. I was the only one on elk duty after all the non-LE rangers signed off for the day, and was so glad I stayed on duty for a while because there was a family stuck with a trans that had quit, and I was able to get LE on the scene,help manage one child’s panic attack, see them into lodging, and wait with them for the wrecker to arrive.

5. Immediately thereafter, helping a couple looking for the Night Sky programming figure out that it was 30 miles down the road in Madison, and discover where to go there once there. Yesterday and today were the only nights this summer for it, and she said they’d driven all the way across the country for it.Image may contain: bird, grass, outdoor and nature
Pretty cool to go to bed every night with killdeer lullabies, knowing that in some little way, I made someone’s day better.

About Bethany Barratt

Dr. Barratt earned her PhD from the University of California in 2002, and her BA in Political Science/History from Duke University in 1994. She is Director of the Joseph Loundy Human Rights Project, which joins forces with community partners in Chicago and cities abroad to draw and apply comparative lessons to make measurable gains in respect for human rights in urban settings. Professor Barratt has conducted archival and field research in Yellowstone National Park, Central Asia, the UK, Canada, and Australia. She is author or editor of several books including “Human Rights and Foreign Aid” (Routledge, 2007), "The Politics of Harry Potter" (Palgrave McMillan, 2012), and coeditor o "Public Opinion and War: Lessons from Iraq" (Potomac, 2012). She has also authored articles on environmental politics and justice, conservation policy, human rights, foreign aid, US, British, Canadian, and Australian foreign policy, and counterterrorism, in Political Research Quarterly, The Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and edited volumes from Ashgate and Lexington Books. Besides her teaching experience at Roosevelt and the University of California, she has also taught in a number of jails and prisons. She is an officer or member of several scholarly associations including the American Political Science Association and the International Studies Association.
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