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Yellowstone Summer Field Notes Day 17: Moving Office

Day 18: Perhaps the most amazing thing about this place is that even everyday moments are so sublime. I thought today I’d share a few examples of the everyday becoming magical.

Today began a project that Ranger Tim and I had talked about since before I arrived, and which actually is a microcosm of several age-old debates about how best to balance access and preservation. One of the most popular thermal attractions is soaking in the area of the Gardiner River that is fed by the sensibly named Boiling River; it opened today for the first time this season. We’re experimenting with new parking arrangements that we hope will both rationalise and moderate access.

So I’m gathering data on use of the new lot. My presence garnered a lot of questions from visitors about what I was doing. Many, after they learned, commented on the beauty of my “office.” In truth, maybe that’s one of the reasons most folks who spend a lot of time here are so friendly – it’s pretty easy when you wake up full of gratitude every day.

So today’s highlights:
1. This (pic 1) for my office
2. This (video 1) for a walk down the hall

When my day wrapped, I was already halfway to Gardiner, so did a quick run to the market. As I left,

3. video 2,
4. picture 2 and
5. video 3 all happened within one five minute stretch. And the mad thing is, these aren’t even uncommon experiences. Although yes, the elk are now f*ing following me into town.

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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