Yellowstone Summer Field Notes Day 18: Farewell to Wonderland

Image may contain: sky, outdoor and natureDay 18-can it be? Today I bid the park farewell for now. I had some flexibility in my leaving time and some things I needed to get back to Chicago for, so when offered the chance to wrap things up late this afternoon instead of trying to leave tomorrow night after full day of work, I took it.

The parting moments that will stand out in my memory:

1) The Mammoth district ranger to whom I’ve reported saying I (and Lou Dee) will always have a place there (believe me we’re already plotting next time!)

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Alien on the door frame of my house.

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2) after I tried to sneak out just leaving a note for my house mates, because I knew I was going to get all emotional, my roommate who was on duty in a squad car calling me and saying I’d better pull over to give her a hug

3) come to think of it, receiving multiple hugs today from people in body armor – an odd sensation!

I volunteered here for 3 weeks and all I got were these huge arms — and a thermal feature growing out of my head!

4) the Elk being extra flighty and weird today, just as a parting shot.

5) realizing I hadn’t actually taken a single photo of myself with something that said “Yellowstone”, pulling over at the very last possible sign, and then wondering how I was going to manage it. Then, as has been the case all month, being asked by a visitor to do something because I’m in uniform- -in this case, take a group photo. But you know what that meant they did for me? You guessed it!

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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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