All of that hard work pays off

Following several great days outside of scientific inquiry and exploration, each group had a chance to present their findings. You can take a look at the finished work from each group here: Wondershred, Wild, Huggin’ Hippies, and Oddles of Noodles.

A big thanks to all of our groups and their fearless leaders.

Team MOSS Huggin’ Hippies

Team Wild

Team Oodles of Noodles

Team Wondershred

At the end of the day, everyone bids the MOSS campus a fond farewell and boards the bus homeward bound.

AL@Brundage has been a great success! Snow science in the park and on the mountain along with snow shoeing and skiing/snowboarding proved to be the perfect combination. Overall this has been a great experience that we can build on for the future. If you are a student or teacher and would like to be a part of AL@the Mountain, drop us a note. We want to continue building momentum.

Stay tuned for future AL@the Mountain expeditions…


The Adventure Continues…

With yesterday’s storm continuing to drop snow into the night, the mountain greeted us with yet another fresh blanket of snow.  Without wasting any time, the teams were on the mountain shortly after the lifts opened to get back in the pits. First things first, time to dig.After digging, there was more digging.Once the pits are deep enough, the groups collected more data to help answer different questions posed about the snowpack.  Groups performed a variety of investigations from snow stability based on aspect, to moisture content with respect to elevation.Groups had to take a variety of measurements in the snow pits within each layer, such as crystal type, snow temperature, and density.Sometimes, the snow was really deep, and there were a lot of measurements to take.Concluding another fun and educational day on the mountain, the groups share their thoughts and experiences.  Team Oodles of Noodles shares their learning for the day:

We learned how to ski and snowboard the backcountry by getting over our fears.  We learned that when digging pits with differing aspects, the number of weak layers and stability varies.  The amount of weak layers were not differing when we dug our pits.  This could be explained by the fact that we did not dig all the way to ground level.

Team Wondershred talks about their connection to place:

We mostly spent our day at Brundage skiing the great powder lines this morning after digging our pit.  Brodie and Trey’s pile-up in a tree well, then Harry’s double ejection and tomahawk were also great times at Brundage.

The Adventure of the Day is brought to you by Team Wild:

We accomplished so much more than we thought we would.  We also have become closer to each other throughout the week.  The biggest thing was we had an amazing support system to help us feel more comfortable. Our leaders and fellow teammates all came together to form a family group for the week.

Team MOSS Huggin’ Hippies discusses the science of the day:

Today we dug two snow pits.  One was 235 cm deep, and the other was 200 cm deep. They had many layers which we took information from to calculate Snow Water Equivalency.  Both pits went from the surface to the ground, “That’s pretty neat.”

Another great day on the mountain.

Let It Snow

A continuously falling layer of fresh snow greeted our teams today as they tested their snow science skills on the mountain.After a bit of a hike to find some undisturbed snow, it was time do dig some snow pits.Techniques learned yesterday are put to use with students gathering real data from the slopes, such as snow layer thickness, hardness, temperature, and density which were used to calculate Snow Water Equivalency.When all of the measurements were completed, the snow pits were filled in for safety’s sake.This left enough time in the day to get a few good runs in before lifts closed.

After returning from a long day, the students got a chance to reflect upon some of the activities for the day. Team MOSS Huggin Hippies share their learning of the day here:

Today at Brundage we learned how to do the Rousche Block Test to see how stable the snow pack is/risk for avalanche.  We also learned about a wind shear layer that can occur in a snow pack, which can cause it to be unstable. We also explored the mountain resort.

Team Oodles of Noodles talk about their connection to place:

Spending the day at Brundage reminded us of home because of the similar terrain to the mountains near Coeur d’Alene and spending time with people we enjoy, One example of this is our field instructor Ally; she treats each student as a brother or sister and is attentive to their needs to keep you at ease, and she made learning fun for all.

The Adventure of the Day is brought to you by Team Wild:

Today our adventure was going to Brundage Mountain! We had a blast NOT crashing. We accomplished much more than we expected and felt successful at the end of the day.  We also improved on making our snow pits because we had a better understanding about what we were doing, making the process quicker and more efficient.

Team Wondershred discusses the science of the day:

Our adventure of the day is when Harry and Tyler got hit by a “mini avalanche. Also Harry hit a huge rock cliff and just launched right off.
We also learned about compression tests of snow. We learned how avalanches actually start.
Justin our field instructor was sharing with us all the good ski areas. He also was instructing us in the snow pit. Brodie and Trey hit a great patch of unpacked snow.
Mr. Esler our high school science teacher also experienced his own miniature avalanche that fell right in front of him!

Come back tomorrow to see more fun and learning take shape!

What a beautiful day!

We had a great day with blue bird skies and snow science in Ponderosa State Park! In preparation for our time on the mountain we needed to become familiar with procedures and techniques for digging snow pits.

Once the pits were dug, we could get down to doing science. Here we are looking at crystal structure.

And the temperature of the different snow layers using a thermal imager.

We also had lunch in a beautiful setting.

The afternoon was spent digging additional snow pits and collecting snow science data. Each team had a chance to share there experience around one of the guiding lenses. Team Wild shares their learning of the day here:

We learned about the complexity of snow:

–        Snow crystals

  • In the morning we saw a presentation about snow crystals shapes and the way that they transform in a variety of conditions.
  • The shapes almost seemed like a prank, they were so intricate and diverse.

–        Snow tools

  • It was fun to learn how to use the tools needed to analyze the amazing phenomenon, we mentioned above

–        Using all three types of temperature sensors, the snow water equivalent lab, and the snow shovels.

For at least one team member, learning about the natural phenomenon in the context of the natural world allowed us to see the intricacy of our environment without killing the magic and beauty of its existence.

Team MOSS Huggin Hippies talk about their connection to place:

Some areas looked like my backyard.

The snow reminds me of my grandfather’s house.

It reminded me of camping.

All the snow reminded me of Lake Coeur d’Alene

The squirrels look like the ones at my house that I see running and jumping around.

The Adventure of the Day is brought to you by Team Wondershred:

Shovel sledding – nailed tailbone on the shovel while sledding on facets (snow).

Digging snow pits – being the first time, seeing different layers and using it later on, nose pressing – learning to use pressing our fist against our nose to estimate the pressure we should use to test snow hardness.

Nordic skiing – working on the form and face plants

Snowshoe hike – tiring, the spills, and identifying trees

Team Oodles of Noodles discusses the science of the day:

By learning about snow pack, the snow layers and the different kinds of snow (Rounding & Faceting; melt freeze, rain crust, etc…) made our adventure today more meaningful and we understood what we were doing and why , henceforth making it more fun.

Science = fun!

Science we learning today:

–        Snowpack

–        Snow water equivalent

–        Snow layers

–        Snow depth

–        Rounding

–        Faceting

–        Avalanches

Our new found knowledge was applicable to digging snow pits. We started by determining the different layers and hypothesizing what weather could have made it happen.  Next we took the temp of the layers with the infrared thermometer to determine if there was a gradient.  The entire height was measured. Then crystal samples from each layer were examined to support/not support out hypothesis. We also determined density of each layer to find snow water equivalent.

Two great days thus far. Stay tuned for tomorrows post where we bring you snow science from the mountain.

Fun is being had!

A long day on the bus…

After a full  day on the bus, the AL@Brundage expedition team has safely arrived at MOSS. The expedition team was broken into smaller groups to conduct field work during the week. Groups were tasked with coming up with a name. Each day a different group will be sharing their experience through the lens of the AL@ Trail Report. Our groups are:

  • The MOSS Huggin’ Hippies
  • SWTPKMP aka Team Wild
  • Oodles of Noodles
  • Wondershred

From Monday –

The authentic narrative of the day comes from Team MOSS Huggin’ Hippies:

This morning I got up at 5:30 and rushed to get ready. Then I was on my way to a new adventure, full of fun and science. The bus ride was an experience in its own. We spent 7 hours listening to music and talking. Our bus started at 2050 ft elevation and descended to approximately 600ft elevation in Lewiston then back to 5100ft in McCall. Overall it was a great experience and I enjoyed it. I ate yummy food by the fire.

The connection to place for the day comes from Team Wild:

Displacement/placement – Riding in the bus frustrates our need for place. We rolled through each ecosystem without ever setting foot or finding our bearings. The sensation of displacement makes the body want to reach out to any semi-permanent place. MOSS is a solace from that jailed displacement – solid ground. This contrast makes us realize how desensitized  we are to the natural contingencies at play in our normal communities.

The adventure  of the day comes from Team Oodles of Noodles:

Coming to MOSS, only one person in the group had ever been there before. Getting to know the MOSS campus and staying in cabins was new and exciting. It was also exciting to see so much snow after not having any back home. Traveling through many elevations changes was also an adventure with our ears popping frequently throughout the trip.

Team Wondershred talks about the learning of the day:

We learned that Red Rover is dangerous. We learned that there is a lake in McCall and that MOSS is in Ponderosa State Park. We also learned about each other and our experiences we have had with school and on the mountain, skiing and snowboarding.

Introducing our Expedition Team!

Each day we are going to share our adventure of the day, learning of the day, connection to place for the day, and an authentic narrative about the day. But first, we need to meet some of our expedition team and hear what they have to say about AL@Brundage:

My name is Leeann Dreher. I am a Junior at Lake City High School. I wanted to come on this trip because of my interest for science and the outdoors. Also, I think that snowboarding is going to be very exciting. The new adventures we are going on should be great experiences.

Hey there! My name is Megan Dibble. I am 16 years old and am a Junior at Lake City High School in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. I enjoy lots of outdoor activities like tennis, horseback riding, snowmobiling, skiing, and such. I love living in Coeur d’Alene because of all the beautiful scenery. I can’t imagine living somewhere else with no lush green trees, glimmering lakes, and lots of wildlife. I’m excited to stay at MOSS and experience all the new things it has to offer!

My name is Harrison Bashaw. I am excited to be on this trip to go skiing and snowshoe through the park and learn about snow science. I am also glad to be part of the Adventure Learning expedition team here at MOSS.

My name is Taylor Nope. I am a freshman at Lake City High School and the reason I am on this trip is because I really thought it would be interesting to learn about avalanche science and at the same time snowboard. I just think it would be a great experience. I’m going to be totally honest and say that I have never snowboarded before. I’m really eager to learn how to.

My name is Tyler Briner and I go to Lake City. I’m really excited for skiing and snowshoeing. I also want to learn more about avalanche and snow science. I think this is a really good opportunity and I’m looking forward to it.

I’m Patrick, born and raised in Post Falls, ID. I’ve had a season pass to Lookout for something like six years. I’m stoked to be here for the snowboarding, snowshoeing and avalanche stuff. It’s always good to ride with new people, plus these kids look like they could teach me a thing or two.

My name is Cody Jahns. I am excited to be part of the Adventure Learning Expedition Team because I am interested in learning the science of snow. I am going to apply these skills to know when it will be a good powder day for me and my snowboard. I have been snowboarding for 8 years. A little bit of information about me is that I ride motorcycles, wrestle, and pole vault.

My name is Evan Barton. I am a junior at Post Falls High School. I love science and discovering new and unknown things. I am looking forward to learning a lot about snow and kinesis. I am also looking forward to meeting many new people, and I am looking forward to working with so many professionals.

If I’m not in my classroom grading papers, you’ll find me in my kayak, on my skis, riding my bike, or hiking with my family.  I guess you could say that I’m an outdoor enthusiast with a science teaching problem.  I fell in love with wild places while studying alpine glaciation and geomorphology in the Wrangell Mountains of Alaska, and have dedicated myself to spreading the love ever since.  That was almost ten years ago, and from my classroom in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho today I do all that I can to provide young people with similar opportunities to experience natural places while learning about Earth’s dynamic systems.  I’m glad to be on board for this one!

Hola! This  is Matt Werner. I’m thrilled to be here at MOSS this week with my students. I teach Mathematics in CdA, Idaho at Lake City High School. My background as an adventure guide for ROW International really has me excited to join outdoor experience with education, especially Algebra and Geometry. Being active and learning at the same time is an experience I want to expose all my students to.

Stay tuned for a busy week of snow science, healthy and active living, and Adventure Learning!

Welcome to AL@Brundage

It’s an exciting time for Adventure Learning @ UI! We are simultaneously embarking on two expeditions, AL@Latitude: Equator and AL@Brundage. For the former, expedition team member Justin Hougham will be joining a crew on a 37′ sailboat and traveling from Cabo San Lucas Mexico to Nuku Hiva in French Polynesia. For the latter, we have a group of high school adventures making the trip from Northern Idaho to Brundage Mountain outside of McCall Idaho. These high school adventures will spend a week learning about snow science while immersed in a beautiful natural setting.

One of the interesting aspects of these two expeditions is that one will be traveling along the equator and the other will be taking place approximately half way between the equator and the north pole. How are atmospheric conditions in these two locations similar? How are they different? These are the questions Justin and our high school adventurers are seeking answers to. Stay tuned for some exciting stories!