Glacier National Park Announces Brown Bag Seminar on Woodrat Middens
Contact: Ellen Blickhan, 406-888-5838
Contact: Tara Carolin, 406-888-7863
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – The public is invited to attend the Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center and paleoecologist, Dr. Saxon Sharpe, from the Desert Research Institute in Nevada, for a Brown Bag Seminar on Tuesday May 10, 2011 from 12 -1 p.m. in the West Glacier Community Building. "Vegetation Change in Glacier National Park: The past, the future, the climate, and why packrats are important!" will highlight information on the value of woodrat (also called packrat) midden research and discoveries from other parks. Interested individuals are also invited to participate in a workshop from 1- 4 p.m. to learn how to assist the researcher in safely sorting midden samples and in identifying objects for analysis.
Dr. Sharpe's research focuses on the interaction between vegetation communities and climate. She will be discussing plant remains recovered from packrat middens in Glacier National Park and what these plants tell us about the environment 2,000 years ago. The Glacier National Park Fund has supported this research.
Dr. Saxon Sharpe has extensive experience in woodrat midden research, including the study of late Pleistocene and Holocene vegetation change in Arches National Park and Dinosaur National Monument.
When: Tuesday, May 10, 2011, 12- 1 p.m. presentation; 1-4 p.m. hands-on exploration of midden samples
The program is free and open to the public. Individuals who would like to participate in the afternoon session to assist with midden sorting are encouraged to sign up by calling the Research Learning Center Director at 406-888-7863.
Did You Know?
Lake McDonald is the largest lake in the park with a length of 10 miles and a depth of 472 feet. The glacier that carved the Lake McDonald valley is estimated to have been around 2,200 feet thick.