• The Cathedral Group from the Teton Park Road

    Grand Teton

    National Park Wyoming

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  • Bears are active in Grand Teton

    Black and grizzly bears are roaming throughout the park--near roads, trails and in backcountry areas. Hikers and backcountry users are advised to travel in groups of three or more, make noise and carry bear spray. Visitors must stay 100 yards from bears. More »

  • Moose-Wilson Road Closure

    The Moose-Wilson Road between Death Canyon Junction north to the intersection with the Murie Center Road is temporarily closed to motor vehicles, bicycles, skating, skateboards and similar devices. For current road conditions call 307-739-3682. More »

  • Multi-use Pathway Closures

    Intermittent closures of the park Multi-use Pathway System will occur through mid-October during asphalt sealing and safety improvement work. Pathway sections will reopen as work is completed. Follow the link for a map and more information. More »

‘Snowdesk’ Webcasts Reach Students across America

Snowdesk_GTNP_2013
Rangers Dragoo, Carter & Stetson broadcast from Grand Teton NP's 'Snowdesk'

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News Release Date: April 1, 2013
Contact: Public Affairs Office, 307.739.3393

For a third year, Grand Teton National Park interpretive rangers brought the fascinating winter world of northwestern Wyoming to students across America. Rangers interacted with classrooms in California, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming through video conference technology from a 'Snowdesk' set. Via curriculum-based distance learning, students were transported to the snowy Teton landscape outside the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center in Moose, Wyoming. 

Through this distance learning program, over 400 students were able to learn about and connect with Grand Teton National Park -- a place that few of the students have actually visited. Some classrooms had a connection to Grand Teton because their teachers were past participants in the National Park Service's (NPS) Teacher-Ranger-Teacher Program -- a summer program that brings classroom educators to national parks to work as interpretive park rangers. 

Students from kindergarten to 5th grade interacted with Grand Teton rangers, who broadcasted live from an actual desk carved in snow with the Teton Range as backdrop. Rangers created their 'Snowdesk' set by leveling out an area for demonstrations and by shaping the desk out of snow, complete with an NPS arrowhead. From this snowy set, Rangers Kristen Dragoo and Sarah Carter taught students about park wildlife and their winter adaptations, while Ranger Julie Stetson gave field demonstrations. Students learned how the cold and wintry Teton environment affects the survival of all living things (plants, animals and people). Using Skype video conferencing technology, rangers and students were able to interact with each other visually and verbally during each 30-minute broadcast. To reach different learning styles and enhance the experience, animal pelts, wildlife photographs, park maps, and park newspapers were previously loaned to each classroom. 

Classrooms used their own technology to connect with this video conference program. Each classroom only needed a computer with access to the internet, a web cam, microphone, speakers, and access to Skype.   

In a new effort this year, park rangers implemented a snow desk program for a teacher workshop at Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. This outreach program was designed to introduce educators about the benefit of teaching science to students using technology and curricula based on national parks. With its past successes, Grand Teton National Park hopes to expand distance learning programs to other schools next winter, as well as promote efforts to work with other national parks. 

Schools wishing to participate in Grand Teton National Park's 'Snowdesk' during the 2013/2014 winter season should call 307.739.3349.

Did You Know?

Aspen tree bark close-up

Did you know that the bark on Aspen trees looks green because it contains chlorophyll? Aspen bark is photosynthetic, a process that allows a plant to make energy from the sun, and helps the tree flourish during the short growing season.