Mount Rainier National Park has a wide variety of ecological communities that span over 250,000 acres. Cycles and processes are the building blocks in the foundation of these ecosystems, just as they are in any ecosystem. Photosynthesis, predation, decomposition, climate, and precipitation facilitate the flow of energy and raw materials throughout these communities. Living things absorb, transform, and circulate energy and raw materials and release them again. Cycles and processes provide the essential connections with the ecosystems of Mount Rainier National Park.
The following lessons and activities in this section will help students and teachers understand the biocomplexity of the park including the interconnections between living and non-living things the flow of energy through ecosystems and an introduction to the different ecological communities found in and around Mount Rainier. There is a variety of ways to conduct these lessons: in the classroom, in the field, or actually at Mount Rainier. No matter where you teach these lessons they are all interactive, hands-on, and even a little competitive.
Life and Death on the Mountain
King of the Mountain
Life Zone Rummy
Did You Know?
About 5,600 years ago the summit and northeast face of Mount Rainier fell away in a massive landslide accompanied by volcanic explosions. The Osceola Mudflow, a towering wall of mud and rock, thundered down the White River Valley where it deposited 600' of debris eventually reaching the Puget Sound.