Editor’s Note: The Young Women and Science program, now in its 26th year, was created to support the development of 8th and 9th grade students as leaders in the field of science. The program is designed to build science inquiry skills, knowledge of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, and leadership for a future generation of women scientists.
“My dream is that someday we’re going to come in here on a Saturday night, order a bunch of pizzas, and unplug everything in this room. Then, we’re going to put it all back together and hope everything still works.” -Scott Daily, Information Technology Director
We arrive at Cottonwood Ranch on a chilly, overcast October morning. We are met by owner Freddie Botur, who takes us into his ranch office. Tall and lean, Freddie is every bit the proverbial American cowboy. He is dressed in muddied work boots, blue jeans, and a full-brimmed hat and bandana.
Deciding what to do with my life is a question that rolls through my mind every day. Have I fulfilled my life dream yet? Have I landed my dream job? Have I narrowed down what I want to do? These questions make many of us jump in our seats and make our palms sweat. Who would ever truly be able to answer these?
We're rolling into Hayden Valley after a satisfying morning of elk bugling in the misty sagebrush plains just outside of Moose. It was a thrilling experience, but that was eight hours ago. As we made our way across the central Yellowstone Plateau, we saw a lot of lodgepole pine trees, but not a single mammal. I can sense my Wildlife Expedition guests wondering when we’re going to get around to the wolves and/or bears part of our “Wolf and Bear Expedition.”