We have updated the Windows Into Wonderland website for a better user experience. Because the eTrips were created with older technology, we have had to include some of the videos and activities outside of the eTrip. Please make the students aware that the affected videos and exercises are listed by page number below the eTrip. The student should use the links below the eTrip on the listed pages rather than the outdated links in the eTrip. Thank you!
Winter in Yellowstone is marked by cold temperatures and deep snowfalls, compelling some wildlife to survive by migrating to lower elevations outside of the park. However, many of Yellowstone’s Central Range bison endure the cold season by utilizing the park’s thermal features. Take your students on a 55-minute interactive investigation of the unique winter habitat of thermal areas and explore the advantages and hazards of such sites. Wildlife biologists, appearing in video clips, discuss the issues, and in-trip activities reinforce student knowledge.
For a list of education standards applicable to this field trip, see the Lesson Plans or National Standards.
If time permits, students may wish to read the Yellowstone National Park Orientation before taking this electronic field trip.
How do the thermal areas of Yellowstone affect bison migration patterns? What advantages do such sites offer to bison and other wildlife? What dangers do wildlife encounter that are specific to hydrothermal features? How do different wildlife species interact within a thermally influenced area?
Key Concepts Explored in this eTrip
- Thermal areas provide key survival habitat for the park’s bison.
- Thermal areas affect bison migration patterns.
- Different wildlife species may compete for limited space.
- The habitat of thermal areas may be both advantageous and hazardous to wildlife.
Pre-Electronic Field Trip
Post-Electronic Field Trip
There are three main video clips in the Flash (high bandwidth) version of this field trip on pages 21, 24 and 37. You can watch them here:
California State University Monterey Bay prepared a visualization of the migration of Yellowstone's central herd. This content is not part of the main eTrip, but is offered here as an additional resource for teachers and students. Watch Yellowstone Bison Migration (Transcript)
- Hydrothermal Systems in Yellowstone
- Basic Information about Bison in Yellowstone National Park, including links to videos
- Episode 8 - Bison, Yellowstone InDepth: Yellowstone preserves the most important bison herd in the United States. Learn more about the near extinction and recovery of these remarkable animals, how they make it through harsh winters, and what their survival says about our ability to share the landscape with another species.
- Geysers video, Yellowstone InDepth episode 7 (5 min. 49 sec.): With over half the world's geysers, Yellowstone offers tremendous opportunities to see these geologic wonders in action. Explore the mechanics of geysers, their role in the park's history and what they teach us about the world in which we live.
- Book References