Extreme Yellowstone Expedition (EYE)

The Extreme Yellowstone Expedition team hikes 7 miles into the Yellowstone backcountry with sampling equipment, including a data logger for gathering pH and temperature measurements; and dry ice and a cooler for bringing back water samples that may contain microorganisms.

In Summer 2014, a research team from Montana State University and a student from Lone Peak High School in Big Sky, Montana, journeyed into the Yellowstone National Park backcountry to gather date about hot springs in the Heart Lake Geyser Basin.
The Extreme Yellowstone Expedition team hikes 7 miles into the Yellowstone backcountry with sampling equipment, including a data logger for gathering pH and temperature measurements; and dry ice and a cooler for bringing back water samples that may contain microorganisms.
Research team members use a two-story window washing tool to safely gather water samples from a thermal feature that is so hot it would injure or even kill a person or animal who fell into it.
Yellowstone's Heart Lake Geyser Basin, near the base of Mount Sheridan, is home to a series of thermal features, including hot pools, vents and fumaroles. Researchers from Montana State University study the micro-organisms that can live in extremely hot and alkaline water.
Scientific instruments are attached to a long pole for safety, then used to collect pH and temperature readings from various points along the edges and within the center of a hot spring.
CONTACT US
Jamie Cornish
MSU Extended University
P.O. Box 173860
Bozeman, MT 59717-3860
jcornish@montana.edu

Extreme Yellowstone Expedition  (EYE) is a series of activities and lesson plans for middle schools geared to the Next Generation Science Standards and focusing on astrobiology and Yellowstone National Park. Based on an actual scientific expedition into Yellowstone's backcountry, students will see research come to life, mimic experiments conducted by scientists, work with actual data sets, and get to know researchers and STEM role models. 



LESSON PLANS

Check out the lesson plans here.

 


OTHER RESOURCES

Yellowstone National Park and Astrobiology

Download a pocket-sized booklet that describes why NASA astrobiologists are interested in studying the hot springs of Yellowstone to learn about the origin of life.

Astrobiology

Astrobiology: The Search for Life, a website hosted by the Exploratorium.

Exploring Life’s Origins

A website from the Museum of Science in Boston that aims to use downloadable illustrations and animations to help describe origins of life research and theories to broad audiences. The website includes an interactive timeline of life’s evolution and information on the RNA world theory.

Origins

The Exploratorium’s Origins website featuring the extraordinary places, people, tools and ideas behind the search for the origins of matter, the universe, and life itself.

PBS NOVA Web Site—Origins

In this companion Web site to the program, find out how life could have started and why water is needed for life; read about the latest discoveries in origins research; use raw data to assemble the famous Eagle Nebula image; insert your own values into the Drake Equation; decode cosmic spectra; and more.