If you can’t decide whether you want to go on an adventure, a scientific excursion or a language course, then this trip caters for all three! On offer is the chance to spend two weeks in the heart of one of the most fabulous natural parks on the planet where you will take part in a project on scientific journalism that will look into issues related to water, rocks, pollution and the future of the planet.
- La source d’eau chaude du Grand Prismatic et ses fameuses cyanobactéries thermophiles
- Source : NPS
Your mission, should you choose to accept it: is to conduct a full field investigation into the topic of scientific journalism and to examine issues related to water, rocks, pollution and the future of the planet!
Once you arrive at your destination, you will be assigned to one of several investigative teams, each of which will select the most burning topic of enquiry that geothermics will allow! During the course of the two weeks, each team will be allotted 10 full days to complete their investigation and to deliver the results at a press conference that will take place in English in the heart of the park. The conference will be attended by a number of park employees and visitors, who will not necessarily be English speakers. Don’t be put off by the thought of speaking at the press conference because, by that stage, your English will be good enough to see you through it! Become a world citizen!
Languages spoken: All scientific and journalistic activities of the trip will take place entirely in English. Numerous other recreational and leisure activities will be incorporated into the trip during which either French or English may be used. Meetings and interviews, talks with the park guards (forest rangers), investigations and the lectures that the young people will deliver to other visitors to the park at the end of their stay will be in English. The mandatory safety talk given by the rangers prior to any hiking trips will be in English. The campers will fill out a logbook which is available online. The sections of the logbook which are to be read by parents will be completed in French whilst all of the journalistic and scientific reports will be written in English. Here is an example Logbook 2010 of one logbook that was really well done!
Method of travel: Younger campers have the option of being given a traveling companion from any major city in the world (Rome, Geneva, Tokyo, Montreal...). In order to take part in this project, please comply with the following instructions; all campers must meet at Jackson Hole Airport (located to the south of Yellowstone Park). If you are traveling from Quebec, we strongly advise you to book your outbound flight from Montreal. If you live in Europe, we advise that you fly from Paris, Geneva, or better still, London. For all other parts of the world, it is best to fly with an American airline. In any case, please contact us so that we may advise you of the best flight route.
The research project
The scientific approach will require the campers to ask questions, to observe natural phenomena and then to measure and interpret their observations. Real scientists would certainly not stop there! Each group will then have to test their hypothesis in order to validate it. You will note down your discoveries in a logbook that you can take home as a souvenir. The instructors, some of whom are geologists, biologists and scientific journalists, will be on-hand to explain the remarkable ways in which nature works or to simply accompany the teams as they carry out their investigations. The day-to-day group work and speaking time, which takes places in English, will allow the campers to hone their ability to write up and relay their discoveries and observations. You will find your own way of getting your message across, be it an article, a journal, a video or radio report or any other document which will allow your audience to understand what you are trying to say.
This trip is part of a scheme launched by the Objectif Sciences International organization, the aim of which is to develop the skills of those who wish to work in the fields of science and communication in the future. If they so wish, campers are invited to submit their results to the UN in December under the framework of the Excellence Camps (www.vacances-scientifiques.com/Lead...).
Concepts Learned during the Camp
Renewable energy - Sensors- Chemical composition - Energy conservation - Crystals - Water cycle - Fluid dynamics - Industrialization - Light - Magmatology - Magnetism - Rivers - Thermodynamics - Volcanology - Petrography - Minerology
Topographic map - Geologic maps - Scientific computing software - Magnetometer - Tape recorder - Geological hammer - Laboratory material - Computers - Measuring instruments - Digital photography - Spectrophotometer - Optical telescopes - Digital video - Video projector
Yellowstone National Park:
The park,which is situated in Wyoming, USA, is the oldest national park. It is protected under the law of 1872 which guarantees «the preservation of all trees, mineral deposits and natural curiosities and wonders in their natural state». As a result, Yellowstone is a large-scale ecosystem that has remained relatively intact in the North Temperate Zone.
Remarkable geological processes and phenomena occur in Yellowstone. Its subsoil houses a supervolcano which is a timebomb of unimaginable magnitude. The material spewed forth from its last major eruption 620,000 years ago, covered and probably destroyed more than half of what is now the modern-day United States of America. Today the site has the highest concentration of geysers in the world with 10,000 thermal features, which account for more than half of the shallow geothermal activity in the whole world. Hot springs, bubbling mud pots and fumaroles await us as we seek out answers to where these processes come from and what effect they have on ecosystems.
The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River will give us an insight into the geological history of the region and perhaps even reveal the origin of its distinctive yellow color.
We will be encounter numerous waterfalls, a natural forest and and enormous herds of animals as we make our way along the route.
Day to day proceedings
Program of the camp: The journey through the park will take place at a leisurely pace that will be divided into a number of short stages. For the purposes of coaching, there will be one instructor for every 5 campers. The groups will travel between sites either on foot or by car. The public service vehicle, which will accompany the group for the duration of the trip, will be used to store all necessary equipment (tents, camping material, cooking utensils and scientific equipment), the personal effects of each camper (clothes, sleeping bad, camera...) and food (provisions and fresh goods). Nights will be spent in the park’s renowned designated camping areas.
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Here is an example Logbook 2010 one logbook that was really well done!