5th Graders at Prairie Lane Elementary in Omaha Nebraska using James Campbell's and Tom Albertsen's eSchool account.
eSchool Chat with Nancy Shea of the Murie Center at http://www.muriecenter.org/
January 15, 2001
Welcome to eSchool!
Tom Albertsen: Good morning! This is Tom in the media center at Prairie Lane Elementary.
Colette deFrey: Good morning, everyone. This is Colette, the moderator of the chat.
Colette deFrey: Robin is on her way over to Prairie Lane
Tom Albertsen: Hi, Colette! The Prairie Lane media center computer is ready!
Tom Albertsen: I'm going to test the web push.
Tom Albertsen: http://communitydisc.westside66.org
Tom Albertsen: Everyone see the CD home page?
Colette deFrey: I got it
Colette deFrey: Does James' website work?
Colette deFrey: Will he be pushing it during this chat?
Tom Albertsen: I don't know. Obviously his materials are not on the CD server?
Colette deFrey: no, they are not on the CD server.
Tom Albertsen: I'll try to find out. James is still having class.
Charlotte Reynolds: Good morning everyone. Nancy Shea and I are here and ready when you are.
Tom Albertsen: Hi, Charlotte and welcome, Nancy! I just finished visiting with James. Looks good for a 9:30
Colette deFrey: Hello, Charlotte and Nancy!
Tom Albertsen: Colette- James does have his information posted on the district server. His students have
the URL's and we will push them from here.
Colette deFrey: I will be moderating the chat today so that Nancy doesn't get bombarded with messages.
Charlotte Reynolds: Colette, That would be helpful. Nancy will be at the key board and I'll just be sitting back
Colette deFrey: Sounds good!
Colette deFrey: The kids are typing themselves today, so we'll see how that goes.
Colette deFrey: If it's too slow, then Tom and Robin can step in.
Charlotte Reynolds: Sounds Fine.
Tom Albertsen: Actually, James has asked that I do the typing to expidite things.
Colette deFrey: That is great, Tom! Will Robin do it for the other machine?
James Campbell: Yes, I am typing for the students in the classroom.
Tom Albertsen: We are ready!
James Campbell: I have three young ladies ready and waiting!
Colette deFrey: OK, would the kids in Tom's group please put up their first questions
Tom Albertsen: The students are here.
Tom Albertsen: From Mike: What are wolves capable of? Like how do they survive?
Colette deFrey: The kids in Robin's group will be next and can go ahead and type in their question
Colette deFrey: Just don't enter it until we have Mikes' qustiion answereed, OK?
Tom Albertsen: we have lost Charlotte from the log in list!
Colette deFrey: We sure have. I'll give her a call.
Tom Albertsen: Time out for technical difficulties!
Colette deFrey: I've got the museum on the phone
Colette deFrey: They are going to log back in again
Colette deFrey: They haven't gotten any of our questions
Colette deFrey: Her computer just locked up
Tom Albertsen: We will repost them as soon as they are logged in.
Colette deFrey: So he is restarting and then logging in again
Colette deFrey: Sorry for the problem.
Colette deFrey: The lady the kids are going to talk to used ot live in Lincoln, NE
Tom Albertsen: We also have lost Deb Harkliss.
Colette deFrey: I think Deb gave up
Colette deFrey: OK, the machine is rebooted.
Colette deFrey: She's now going into eschool
Colette deFrey: She's almost there
Colette deFrey: Her computer is slow
Tom Albertsen: From Mike: What do the wolves need to do to survive?
Colette deFrey: They have your question and are answering it.
Charlotte Reynolds: Wolves are predators. They feed on mammals like elk, moose and occasionally young
Colette deFrey: Next qustion from Robin's group-
James Campbell: From Katy: Are there other animals that you study besides elk and caribou?
Charlotte Reynolds: Olaus Murie was very curious about many kinds of animals. He primarily studied the
ungulates which are elk and caribou. But he did a very complete study of the eating habits of the coyotes
here in Jackson Hole.
Colette deFrey: Next question
Tom Albertsen: From Zach: Are the wolves staying in Yellowstone NP? Or are they roaming outside of it?
Charlotte Reynolds: The wolves have moved throughout the area we call the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
Two winters ago they made their first apprearance here in Jackson Hole which is some distance from
Yellowstone Park. We were very excited to see them here.
Colette deFrey: next question
James Campbell: from Alex: What other animals are in your area?
Charlotte Reynolds: The Greater Yellowstone area is filled with many kinds of animals. Let me list a few:
moose, elk, bison, grizzly bears, black bears, pine martens, coyotes, wolves, eagles, many kinds of hawks,
trumpeter swans, just to name a few!
Colette deFrey: are the ranchers happy to see the wolves?
Colette deFrey: Next question
Tom Albertsen: From Nathan: How long have you (Ms Shea) been doing this kind of work?
Charlotte Reynolds: Some ranchers were concerned that wolves were being brought back into the
Yellowstone area. But as everyone has adjusted to them being here there is less controversy than at the
beginning. Plus ranchers are given money is a wolf kills one of their livestock.
Colette deFrey: We also have Nathan's question about Ms. Shea's work
Charlotte Reynolds: I have been working in the environmental field for about twenty five years. Just three
years ago I started the Murie Center to carry on the work of Olaus, Mardy and Adolf Murie.
Colette deFrey: Next question
James Campbell: from Tess: Where do you go to study animals?
Charlotte Reynolds: It is very easy (in some ways) to study animals in this area since they are all around us.
Olaus Murie did much of his work in Alaska where he became the expert on caribou. When he moved to
Jacksonn in 1927 he began studying the elk that live here year round.
Ron Abdouch: Next Question Please!
Tom Albertsen: From Mike: How many wolves to bring down a moose? Have you ever seen a wolf pack
actually bring down an animal? (We lost Colette!)
Ron Abdouch: Yes for right now!
Tom Albertsen: Good to have Ron as a back up!
Ron Abdouch: I'm back on Ron's machine. Mine froze up! YIKES!
Tom Albertsen: Were you using Snow?
Ron Abdouch: no
Tom Albertsen: You should!
Charlotte Reynolds: The wolves hunt in packs. So many wolves are involved with each hunt. Moose are very
large so wolves tend to select the young or old ones to hunt. I have not seen a wolf take down a moose
although I have watched many wolves.
Ron Abdouch: OK, next question. Do any of you have qusrions about Murie's work?
James Campbell: from Jake: What is your favorite animal that you have studied?
Charlotte Reynolds: I do not study animals myself. I believe that Olaus Murie would choose caribou or elk as
some of his favorite animals to study.
Ron Abdouch: next question
Tom Albertsen: From Casey: Are there any fences around Yellowstone Park? If so, are they to control
Charlotte Reynolds: Yellowstone Park is way too big to be fenced. Some private landowners that have
ranches around the park will put us some fences to keep their cattle in.
Ron Abdouch: next
James Campbell: from Zach:Why did Murie decide to study the elk and caribou?
Charlotte Reynolds: Olaus Murie grew up in Morehead Minnesota. He loved the north country and as a child
would spend most of his free time wandering in the woods. When he got old enough the first thing he wanted
to do was to head to the far north to explore the arctic. The elk and the caribou are animals that live in that
terrain so he ended up studying them.
Ron Abdouch: next
Tom Albertsen: From Ellie: Do you have a favorite animal in the Jackson area? Why?
Charlotte Reynolds: Myself...I love many animals but I love watching the bison and the ravens.
Colette deFrey: next
Colette deFrey: are the kids rotating? is this a new group?
James Campbell: from Ben: what role does art play in your scientific investigation?
Colette deFrey: that's a great question
Charlotte Reynolds: Olaus Murie used his artistic skills primarily to capture the details of the animals he
observed on paper. He used journal sketching as another way of recording what he was seeing.
Colette deFrey: where can we see his work?
Colette deFrey: next question
Tom Albertsen: From Casey: Have you ever got to touch a live elk or caribou? If so, when and how do they
Charlotte Reynolds: Since Murie was not a professional artist, the best way to see his work is to view the
sketches used to illustrate his books. Look at his field guide to Tracks (a Peterson field guide) or his book
Wapati Wilderness which is all about his life in Jackson Hole.
Colette deFrey: And Casey has a question, too
Tom Albertsen: From Ellie: Do you happen to know how long the canine tooth in an adult wolf is?
Charlotte Reynolds: It is not a great idea to touch wild animals. They are very large and fearful of humans. I
have been close to them and used my other senses to appreciate them, sight and smell and hearing.
Tom Albertsen: oops! Sorry, didn't mean to hit return!!!!!
Colette deFrey: That's OK, Ellie
Colette deFrey: Ellie's question is next
James Campbell: from James himself: On the Murie center website, there is a picture of a red breasted
mersenger. Did Olaus focus on just the head as a matter of personal style or for scientific reasons?
Charlotte Reynolds: I do not know the size of the canine....Olaus would have! Sorry.
Colette deFrey: Hold all quesitons until James' is answered. OK?
Charlotte Reynolds: Olaus' sketches varied a lot. Sometimes he would just focus in on one aspect of the
animals, head or paw or claw and sometimes he drew the entire animal.
Colette deFrey: OK, next
Tom Albertsen: From Casey: You mentioned the use of smell in studying animals. How you you use that
particular sense when studying animals?
James Campbell: from Erica: Do you think bison should be fenced because they carry diseases?
Charlotte Reynolds: The bison bruscelosis issue is a controversial one. Some people believe that they are
very contagious but there has never been a recorded incident where bison have transmitted deadly disease
to cattle. It is very difficult to fence a bison...they are very large.
Colette deFrey: next
Colette deFrey: OOPs, what about the
Colette deFrey: the smell question
Charlotte Reynolds: What is the smell question?
Colette deFrey: HOW do you use the sense of smell when styding animals
Charlotte Reynolds: Animals use smell as a way to mark their territories. It is useful when doing field work to
get familiar with different animals odors so you can detect who has been present in an area.
Colette deFrey: Great. Next question
James Campbell: from Lindsey: How many types of caribou are there?
Charlotte Reynolds: In north america there is one species of caribou. The reindeer is closely related but has
Colette deFrey: How close are we to having every kid get a question in?
Colette deFrey: I know the kids have p.e. at 10:15
Tom Albertsen: From Ben: How many animals do you formally study?
Charlotte Reynolds: I actually do not study animals. I run a center where we bring people together to talk
about conservation issues. Kind of like we are doing today.
Colette deFrey: If we go to Jackson on vacation, can we visit the Murie Center? What will we see there?
James Campbell: I still have 2 students with questions
Charlotte Reynolds: If you come to Jackson you should call the center. We are restoring the Muries old ranch
that sits just inside Grand Teton National Park. We have about sixteen buildings that we are preserving to
create a small conference/retreat center.
Colette deFrey: OK, let's take the first one. Be ready with the second
James Campbell: from Becky: How did Murie die? How old was he?
Charlotte Reynolds: Olaus Murie died in 1963, he was 74 years old. He died of cancer. Right up to his death
he was speaking to groups about the value of wilderness.
Colette deFrey: and the last question
James Campbell: from Nathan: Do you like this job better than the one you had before you came here?
Tom Albertsen: I still have 2 students who haven't have a turn.
Charlotte Reynolds: I love my job. The Muries are very interesting people and they had such a deep
attachment to the wild. So do I. My last job was great too. I was a teacher at an outdoor education school.
Colette deFrey: the next to the last quesiton, please
Tom Albertsen: Zach: Why did Mr Murie study elk and caribou? (he wasn't at the computer when it was
James Campbell: another student came from Tom's group, so I have one more
Colette deFrey: Olaus Murie grew up in Morehead Minnesota. He loved the north country and as a child
would spend most of his free time wandering in the woods. When he got old enough the first thing he
wanted to do was to head to the far north to explore the arctic. The elk and the caribou are animals that live
in that terrain so he ended up studying them.
Colette deFrey: next
James Campbell: from Alec: What do you enjoy studying the most?
Charlotte Reynolds: Olaus grew up in the wildlands of northern Minnesota where he came to love the wild.
When he was old enough he took his first expedition to the far north (Hudson Bay) and began his lifetime
work studying the animals of the far north.
Tom Albertsen: Michael: How are things going with bison in Yellowstone? Are they staying in the park. How is
Colette deFrey: And Alec's question is our final one
Charlotte Reynolds: I enjoying most getting to work with people like yourselves to help them understand the
value of wild places.
Colette deFrey: Would you like to answer that question that snuck in about the bison in Yellowstone?
Colette deFrey: are they staying in the park?
Colette deFrey: How are they controlled?
Charlotte Reynolds: The bison have been staying in the park because the winters have been more mild. Once
the snowmobiling ends they will have less opportunity to find their way out of the park as well.
Tom Albertsen: Sorry about the technical difficulties at the beginning! The students were very interested in
your work and that of the Muries'! Thank you very much for your time!!!!
James Campbell: James says Thank you so much. Please visit our web site at
Colette deFrey: Yes, the kids have done some very nice work in this area
James Campbell: We will continue to add content to the web site.
Charlotte Reynolds: Thanks so much for including me in your work. I enjoyed talking to all of you.
Colette deFrey: Again, thanks from all of us for taking time to do this, Ms. Shea and Charlotte
Tom Albertsen: Bye, Nancy and Charlotte!! Thanks again!
Colette deFrey: We really appreciate it! Hope to visit with you this summer in Jackson
Ron Abdouch: Thanks from me too!
Colette deFrey: THE END
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