Glacier Hosts Virtual Science and History Week

Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park team up with webinar presentations on raptors, land restoration and bootleggers

By Micah Drew
Lower Grinnell Lake on Aug. 17, 2015. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

Glacier National Park and Waterton Lakes National Park, which combine as the world’s only International Peace Park, are jointly hosting a series of virtual speakers for the first Science and History Week.

The virtual presentations are replacing the annual Science and History Day that Parks Canada and the National Park Service have held for 16 years. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and associated travel restrictions, the agencies decided to move to live webinars instead of in-person events.

“Science and History Week allows us to celebrate the long-standing cooperation between Waterton and Glacier as we conduct research about our shared history and resources,” Glacier Park Superintendent Jeff Mow said in a press release.

The webinars will start Monday, Sept. 21 and run through Thursday, with all presentations beginning at noon and lasting approximately 45 minutes.

The presentation topics were selected to highlight current research and historical subjects related to Waterton-Glacier. The goal for the series is to give viewers the chance to “connect with scientists and historians from the park and get a unique look at our archives, insights and latest findings.”

Monday’s talk will focus on fescue prairie restoration using fire and traditional ecological knowledge in Waterton and the Blood Timber unit and will feature Oregon State faculty member Dr. Cristina Eisenberg, Blood Tribe Natural Resource Manager Kansie Fox and Blood Tribe Land Department Technician Monroe Fox.

On Tuesday, Glacier’s resident wildlife biologist, Lisa Bate, will talk about raptors in the park, specifically the long-term efforts that have been made to find suitable surveying sites for monitoring migration in the park.

Cassandra Buunk, a master’s student at the University of Victoria, will spend Wednesday delving into the Mountain Legacy Project, one of the largest systematic repeat photography projects in the world. Survey photos of Wateron taken in the late 1800s and early 1900s were repeated in 2004 and in 2019 and showcase the significant changes to the landscape in the park.

The webinar week will wrap up with a session by historical archeologist Kelli Casias on Josephine Droody, the infamous Bootleg Lady of Glacier Park, and her husband, park ranger Dan. Josephine is known for running a moonshine business for the Great Northern trainmen out of her remote log cabin on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. Anthropologists at the University of Montana extensively surveyed the Droody homestead in the Park and the evidence recovered at the site will be discussed in relation to the fur trade, gender, railroad and mining history, and prohibition.

Participants can pre-register online to attend each webinar.

“We’re enthused about the opportunity to bring Science and History Week presentations to a much broader audience than we ever have before,” Waterton Lakes National Park Superintendent Sal Rasheed said.