Toon & text by John Auchter
Back in high school, one of my friends had an older sister who spent a summer on Isle Royale doing research work. She made the mistake of trying to have a conversation about this with a bunch of 16 year-old boys.
First off, because we were from Flint, we all had a difficult time with the concept of gainful employment outside the context of a General Motors factory or a Halo Burger grill. (“You get paid money to walk around the woods?!”) Second, testosterone poisoning rendered us without any real social skills for conversation with an older girl.
But where she really lost us was when she mentioned her work involved counting wolf and moose droppings to access the size and health of the herds. It was pretty much an endless series of poop jokes from that point.
Apparently, from a Michigan Radio story I heard earlier this week counting the wolf herd on Isle Royale is much more straightforward these day. There are only two left. But go ahead and check out the story — it is interesting to hear how researchers are assessing the situation and developing plans.It is also interesting to hear from experts why this might be important. We are often a country of 16 year-old boys when in comes to science. Experts don’t always have the answers and often they can be wrong. But considering the thoughts of those who have actually studied the issue is a great way start a conversation.
(And a belated apology to Linda Hasselbach wherever you are.)