Greetings from Glacier National Park

The crystal waters of a river stream, the blinking of a night sky sprinkled with stars, and the quiet hoot of an owl in the dark. Natural parks are wonders of our world. As a city boy raised in Hong Kong, I am constantly surrounded by highly urbanized landscapes and the sharp edges of skyscrapers. At most, we have local mountains to hike and beaches to visit, but nature at the scale of national parks is untouchable. Though I cannot satiate my longing to experience the wilderness due to the pandemic, I completed a course on River ecology designed by the Glacier Institude Online University to enrich my knowledge on the intricate relationship between wildlife and river habitats. For instance, I have always wondered about a valley’s consistency in shape and immensity in size. I have learnt that this is in fact a consequence of a process involving the river at the pit of the valley; the vertical erosion of sediments by the river creates a continuous concave until a bedrock layer is hit, this means the river will overflow in the case of floods, causing horizontal erosion. The cycle continues to form vast valleys like the McDonald Creek in Glacier National Park. A new area of knowledge was also unlocked when I learned about the hyporheic zone: the river bed containing porous space between sedimentary rocks and minerals. The zone is important because it regulates the temperature of the river water and also acts a filter that purifies the flowing stream, almost like the cardiovascular system of the human body oxygenating and recycling blood. Taking the initiative to learn about nature even when trapped indoors proves to be the correct decision as I now not only observe nature with awe but also with a deeper understanding. I’ll be graduating next year. See you then, Glacier Park!


Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park preserves more than a million acres of forests, alpine meadows and lakes with habitat for a wide variety of plant and animal life.

State(s): Montana

Established: 1910

“Glacier park is known for its snow-capped mountains and glacial landscape. Rapid global warming has prompted rising temperatures, melting glaciers, and the acidification of oceans. The preservation of Glacier Park and the conservation of ecosystems within will be very important in efforts combating global warming. ”

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