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Sierra Knowledge Battery: fun with factoids: NEW ANSWERS

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Sierra Knowledge Battery: fun with factoids: NEW ANSWERS

Postby gdurkee » Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:53 am

5/4/2011:

OK boys & girls, here's the answers. Most of them are right or really, really close. Feel free to correct anything.

George

I posted this in comment to a 1930s era Yosemite Junior Ranger test over on the Whitney Zone and thought it would be interesting over here as well. I wrote it for our backcountry training session a few years ago and called it the Sierra Knowledge Battery (because law enforcement rangers have to take the Physical Efficiency Battery -- I thought there should be a truer test of ranger abilities):

Sierra Knowledge Battery
1. “Sierra Nevada” means ___SNOWY MOUNTAINS___________________ and was first named so by __SPANISH____________ explorers who saw the range from a distance in the year (extra credit!) _____1776_______.
2. The Sierra Nevada range is composed mostly of ___GRANITE___________ (rock type) and is about ____400__________ miles long.
3. ____BATHOLITH__________________ is the geologic term used to describe the one big chunk of similar and contiguous rock that forms the entire range.
a. Extra credit: what are the discrete intrusions of rock called that have risen at different times and combined to form the Sierra? ____PLUTONS__________________.
4. Mt. Whitney is the highest peak in ___THE LOWER 48 STATES________________.
a. Extra credit: recently proposed geologic theory suggests it is the highest because ____________ (that is, why is this part of the range higher than the rest and likely still rising?):
RECENT THEORY: A huge chunk of the batholith below Mt. Whitney broke free. The range there became lighter and ‘buoyed’ up faster on top of the earth’s magma layer.
5. The Sierra formed above two of the earth’s tectonic plates. They are the __PACIFIC____________ and the ____NORTH AMERICAN_____________ plates.
6. Name four threatened or endangered species that occur in Sequoia Kings.
Mountain yellow legged frog; bighorn sheep; Bald Eagle; Kern Slender Salamander; Great Gray Owl; Wolverine (State Threatened); Pacific fisher (threatened candidate for endangered); Sierra Nevada Red Fox (threatened); Little Kern Golden Trout (though technically not Sequoia Kings); Willow flycatcher (just looked this one up – who knew?).
7. In the mid-1990s, populations of Bighorn Sheep crashed. What two related factors combined to exacerbate their rapid decline? DEER HERD POPULATION IN ROUND VALLEY CRASHED; MOUNTAIN LIONS BEGAN ROAMING FARTHER FOR FOOD AND BEGAN PREDATING BIGHORN SHEEP
8. Name two places in the park where you might see Bighorn Sheep. RAE LAKES,
9. In the winter of 2003, what animals were found that hadn’t wintered in Sequoia Kings since the 1920s? Where were they seen? BIGHORN SHEEP; WEST OF GARDINER PASS.
10. Populations of two species of frogs have significantly crashed throughout the Sierra.
a. Name them. MOUNTAIN YELLOW LEGGED FROG; FOOTHILL YELLOW LEGGED FROG.
b. What are the two major causes of mortality in the higher elevation species? FISH AND Chytridiomycosis FUNGUS (aka Bd or Chytrid).
c. What major effort is currently underway in these parks to restore their habitat? NETTING FISH OUT OF LAKES THAT ONCE HAD FROGS IN THEM
d. Extra Credit: this frog was once considered one species. How many distinct species is now proposed and what Sierra pass is the dividing line between them? THREE PROPOSED SPECIES; MATHER PASS.
11. You’re at Funston Lake in Sequoia Park and a huge white bird is swooping low over the lake, it skims the water and flies off with a fish in its talons. The bird is likely a __________________ . Osprey!
12. The __GIANT SEQUOIA______________ tree is the iconic symbol of These Here Parks.
13. To successfully reproduce, this iconic tree requires ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬___FIRE__________ to prepare a suitable seed bed for seedling survival.
14. You’re hiking at 12,000 feet and see a flower with a showy blue ball of flowers and an incredibly pleasant scent. You’re looking at a ___SKY PILOT (POLEMONIUM)__________________.
15. You’re driving up the road from Ash Mountain. You see a 6 foot tall plant with a huge white flower. What is it? YUCCA
a. What animal is specialized to pollinate this plant? YUCCA MOTH
16. Name two of the three native peoples who frequented what is now Sequoia and Kings Canyon parks? YOKUTS (CENTRAL VALLEY, FOOTHILLS); WESTERN MONO (FROM THE EAST SIDE), PITANISHA (KERN RIVER)
17. Humans have likely lived in and around Sequoia Kings for as long as ___>5,000__________ years.
18. Name three major Native American trading routes across the Sierra in Sequoia Kings.
a. Name two major high altitude (> 9,000 ft) camps used by Native Americans in summer. KEARSARGE PASS; TABOOSE PASS
b. Obsidian found at these camps – or anywhere in the Sierra – is from what general geographic area ____EAST SIDE SIERRA__________ .
c. Extra Credit: name the Native American group that used the Kern drainage most extensively. PITANISHA OR TUBATULABAL
19. Name two major year-round Native American living sites in These Parks. POTWISHA, CEDAR GROVE
20. John Muir famously called the Sierra the “Range of ___LIGHT____________.”

Then it seemed to me the Sierra should be called not the Nevada, or Snowy Range, but the Range of_____LIGHT________. And after ten years spent in the heart of it, rejoicing and wondering, bathing in its glorious floods of _LIGHT_________, seeing the sunbursts of morning among the icy peaks, the noonday radiance on the trees and rocks and snow, the flush of the alpenglow, and a thousand dashing waterfalls with their marvelous abundance of irised spray, it still seems to me above all others the Range of __LIGHT________, the most divinely beautiful of all the mountain-chains I have ever seen.

21. An NPS program has been set up by Congress to assess natural resources that exist in Sequoia Kings and other parks and to create strategies to follow and track changes. This is called the _INVENTORY AND MONITORING______________________ Program.
22. Sequoia Kings has chosen 13 Vital Signs that indicate the relative health of the Sierra ecosystems. Name 4 of these Vital Signs. WEATHER & CLIMATE; LAKES; RIVERS & STREAMS; BIRDS; WETLANDS; HIGH ELEVATION FORESTS; LANDSCAPE DYNAMICS.
23. Air pollution on the west slope of Sequoia Kings parks is especially bad because of an atmospheric phenomenon that occurs in the Central Valley called the __FRESNO EDDY______________.
24. Although a major source of air pollution that effects the parks is from the Central Valley, much of it also comes from __SF BAY AREA_______________ .
a. Heavy metals at places like Pear Lake may come from as far away as __CHINA________.
25. Glaciers present in the Sierra today are approximately how old: _400 YEARS______? This period of glacier formation was called __LITTLE ICE AGE__________________ .
26. Name 2 glaciers in Sequoia Kings parks. DARWIN; LAMARCK; GODDARD (??)
27. Some Foxtail pine are estimated to be as old as ___2,500________________ . Tree ring cores that combine living and dead foxtail wood have created a contiguous-year record going back ___10,000__________ years.
a. Why are we still allowing this ancient wood to be burned? TIMID BUREACRATS.
28. Global Climate Change (aka global warming) is likely responsible for significantly (> 1,000 vertical feet since the 1920s) narrowing the elevational habitat range of what adorable critter ? PIKA
a. What behavioral factor is likely the cause of this? FEEDS ONLY DURING A NARROW TEMPERATURE RANGE. TOO HOT AND THEY WON’T FORAGE.
29. The Whitney Survey of California explored and mapped the Sierra in the _1860’s_____ (years) .
a. Name 3 of the members of the party. BREWER, KING, COTTER, GARDINER, HOFFMAN
b. Who said: “To coolly seat oneself at death’s door waiting only for the fatal summons takes as sublime a type of courage as I know” CLARANCE KING
i. Where did he say it? FIRST ASCENT MT. TYNDALL
ii. What inspired him to so name the peak? JOHN TYNDALL DID EARLY ATMOSPHERIC WORK AND EXPLAINED WHY SKY WAS BLUE (THOUGH LATER SUPERCED BY EINSTEIN’S WORK ON THE SAME PROBLEM).
c. Which one was a draft dodger? KING (ALSO MUIR, THOUGH HE WASN’T ON THE SURVEY PARTY)
30. Which of the following animals hibernate: Belding’s ground squirrel; California black bear; marmot; pika? BELDING’S GROUND SQUIRREL; MARMOT
31. What spot in Sequoia Kings is the spiritual nexus of the entire universe? HA! YOU FIGURE IT OUT.
32. The best way to prevent giardia infection is to __MAKE SURE EVERYONE IN YOUR PART WASHES THEIR HANDS OFTEN________________ .
33. Extra, extra credit: An 1890s equipment list in the Sierra Club Bulletin recommended taking lemons on a trip. Why?
RECOMMENED TO SQUEEZE LEMONS INTO WATER TO COVER THE TASTE OF SHEEP PISS THEN IN MANY ALPINE STREAMS AND LAKES.
34. What legendary Sierra mountaineer was rumored to carry a small anvil in his huge pack to repair shoes with on trips? NORMAN CLYDE
35. Who likely was the first person to climb Mt. Darwin? (Also the first person to climb Mt. Whitney by the Mountaineer’s Route). JOHN MUIR
36. You’re skiing along at about 8,000 feet in fresh powder. Underneath a large tree, you come upon a hole in the snow, a short set of tracks leads from the hole, then the tracks disappear. What’s happening here?
This one was pretty fun, eh?? It was a Blue Grouse. They dive under the snow during severe winter storms then come out when the storm is over, take a few steps, then fly away. They’ve been known to kill themselves when they try to dive into hard crust snow.
37. “As I carefully and deliberately made my way down toward the notch, I scanned and re-scanned the northwestern face. Much of it was concealed by irregularities. Suddenly a fly droned past, then another, and another.

“The quest is nearing an end,” I reflected.””

Who said that? Who was he searching for?
NORMAN CLYDE; THE SEARCH FOR WATER STARR, JR. (“STARR’S GUIDE”).

38. Final Question: There is only one real test to being a backcountry ranger: repeat the phrase “Wow, you’re going to Mt. Whitney?!?” about 3,000 times where #1 and #3,000 are said with the same surprise, awe and deep respect that any person would attempt such a manly challenge.
Last edited by gdurkee on Wed May 04, 2011 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: Sierra Knowledge Battery: fun with factoids

Postby The Other Tom » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:23 am

I think I can answer about a third of them. Where's the answer key ??
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Re: Sierra Knowledge Battery: fun with factoids

Postby Ozark Flip » Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:05 pm

Fantastic post George. I'm looking forward to learning the answers to the ones I don't know. Especially #33....lemons??? To get rid of freckles??? (Jan Brady)....LOL

Flip
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Re: Sierra Knowledge Battery: fun with factoids

Postby gdurkee » Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:32 pm

The lemon one is great! No one has ever gotten it.

I'll let this percolate a little, then post the answers in the next 4 days or so.

g.
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Re: Sierra Knowledge Battery: fun with factoids

Postby rlown » Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:35 pm

scurvy?
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Re: Sierra Knowledge Battery: fun with factoids

Postby gdurkee » Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:48 pm

Good, but no cigar (or lemon rind). Here's a hint: sheep.
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Re: Sierra Knowledge Battery: fun with factoids

Postby sirlight » Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:53 pm

Or course lemons. Everyone knows you need a lemon wedge with your trout!
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Re: Sierra Knowledge Battery: fun with factoids

Postby rlown » Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:01 pm

it's not a trout question. I prefer orange with mine,anyway. Lemon would kill bacteria on a sheep carcass.

So Instead of a one-off, how do you want us to do this, George? I mean we could google all day, but.. some of the questions are obvious: John Muir, Light, Plutons, American, Pacific...

Nice questionnaire.

Russ
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Re: Sierra Knowledge Battery: fun with factoids

Postby sirlight » Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:13 pm

Lemon and rosemary go good on sheep too. Sorry, I could not resist. :D I know we are trying to be serious though. They are all great questions, but I suspect that I only have answers to about 25%. Time to hit the books!
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Re: Sierra Knowledge Battery: fun with factoids

Postby gdurkee » Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:43 pm

Ha. I dunno. I have/had no plan. Just thought some of the questions are fun -- maybe even fun to track down. But you're right, some are obvious or, to the totally focused Sierra Topix person, should be! But some are pretty darned obscure, yet cool (I like to think).

So maybe people throw in best guesses on the ones that interest them? The hole in the snow one (#36) is pretty fun also.

But answers will come! Just not immediately 'cause what would be the fun in that?

Nor is there any reason whatsoever to be serious. But you don't eat the sheep with the lemon.

g.
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Re: Sierra Knowledge Battery: fun with factoids

Postby sirlight » Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:54 pm

gdurkee wrote:But you don't eat the sheep with the lemon.
Of course you do! Try a search for lemon rosemary roast leg of lamb and you will get plenty of recipes.

Just don't eat the sheep in the Sierra!

Will be interesting to see how this thread progresses.
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Re: Sierra Knowledge Battery: fun with factoids

Postby tim » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:35 pm

Does the lemon juice smell put the sheep (and marmots?) off licking/gnawing your boots/backpack for the salt?
A friend of mine was bivving in Canada (Banff I think) a few years back and woke up to find himself being licked by an elk.
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