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ERIC Number: ED417049
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
Pages: 8
Abstractor: N/A
Building a Backcountry Yurt: Ecological Design Intelligence within Outdoor Programming.
Kobe, Kevin; Goltra, Norman
Student volunteers at Utah State University's outdoor program designed, built, and carried a yurt 4 miles into the backcountry. A yurt is a traditional Mongolian structure, circular, with a lattice wall covered by material. Rafters slope upward to a top ring, on which sits a skylight. The outdoor program wanted to expand its offerings, and to do that it needed its own inexpensive shelter located relatively close by. This yurt was also built to teach about passive solar design and sustainable living. After a fairly detailed description of how the yurt was built, its uses are discussed. The first year was an informal "open house" for the yurt. Most of its use came from those who helped build it, but it was rented to other students, staff, and faculty. The yurt is used as a ski hut and backcountry classroom for teaching mountaineering; winter ecology; telemark skiing; and the special adaptations that plants, animals, and humans make to survive the winter. Learning about snow is also a critical element during these courses. Students dig snowpits and record information on snow temperature, stratigraphy, hardness, density, and resistance. They also test the snowpack to detect weakness, and build snow shelters and sleep in them. Through knowing the principles of winter ecology, it is hoped that students will gain an increased appreciation of how living systems are connected, and how humans are connected to these same living systems. The outdoor program's website address is given. (TD)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A