Posted by: Bonnie & Hans | September 18, 2011

Collaring Caribou and Massive Moose

For more than 20 years, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has been inviting high school students to Onion Portage to help with the Western Arctic Caribou Herd research. This year seven students from our school participated in the event. The students, the science teacher, the district cultural director, and a parent headed downriver in two boats loaded with camping gear and warm clothing. They spent the next two days helping the biologists collar caribou, take blood samples and weigh calves.

Boats with biologists and students pull up close to caribou as they cross the river

Researchers make sure females and calves aren't separated in the process

Weighing a calf

A student attaches the tracking collar

Students were able to participate in field research methods and given the opportunity to explore the possibility of a career in wildlife biology. Data collected from the research is used within the region to monitor the herd and make management decisions.

Meanwhile, back at school, the K-1 class was learning about another northern arctic mammal, the moose.

First grader looks up, up, up at a life-size paper moose (6 to 6.5 ft at shoulder)

Kindergarten student compares himself to life-size moose calf

Comparing students' weight to a moose calf

And finally, this week’s parting shot and words of wisdom ….

"With one moose kick, we could die."



  1. Your pics are amazing! Thanks to Summer, I know I would hate to get kicked by a moose. I can’t believe they pull the caribou into the boat. They all look so calm. They don’t kick or bite? What a great learning experience for the kids.

  2. Interesting experience for the students helping with the caribou. I especially liked the life-sized moose comparisons. (I’m glad we watched the moose in Idaho from a safe distance last week.)

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