February 14, 2019
Interactive National Geographic Elk Migration Exhibit Comes to RMEF
MISSOULA, Mont.—Imagine being able to stand in one spot and yet you can witness the year-round migration of elk across the vast Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Now you can do so thanks to a collaborative effort between the National Geographic Society, Buffalo Bill Center of the West and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
Invisible Boundaries, a highly interactive exhibit created by National Geographic and based on years of scientific data, is now on display at RMEF headquarters.
“This is an amazing exhibit that follows the migration routes of nine different elk herds throughout the Yellowstone region,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “We appreciate the good folks at National Geographic in allowing us to host this display and we encourage everyone to come check it out.”
“The Invisible Boundaries exhibit ended up at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation because that’s where it belongs,” said Chris Johns, Beyond Yellowstone program leader for the National Geographic Society. “RMEF is about elk and education and helping people understand the intricacies and wonder of elk.”
Featuring an interactive map, vivid animation, video and photography by Joe Riis, and artwork by James Prosek, the exhibit captures years of scientific information gathered by Arthur Middleton, professor at UC-Berkeley and National Geographic fellow, and state and federal agencies. It presents an ecosystem-wide overview of the dynamic movements of elk herds. Scientists used camera traps, radio tracking, observation and analysis to further the understanding of how elk and other living things interact across the landscape.
“If you think about large landscape connectivity and large landscape conservation, it’s important to think of elk not just in Yellowstone, but to think about how they move across the states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. And that’s what this exhibit helps people understand,” added Johns.
It is fitting that the Invisible Boundaries exhibit is now on display at RMEF headquarters. In 2006, RMEF worked with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to provide funding for research that eventually led to the Wyoming Migration Initiative, the project from which the exhibit is created. In total, RMEF offered six years of funding to assist the project and still provides funding for ongoing elk research in the area.
RMEF’s headquarters is located at 5705 Grant Creek Road in Missoula, Montana. It is free and open to the public 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. The Elk Country Visitor Center is closed on Sundays until May.