WUOMFM

Auchter's Art: Making Isle Royale great again

Apr 21, 2017

ARTIST'S POV: Back in high school, one of my friends had an older sister who spent a summer on Isle Royale doing research. She made the mistake of trying to have a conversation about this with a bunch of 16 year-old boys.

Because we were from Flint, we had a difficult time with the concept of gainful employment outside the context of a General Motors factory or a Halo Burger grill. "You get paid money to walk around the woods?!" Also, testosterone poisoning rendered us without any real social skills for conversations with an older girl.

But where she really lost us was when she mentioned her work involved counting wolf and moose droppings to assess the size and health of the herds. It was pretty much an endless series of poop jokes from that point.

I found out from a Michigan Radio story earlier this week that counting the wolf herd on Isle Royale is much more straightforward these days. There are only two left.

It was interesting to hear from experts why this might be important. We are often a country of 16 year-old boys when it comes to science. Experts don't always have the answers and often they can be wrong. But considering the thoughts of those who have actually studied the issue is a great way to start a conversation.

(And a belated apology to Linda Hasselbach wherever you are.)