Interim Report

Team Number: 043
School Name: Cuba High School
Area of Science: Enviornmental Science
Project Title: A Possible solution to the over population of elk in New Mexico
Project Abstract: http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/97.98/abstracts/043.html
Interim Report: http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/97.98/interims/043.html
Final Report: http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/97.98/finalreports/043/finalreport.html

In the North Western region of New Mexico, the elk population is highly over crowded. The elk are damaging property of the ranchers nearby. As a result of this over population of elk, these elk are seeking food in rancher's alfalfa fields and other areas instead of the normal range. This problem is extremely important because ranchers are having to rebuild damaged property, which has caused a great money loss for them over the past several years. Ranchers are having problems keeping their cattle within specific grazing limits, which results in penalties and fines from the Forest Service. With no other solution to this growing problem, the Game and Fish Department has recently decided to destroy twenty percent of the elk population in highly affected areas. The computer program in which our team intends to write will help identify a better solution to this problem with out having to destroy elk on such a large scale.

The first step in solving this problem is to gather information on the number of elk, their eating habits, and their habitat. This information was gathered from the Forest Service, High Country Outfitting, and the Game and Fish Department of New Mexico. The second step in solving this problem is to use a computer program that shows a grid. The grid will establish an average elk population from data researched. Third, the plan will be to develop a growth rate of the elk for every year. This would probably be one calf for every cow. Finally, make up permit policies for the hunting of both cows and bulls.

The progress our team has made has been very significant as well as educational. Our team has started out developing a project that a computer program could not solve, and turned it around to where the project could be solved by a computer program. This is thanks to the scientists at the Glorieta Kick Off Conference to helping our team make our project into a computer program and to better understand the steps we will take to solve the problem. Our team has worked together to gather a numerous amount of data from several places as well as the internet and from local ranchers on elk. Each team member has individually done a report on a specific topic on elk to better understand their habits and life style. Our team has also developed an algorithm for the program we are later to write.

The results that our team expect to get from this project will be a slow decrease in the elk population size instead of killing off elk in a large number at one time. These results will show a more humanitarian way of the decrease of elk in New Mexico rather than destroying the population of elk in a barberic and inhuman manner. By doing this, the balance of nature will not be distrupted.

Works Cited

"Mount Rainier National Park". Online. http://www.halcyon.com/rdpayne/mrnp-elkstudy-81.html

"Elk Food". Online. http://www.iup.edu/~ferenc/elk0004f.htm

Montoya, Anthony. "High Country Outfitting." November 12, 1997. Inteview.

Duran, Richard. "New Mexico Forest Service." November 18, 1997. Interview.

"Game and Fish Department".November 21, 1997. Interview.

Team Members:

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New Mexico High School Supercomputing Challenge