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About the Author: Ellery

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My name is Ellery McQuilkin and I’m a senior at Lee Vining High School. I’ve lived in Lee Vining for my whole life and have grown up backpacking and hiking through the Sierra. My experiences conducting scientific research on glaciers, swimming in cold mountain lakes, and exploring the Sierra have shaped my perspectives on the world. I want to acknowledge that I’ve had these experiences on the ancestral lands of the Mono Lake Kutzadika'a Tribe, who continue to care for the land today. As I learn more about this land, I’m motivated to use my privilege to help shed light on its true history and shape a better future. I plan on attending a small liberal arts college and majoring in geology and feminist studies.

Bishop Visitor Blog Posts by Ellery:



We’re driving home. The hills roll out before me, Mono Lake glistens in the distance, a light dusting of snow splatters the tops of the mountains that define the landscape. This drive, this view, is always a little different, but today it feels like something entirely new. I’ve just learned more about the landscape and begun to understand the science behind it. What I used to look at and think of as hills, are now the lateral and terminal moraines of massive glaciers that stretched from Yosemite into Mono Lake. The sudden rise of the Sierra comes from faulting, the erratic boulders are from ancient massive glaciers, the Bishop Tuft is from one of the most immense recorded volcanic explosions. All the little pieces of a view I see so often, come into focus with entire histories behind them.