December 18, 2014

The app allows park visitors to track eruption predictions for six geysers. Those not in the park can watch eruptions on a live stream.     Photo: Yellowstone National Park/Facebook

Yellowstone Launches Geyser Prediction App

See Old Faithful erupt in person or on your phone

A new app designed to forecast geyser events in Yellowstone National Park will help ensure that visitors get what they came for.

The app, called NPS Yellowstone Geysers, was announced in a press release this week. It sends real-time eruption predictions for six Yellowstone geysers, including Old Faithful, to visitors’ smartphones and tablets. People unable to witness the eruptions in person can watch the app’s live stream, synced to webcams throughout the park.

Project lead Brett Oppegaard, an assistant professor of communication at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, says NPS Yellowstone Geysers is a jumping-off point for a more digitally immersive park experience. Oppegaard, who developed the first interpretive mobile app for NPS five years ago, has already put together new teams of academics and NPS employees to make more park features digitally accessible.

“We have plans to make many more apps, for a variety of devices and platforms, to explore our bigger research question: Can mobile technologies do better [to inform] than other information technologies at the park, such as brochures and wayside signs?” Oppegaard told Outside.

The park has spotty cellphone reception, which is necessary for watching the live streams and accessing predictions and Yellowstone’s social media feed. The rangers, however, don’t seem worried. “As of last week, Old Faithful, Grant, and Lake all have 4G coverage from Verizon,” park representatives wrote on their Facebook page.

The predictions, of course, aren’t perfect. As National Parks Traveler notes, the app offers a suggested 20-minute window in which to catch each Old Faithful eruption. For Grand Geyser, the window extends to 90 minutes before and after the prediction.

NPS Yellowstone Geyser is available free for Android via the Google Play Store and for iPhone via the iTunes Store.


Drummond coached Tyson Gay, who tested positive for doping in 2013.     Photo: Citizen59/Flickr

U.S. Olympic Coach Jon Drummond Receives 8-Year Ban

Punished for role in sprinter Tyson Gay's PED use

On Wednesday, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced that USA Track and Field Olympic coach Jon Drummond was given an eight-year sanction for doping violations. Drummond’s punishment stems from his role as coach of sprinter Tyson Gay, who tested positive for an exogenous androgenic anabolic steroid in and out of competition in 2013.

“Coaches have an inherent responsibility to protect athletes—not take advantage of them—but to ensure that they receive the support, training, and advice they need to win fairly and in accordance with the rules,” USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart said in the release.

USADA’s decision was based on the findings of an independent three-member panel of the American Arbitration Association North American Court of Arbitration for Sport. The panel’s 23-page report details the violations, which include possession, trafficking, and “assisting, encouraging, aiding, abetting, covering up, and other complicity involving one of [sic] more anti-doping rule violations and/or attempted anti-doping rule violations.”

According to the report, after the 2012 Olympic Team Trials, Gay approached Drummond and complained of lingering pain from an injury sustained the year before. Drummond was aware of a doctor in Atlanta who would provide banned substances. “Well, all we got left is this,” Drummond is quoted as saying in the AAA report. Gay agreed, and together they traveled to meet the doctor.

In addition to the connection and encouragement, Drummond also transported the banned substances to Europe in preparation for the Olympic Games that summer in London.

Drummond’s connection was first revealed in a ProPublica story in May 2013. Shortly thereafter, Drummond filed a defamation lawsuit against Gay. The suit was stayed this past September pending USADA’s decision.

In addition to his coaching roles, which include being named by USATF as the men’s and women’s relay coach at the 2012 Olympics, Drummond was also chairman of the USA Track and Field Athletes Advisory Council. In that role, he represented the athletes’ collective voice and was in direct contact with USATF’s executive board and president Stephanie Hightower.

Claiming that USATF had no knowledge of Drummond’s activities, CEO Max Siegel released a statement, saying, “Athletes take ultimate responsibility for everything that goes into their bodies, and those who are part of those decisions and actions also are held accountable.”


The program is currently seeking female athletes to serve as mentors.     Photo: The Pug Father/Flickr

Ironman Launches Women's Outreach Program

"Women for Tri" will attempt to boost participation numbers

On Wednesday, Ironman announced a new program called “Women for Tri,” which seeks to empower and inspire female athletes.

The program aims to increase awareness of women’s triathlon, in addition to providing training resources and other content for female triathletes. The company’s post is short on specifics, but Ironman said it is looking to assemble a board of directors composed of women who are passionate about triathlon to run the initiative. Interested women are encouraged to apply at

The company is also looking to recruit a “street team” to mentor new female triathletes. Details will be released in the coming months.