Yellowstone Winter Experience Field Course
Yellowstone National Park: Home to 10,000 thermal features, some of the wildest country in the nation, bison, elk, wolves, and virtually every other wildland creature to be found in the Rocky Mountain west will be the setting for our field exploration for this four day journey of discovery!
Our accommodations are situated in the town of Gardiner, overlooking the park’s Gallatin Range. Field time will be spent in the Lamar Valley, amongst the high summits of the Beartooth Range in Yellowstone’s northeast corner, the Blacktail Plateau, and the thermals near Mammoth.
Points of Interest:
- Search for Yellowstone’s northern wolf packs with wolf expert Jim Halfpenny
- Learn of changing wildlife migration and habitat based on an altering climate
- Examine the various thermal features
- Explore the fascinating past of Yellowstone, the nation’s first national park
- Study the components of this ecosystem and learn how they all work together
- Meet with YNP personnel to learn how the park is managed
Planned Class Schedule
This course convenes in Gardiner on Thursday evening. Our first day will serve as an introduction to the nation’s first national park. If time allows, we will meet a local rancher to discuss the issues of ranching among grizzly bears, wolves, bison and escalating land prices.
Time will be spent snowshoeing in the Lamar Valley and exploring the northeastern part of the park.
Generally, class will be held in the mornings and afternoons will be spent in the field, although weather and wolf sightings will dictate the order of things to take the best advantage of this experience.
What will you take away from this journey?
As you leave Yellowstone on Monday, you will take with you solid knowledge of how Yellowstone works in winter, and its relationship to other elements of its wider ecosystem. The reading materials you've been given, along with any notes and photos you take, will serve as your external hard drive. Your memories of the experience will be priceless.
The cost of the course includes instruction, meals, and lodging during the program. Participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the city of Gardiner. Participants need to bring snowshoes. A map, suggested gear list, reading materials and a more detailed itinerary will be available prior to the start of the course.
This personal enrichment course is not offered for university credit. Therefore, formal admission to The University of Montana is not required, and residents and nonresidents pay the same fee.