Yellowstone’s Call: Discover Nature’s Marvels through Conservation Biology (9th and 10th)

Dates: 3-30 – 4/5
Location: Yellowstone
Price Range: $3,300 – $3,500
Theme: Outdoors & Science
Faculty Contact: Angie Sharp & Kip Wassink
On March 1, 1872, Yellowstone became the world’s first National Park. It is one of 20 known super-volcanoes, contains nearly half of Earth’s geysers, and is home to the largest concentration of mammals in the contiguous United States. Yellowstone National Park forms the core of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). On this trip, we will make our scientific contribution to the fascinating and distinctive GYE on this extraordinary EBC experience. Before the spring thaw, we will venture out from our cozy lodge and into the snowy landscape with snowshoes to see the park’s geologic features, observe wildlife, and collect data. We shall enjoy the solitude, beauty, and concentration of wildlife at this time of year that you cannot find during the bustling summer months. As EPS scientific thinkers, we will use radio telemetry to track the park’s top five ungulate species, including bison and elk, and collect key information about herd demographics. We will also spend a morning observing Yellowstone’s wolves, learning the story of wolf reintroduction, and exploring how species interact to impact the entire ecosystem’s functioning. We stay in a comfortable lodge but will have long days outdoors with the opportunity to also explore the colored pools, mud pots, steam vents, and geysers that make Yellowstone so famous.


Day 1: Arrive in Bozeman, Montana – Meet your instructors and journey to Gardiner, the park’s North Entrance gateway town. Settle into the cozy lodge that will be your home for the next week.

Days 2-5: Explore Yellowstone and track wildlife through the lens of Conservation Biology. Develop your snowshoeing skills, utilize radio telemetry to track ungulates, learn to differentiate between genders and ages of species, and apply your newfound abilities to collect snow and wildlife data. Use the data you’ve collected to develop an independent research question and utilize a variety of resources to explore your topic.

Day 6: Observe wolves with the park’s Wolf Education Specialist; explore the area’s geothermal features – colored pools, steam vents, and more.

Day 7: Present your research findings to your peers, celebrate your completed course and contributions to wildlife conservation, and return home.

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