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Yellowstone Project

Partnering with The Yellowstone Project FAQ

Students who wish to join us can Request Information and contact us directly. Here’s how to establish a partnership that will allow students to earn credit while joining us.

Do students need to be enrolled and paying tuition at their home institution?

Yes, students who join us must be enrolled in a course at their home institution. Participating in one of our program sessions is made relatively simple by the fact that the home institution will be granting the credit and retaining the tuition. 

Our per-student program fee covers the costs of local instructors and guides, housing, food, and local transportation, plus a small fee to SXU. One of two SXU professors accompanies each fieldwork trip and our "service provider" is Yellowstone Association Institute (yellowstoneassociation.org).

What are the requirements for students who wish to participate?

There are two requirements:

  • Students must be enrolled and earning credit at their home institution when they participate. Generally this means they are either completing a course or they may be satisfying a program requirement: often an environmental fieldwork requirement, or a community-based learning requirement.
  • Students need to have completed a course that prepares them to participate, a course at their home institution that focuses on environmental policy or a similar course. Our program helps students comprehend the Greater Yellowstone Area (the Park and the surrounding lands) through historical, political, and philosophical analyses that contextualize the findings of the natural sciences.

What exactly will we be doing?

You will gain a good idea of what our days will look like by reading the Daily Itinerary for our Winter 2013 trip.

What we will be doing, each day, will depend to some degree on which issues happen to be active at the time of the fieldwork. Is the state of Montana adjudicating a plan to allow bison to leave the Park? Are collared wolves being hunted near the border of the Park? What initiatives are being advanced to deal with snowmobiles and other winter-use issues?

To some extent we will follow the current issues but we work to bring the issues back to several central and fundamental questions:

  • What are the democratic values represented in the creation and preservation of wilderness refuges such as Yellowstone National Park? 
  • What are the historical injustices that are repressed through the formation of National Parks?
  • What are the factors at work in differing public perceptions of the Park and its value? 
  • How do we comprehend the relation between science and public policy, or science and democratic processes?

Who will be participating in each fieldwork program?

Given both the need to respect the wilderness setting and our attention to student safety, each trip is limited to just 12 students. 

We will offer back-to-back programs during the 2015 Spring Break season, and we may be offering one program in mid to late August 2015. Clearly, then, enrollment is extremely limited and we encourage participating colleges and universities to view the opportunity as highly competitive. 

How do I join your “Yellowstone College"?

We like to say that we do not recruit students so much as we recruit programs and individual faculty. We are interested in forming partnering relationships with (and thus helping to enliven and sustain) existing programs or courses that emphasize policy-oriented and values-based environmental studies. 

Colleges and Universities can send their students to participate in one of two ways: 

  • Given the investments of faculty time and institutional resources required to offer courses that include Yellowstone fieldwork as an option, a college or university may choose to establish a formal agreement with The Yellowstone Project. This requires a written exchange at the Provost level and an annual payment $500. The payment insures that we will hold open at least three spaces for your students in a designated program.
  • We of course encourage participation from institutions that are not interested in establishing formal partnerships, and with sufficient prior notification we can assure places for any students who meet our requirements.