In March 2019, in conjunction with the Yellowstone Association Institute, twelve students participated in intensive Yellowstone fieldwork. Students spent the mornings in the field, usually in Lamar Valley, where they observed bison, elk, moose and wolves. Afternoons featured private lecture-discussions with speakers representing a critical range of viewpoints on a set of issues. Students also heard from heads of the NPS bison and wolf management plans, and spoke with local ranchers and leading environmental activists.
The first day of field research is dedicated to studying Bison in terms of migration patterns, behavior, physical features, and Brucellosis transmission.
During the second field day, student will have the opportunity to speak to local wolf watchers, track wolves using radio telemetry and scopes, and snowshoe to the wolf pen used for the 1995 reintroduction.
On day three students will travel to the Martin Davis family ranch where they will gain an understanding about cow-calf operations, hear how public policy changes have impacted local ranchers, and get answers to any questions they may have.
Day four will consist of becoming informed on what climate change really is, learning about how it has impacted the park and wildlife, and discussing what worsening global warming means for the park’s future.
The last day will be spent learning about the formation of calderas, discussing popular microbes within the park, and visiting hot springs and upper terraces.