Saint Xavier University Center for International Education Study Abroad

Yellowstone Project

The Yellowstone Project

The Yellowstone Project provides students with the opportunity to engage in policy-oriented fieldwork under the direct supervision of naturalists, ecologists and environmentalists who live and work in the greater Yellowstone area.

In partnership with the Yellowstone Association Institute, SXU has established a program that will have students spending most of each day in the field, learning to track and photograph wildlife and study the effects of wolf reintroduction and climate change on the natural environment and on the local economy. During the trip, students will meet local ranch families and environmental activists working to preserve the public lands of the Yellowstone ecosystem.

Earn Undergraduate Course Credit

Spring Break 2020

In March, the Greater Yellowstone Area may still be in the last weeks of winter. Sometimes the snow is deep, especially in the higher altitudes within the park boundary. This drives the Bison and elk down to the lower areas in search of grasses. Other years, and more frequently now, early March may be sunny and relatively warm. Be prepared for snow-shoes or hiking boots. The migrating bison and elk are followed by the wolves as the drama of predation is played out in Yellowstone's Lamar Valley.

Plan now to work in this remarkable setting!

What You Need to Know

High Activity Level: Some moderate to strenuous hiking, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing daily. Students need to be physically fit.

Housing and Meals: Students will be housed in dormitory style rooms in a large modern cabin. Students will prepare group meals, reflecting the principles of sustainable agriculture.

Selective Admission: Spaces are limited, only 12 students can participate. Every student who plans to apply to the spring break 2020 travel-study course must have completed PHIL 242 in the Fall semester of 2019. Participants in the spring break travel-study course will be selected from those who complete the fall course based on their final project submission. If you have any further questions or concerns, contact Dr. Thorp: thorp@sxu.edu.

Program Travel Dates:
Spring break 2020 (March 9-15)

Application Deadline:
Until available spaces are filled.

Program Cost: With the support of a major NSF-HSI grant SXU offers you the opportunity to travel and conduct research in Yellowstone National Park. The only cost will be a lab fee of under $100.

Program Director:
Thomas Thorp, Ph.D.,
Professor of Philosophy
Email: yellowstone@sxu.edu

Yellowstone Fun Facts

Student Experiences

"This course and trip literally changed my life ... I'm now completing an internship at the Washington D.C. office of the Sierra Club."

--Chance Cutrano


On the lectures and speakers: "We heard from speakers on all sides, ranchers, environmentalists and some of the top research scientists working in the Park ... clearly no easy answers."

--Michael Catania


On encountering big horn sheep: "I was focusing my zoom in on one of the males in the herd, when he quickly turned to look back up the mountain. Another male was charging down the mountainside. It sprinted across the flat and just rammed the two other males. I see now why they call them rams!"

--Keith Murphy