Monthly Archives: January 2018


Day 11: Our Final Day

It’s hard to imagine that our time in Yellowstone was coming to a close. Tomorrow morning, we would all be heading back to Boulder just in time for the start of CU’s spring semester. Fortunately, we still had a full day of activities ahead of us.     First stop: going for a soak in the Boiling River.

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Day 10: Life in the Anthropocene

This was our second to last full day in Yellowstone, and we started the day with some cross-country skiing in the park. We stopped in Mammoth to pick up our ski gear, and went off to the Upper Terrace Loop trail. We were all excited to get out, but most of the group had never

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Day 9: Living with Wolves in Yellowstone

With our discussion surrounding John Shivik’s Predator Paradox book fresh in their minds, the students were eager to head out to Paradise Valley to the Davis Ranch.     We pulled into the Davis Ranch and were immediately greeted by a medium-sized black dog, who seemed to be shepherding us along to our parking spots. We stepped out

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Day 8: Moving into the Overlook Campus

Having the ability to stay at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch for the first 10 days of this course was an absolute treat for all of us. The students and teaching team enjoyed the time spent in the park, but today we were off to our new home at the Overlook Campus. The Overlook, located just north

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Day 7: Tracking Wildlife

We started the morning off with another visit by Rick McIntyre. The Junction Butte wolves were once again bedded down across from the Buffalo Ranch, and he was setting up scopes for those who wanted to observe. Many of us had woken up to the wolves howling throughout the night, with a far-off coyote yip here

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Days 5 & 6: Foundations of Yellowstone & Animal Adaptations

Our next couple days were rich with informative lectures and presentations, but still allowed the course to get out in the field to explore.     On the fifth day, Dr. Lambert dove into the trophic cascade and explained various evolutionary and ecological principles, the food chain and trophic interactions, Yellowstone’s specific example, keystone species, and showed how

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Day 4: Snow Science with Dr. Halfpenny

Last night four students paired up and spent the night in our custom-made quinzhees. Another brave volunteer, Luke, decided he’d like to try sleeping outside as well, but with just his sleeping pad and sleeping bag. Jim Halfpenny worked with one student, Dylan, to monitor temperatures inside the snow shelter to determine just how many Snickers bars (215

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Day 3: Pronghorn and Winter Ecology

Excerpt from Built for Speed: North America’s fastest mammal, the pronghorn can accelerate explosively from a standing start to a top speed of 60 miles per hour—but it can also cruise at 45 miles per hour for many miles. What accounts for the speed of this extraordinary animal, a denizen of the American outback, and

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Soda Butte Creek

Day 2: Wolves in Yellowstone

Today’s agenda: wolves. The class got a bright and early start to make the most of our time with Nathan Varley and Linda Thurston, two wildlife biologists in the region. Nathan was among the first volunteer field interns hired after the reintroduction of wolves in 1995. He and Linda met when she joined the Yellowstone

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Day 1: Yellowstone Orientation

It was our first morning at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch, and the students and teaching team were teeming with excitement. We started the day off with a gourmet breakfast, and settled in for lectures that would orient the students to the Yellowstone Ecosystem. The 18 students all come from fairly diverse backgrounds at the University of Colorado, with

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