Category Archives: Yellowstone

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Ecology and Adaptation in Yellowstone

Introducing Melanie Hill, Yellowstone Social Media Liaison & Guest Blogger Melanie Hill is a Media & Public Engagement MA graduate from the University of Colorado Boulder. Her creative-track thesis, the Bears & People Project, explores how the use of community engagement and visual storytelling can reduce negative interactions between humans and black bears in Boulder, CO. Melanie

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Arriving in Yellowstone

My arrival to Yellowstone National Park yesterday afternoon did not disappoint. The skies were blue and welcoming as I drove through the Roosevelt Archway, en route to the Lamar Buffalo Ranch. The bison were plentiful; I must have passed hundreds of them on my short drive in. Various raptors swooped through the air in search of prey, and

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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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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 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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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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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 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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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 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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