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Yellowstone Winter Studies Course Announced

October 13, 2017

In Block Five, the University of Montana Western’s Outreach office, in partnership with Yellowstone Forever, will once again offer their Yellowstone Winter Studies course. Taught by full-time Yellowstone Forever instructor Joshua Theurer, the class takes place entirely in Yellowstone National Park from Jan. 21- Feb. 1, 2018 in beautiful Gardiner, Mont.


During the course, students will conduct field observations and study the evolutionary adaptations plants and animals have made to survive the harsh Yellowstone winters.

Along with learning safe winter backpacking practices, the students will also be exposed to environmental issues faced in the Greater Yellowstone Ecology and be given an opportunity to develop their own ethical perspective.

In addition, students will gain true experience in the field of environmental science by contributing data to an ongoing genetic-based field study focused on carnivores of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

The class will also feature guest lectures from park managers, local ranchers, and other stakeholders with a deep knowledge of the park and its ecology.

This course was first offered last winter. University of Montana Western student Cassie Mann attended the class and is extremely positive about her experience:

“The class material was really engaging and flexible, and Joshua was a great teacher. I learned so much about winter animal ecology and survival, and we had the chance to interact with spokespeople from many amazing fields and projects,” said Mann.

Yellowstone Group

Students with an extensive history in Yellowstone should not shy away from this course. This class will expose almost everyone to a side of Yellowstone they have probably never seen.

“Winter in Yellowstone is a whole different world of stunning beauty and adventure, and this class lets you see this incredible wonderland in a way that 99% of the rest of the world never will. I will always think of Yellowstone now as the exhilarating land of mystery, magnificence and wonder that I experienced while in this class,” said Mann.

Yellowstone Elk

While all majors are welcome, environmental science majors can take Yellowstone Winter Studies as a part of their degree. Registration for the course opens on Nov. 7, 2017. There is an additional course fee for lodging, and meals are not included. Students will be responsible for providing their own backpacking gear and proper winter wear.

For more information, please contact School of Outreach Program Coordinator Ryann Gibson by email at [email protected] or call 406-683-7304.