Wild Rockies Summer Semester
Summer 2010, 2011
Wild Rockies Field Institute
*Accredited through the University of Montana
This course is an intensive nine-week field-course that explores the biological, cultural, and political circumstances in the Yellowstone to Yukon ecosystem, especially as it relates to biodiversity, restoration ecology and conservation of local cultures. The region is home to some of the world’s most spectacular remaining wild places and creatures. The Yellowstone to Yukon corridor stretches 2000 miles from west-central Wyoming to just south of the Arctic Circle and harbors a wonderful variety of human communities and cultures. Human population is growing rapidly throughout this territory; in fact, it is the fastest growing region in North America. This situation presents a unique opportunity to cultivate forethought and planning to ensure that these wild areas continue to provide unique, diverse, and healthy ecosystems.
This semester integrates four distinct yet interrelated courses: the first, Community Conservation in the Northern Rockies; the second, Conservation Biology in the Northern Rockies; the third, Restoration Ecology in the Northern Rockies; and fourth, Traditional Ecological Knowledge in the Northern Rockies. Through a series of backcountry trips students will explore the natural environments of the Greater Yellowstone Ecoregion, Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front, the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, and Canada’s Kootenay and Banff National Parks. In addition, students visit various rural and tribal communities that border these wild lands, providing the opportunity to engage directly with private landowners, land managers from concerned agencies, cooperating conservation groups, and representatives from First Nations.