Program Details

Location: Bozeman, Montana

Dates: Summer 2020: June 23–July 7, 2020

Accommodations: Primarily camping or backpacking

Credits: 5 quarter credits or 3.35 semester credits

Language: English instruction

Courses: ESCI 437A

Prerequisites: One college level course of ecology or similar,
18 years of age

Program Costs

Yellowstone Summer 2020
$    150    Application Fee
$ 2,150    Program Fee
$    775    Estimated In-Country Fee
$    500    Estimated Airfare
$    300    Estimated Food Money/Personal spending

$3,875    Total Estimated Cost
Summer 2020: Program fees due by May 1, 2020 


The Program

The Greater Yellowstone region is a highly complex and biologically diverse ecological system. It is one of the last remaining intact ecosystems in the lower forty-eight states, and still contains its entire pre-European compliment of species. Complex issues facing these wildlife populations present challenging management problems with few easy decisions.

Extirpated in the 1920s, restored in 1996, and delisted in 2011, wolves remain Yellowstone’s most controversial species. Every year thousands of people come to Yellowstone hoping for the chance to see a wolf in the wild. And yet many ranchers and hunters remain vocal opponents to the successful return of the wolf. At the same time, the Yellowstone grizzly bear has rebounded from 250 in the 1970s to more than 700 today, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is on the verge of delisting grizzly bears in Greater Yellowstone. Yellowstone National Park is also the only place in the United States where bison have lived continuously since prehistoric times, yet the park is not big enough to meet the year-round habitat needs of these majestic animals. Their need to migrate outside the park in the winter has created a seemingly intractable management problem, pitting the principles of conservation biology against ranching interests and the Montana livestock industry.

With Yellowstone’s Northern Range as our base, we will embark on forays in and around the park to conduct our wildlife studies and observations, including day hikes and a multi-day backpacking trip. Our hands-on field studies will be augmented by information exchanges with wildlife management experts and conservation community leaders. By the end of the project, team members will have a deeper understanding of the ecology of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem and will have participated in firsthand investigations of major Yellowstone wildlife habitat issues in and around the nation’s first national park.

Program Photo Gallery


More Details






Veronica Yovovich

Lead instructor

PhD in Environmental Studies, UC Santa Cruz, 2016

Veronica is a carnivore biologist whose research interests lie in mountain lion ecology. She has worked on a number of field projects, from the Australian outback to the cloud forests of Costa Rica, and from studying marmots at the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab to tracking wolves in Yellowstone and Arizona. Her PhD research focused on examining mountain lions and the structure of their communities of the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. Veronica has co-taught the Yellowstone Program since 2012.