Under the instruction of Ryan Atwell PhD, his wife Anna Peterson and a cohort of graduate students, 14 impressive students from Rhodes College, Memphis TN, have been fully immersed in the ecology of our regional landscape. Over the past two weeks, highlights have ranged from unheard of wildlife watching in Northern Yellowstone, from dawn to late night, to philosophical arguments in response to Annie Dillard’s, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. Through the many hours in the field, students have experientially engaged ecological ideas such as the influence of regional abiotic processes on ecological patterns and processes, patterns of succession and natural disturbance regimes, trophic interactions, and human management to name a few.

The next two weeks this course transitions into application of new knowledge through scientific inquiry while connecting students with regional scientists and land managers. In hope to empower future scientists, students will experience research first hand tracking bighorn sheep, resighting song birds and searching for pikas alongside ecologists from the Wyoming Game and Fish, Conservation Research Center, and the University of Wyoming. Finally, in groups of four, students will complete the science circle beginning with their own observations and scientific questions to conducting a full, field research project. Results of their research will be presented on Tuesday, June 26th, evening at 7pm in Kelly. All are welcome to attend this culminating event.

Thank you Mickey Babcock and all of our partners for helping to make this amazing course happen!