Can we talk about science without acknowledging human influence? Can we talk about human society without discussing our environment? Ecological Inquiry (EI), our most recent course in the TSS Graduate Program, wove together the social and the ecological as we explored the systems that drive policy and dialogue in the Mountain West.
All the places where we live and travel play important roles in forming who we are. Every city or region leads to memories that can only be connected to that particular place. Just like everyone else, I have so many places that make me into the person that I am today. The Tetons is one of those places.
Days in the Tetons alter your perspectives, challenge your identity, and forge a relationship between you and your natural surroundings. As students transition back to their homes, this place stays with them - I know from firsthand experience.
Yellowstone is frequently referred to as a land of fire and ice, but to the casual summer observer this may seem only half true. Visiting in the winter, however, is like setting foot onto another planet.