There’s still time to register for many of our exciting education opportunities before classes fill up!
*Last updated 6/26
Casting the Fly: An On-Stream Clinic
7/7 — 7/8
Learn how to make the most of your precious time on the water in this focused workshop for advanced beginner and intermediate fly-fishing anglers. After a review of casting basics, you’ll spend your days on the Firehole and Madison rivers learning and practicing casting techniques with roving one-on-one instruction tailored to your experience level. Even experienced fly anglers will benefit from reinforced basic skills and this organized introduction to advanced techniques. Both days will be spent on the water learning not only about casting but also the wonders of Yellowstone stream and riparian ecosystems—and the challenges they face.
Tectonic Trout and Boiling Bacteria: The Geology of Ecology
7/7 — 7/10
Ever wonder why Yellowstone is called America’s Serengeti, or why NASA scientists come here to look for clues to potential life on Mars? On short hikes off the beaten path, you’ll explore the incredible convergence of geologic factors that created one of the world’s largest volcanoes, with its life-sustaining and life-threatening heat flow and its expansive, high-altitude plateau. Delve into the details as you study the park’s complex array of climate and soil. Follow the behavior and distribution of life in Yellowstone and how it relates to the geology of this magnificent landscape. Credit offered.
Yellowstone Pika Project
7/11 — 7/12
Here in Yellowstone National Park, we have numerous pika sites that are accessible from nearby roadways. Due to their sensitivity to warming temperatures, monitoring the persistence of pika at sites around the park will help us better understand the effects of climate change on this species. Citizen science is a great opportunity to assist the park. The Yellowstone Pika Project is a continuation of a monitoring effort called Pika in Peril, which was recently discontinued. NPS has requested a citizen science effort that extends the original project in order to continue gathering this important data on pika in Yellowstone National Park.
Geology Field Trip: Yellowstone’s Northern Loop Road
From volcanoes, lava flows, and landslides to “ghost” hot springs and fault lines, the northern loop road in Yellowstone traverses a fascinating and varied geologic landscape. Through roadside excursions and short hikes, you’ll learn to decipher the story of Yellowstone’s ancient past written in the rocks. You’ll visit many varied geologic sites, including the hottest place in the park, the world’s largest geyser, and the Yellowstone caldera. You’ll also contemplate the formation of one of the iconic sites pivotal in the creation of the world’s first national park on a hike along the rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.
Mitakuye Oyasin (We Are All Related): Native Americans and Their Relationships with Yellowstone
7/13 — 7/15
Learn about the cultural significance between Native Americans and Yellowstone. Stories, songs, and place based knowledge will help you learn about Native American cultural traditions as you travel to some of the park’s most beautiful settings. During the day, search for animals, and hike to culturally significant sites. In the evenings, gather around the campfire to hear stories and songs from a Dakota cultural perspective.
7/13 — 7/15
What does the future hold for Yellowstone’s wetlands? Explore some of the lesser known—but biologically important—areas of the park. Through field trips to wetlands on the northern range, you’ll learn about the rich biological plant and animal communities they sustain. You’ll work alongside specialists to inventory the dominant plant, macro invertebrate, and amphibian species of the wetlands you encounter. Along the way you’ll gain an appreciation for the dynamic nature of wetlands, and how they are being impacted by climate.
Old Times at Old Faithful
7/16 — 7/17
Imagine diving into a geyser-heated swimming pool as Old Faithful erupts in the background, or enjoying flowers grown in Old Faithful Village’s thermally heated greenhouse. Explore these long-gone experiences through site visits, antique photographs, and discussions with a park hotel expert. Find out why the village’s oldest building is abandoned in the forest and why the Upper General Store is nicknamed the B.A.C.; take your seats at the Bear Feeding Grounds that closed in 1936; and learn other interesting details about Old Faithful Village past and present. A limited number of rooms will be held until 30 days prior to the course; call us for details.
Native American Plants and Their Uses
7/16 — 7/18
Explore the relationship between people and plants from instructors whose ancestors passed on intimate knowledge of plants that spans thousands of years. Learn how to identify plants of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and how Native Americans use them for food, medicine, and other purposes. You will identify and collect plants during field trips in the Gallatin National Forest. In classroom sessions, you will use these collections to make traditional and contemporary medicinal salves, teas, and other medicines that you can use and take home.
A History of Humans and Bears
7/19 — 7/22
From the Upper Paleolithic period in the Alaskan tundra to modern-day Yellowstone, humans and grizzly bears have had an intertwining relationship of exploration and progress. These charismatic predators represent wilderness and primitive ways of life in a world where the untrammeled places necessary to their existence are becoming sparse and scattered. Through field trips to look for bears and engaging classroom lectures, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for our millennia-old relationship with grizzlies while immersed in a landscape that has seen cohabitation of both species for centuries.
Crow Tribal Culture and Yellowstone
7/28 — 7/30
The land we now call Yellowstone National Park used to be the heart of Crow country. Today it remains a place of deep meaning to the tribe. In this class led by a Crow tribal member, you will examine the tribe’s relationship to Yellowstone through a combination of classroom sessions and field trips to critical cultural sites. Hear explanations of how natural features within the park were created, and how the park figures into the origin of the tribe. You’ll also learn about contemporary Crow beliefs and practices in the park.
Into the Depths of Yellowstone Lake
8/7 — 8/11
Yellowstone Lake, the largest high-altitude (defined as above 7,000 ft. in elevation) lake in North America, straddles the southeast margin of the Yellowstone Caldera and lies in the heart of Yellowstone. On long day hikes, you’ll explore the rich geologic story of the lake by following in the footsteps of scientific mapping explorations from Ferdinand Hayden’s 1871 survey to today. You’ll learn how scientists have mapped underwater features over time and discuss exciting advances in navigation and technology. A limited number of rooms will be held until 30 days prior to the course; call us for details.
Storytelling Goes Wild!
8/6 — 8/9
How do we tell the story of wildlife conservation and sustainable development in the digital age? Join National Geographic Explorer Asher Jay for a special class on using multimedia and mixed-media outreach to build conservation campaigns. Jay, a multimedia artist and environmentalist, has created campaigns for countless conservation organizations, including a digital billboard for National Geographic displayed in Times Square. In this class, you will first choose a medium for your storytelling campaign, be it scrapbooking, mold casting, photography, or candle making. You will then take field trips in Yellowstone to collect images and information to build your campaign. With guidance from Jay, you’ll learn novel, sensorial ways to document the Yellowstone ecosystem, and build the skills needed to return home and design your own conservation campaigns.
Finding Your Voice in Nature
8/12 — 8/15
In this workshop, sound will be your guide. You’ll immerse yourself in the wilderness of Yellowstone National Park, exploring the natural soundtrack and drawing inspiration for your creative endeavors. Naturalist hikes, musical workshops, vocal exercises, and personalized discussion will facilitate an environment in which you can deepen your understanding of the sensory landscape in the natural world and within.
Hiking Yellowstone’s Geological Legacy
8/13 — 8/17
Only 4 spots left.
Close to 150 years of geological exploration and study have contributed to today’s understanding of Yellowstone’s geyser basins and hydrothermal systems. As you travel through the park—with hikes up to 8 miles on boardwalks and trails—you’ll visit a variety of hydrothermal areas, including lesser-known sites first described by early explorers. Learn about key scientific breakthroughs, from the 1870 Washburn Expedition to the modern-day Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, that have helped scientists understand how hot springs, geysers, mudpots, and fumaroles work. By the end, you’ll recognize characteristics of the waters, mineral deposits, vents, and bacteria found in geothermal areas, and gain a deeper appreciation for the processes at work underground. A limited number of rooms will be held until 30 days prior to the course; call us for details.
Painting Moran’s Yellowstone
8/19 — 8/23
Only 3 spots left.
Follow in the footsteps of Thomas Moran by learning to paint outdoors at some of the same locations that inspired the famous Yellowstone artist. Not only will you learn how to capture the essence of a scene, but you’ll also learn the significance of artists like Moran to Yellowstone’s history. Through classroom and field sessions you’ll practice incorporating the sensory experience of being outdoors—temperatures, sights, sounds, lighting, and atmosphere—into at least three of your own paintings. You’ll also improve your skill with composition, color theory, and painting in changing outdoor conditions.
Navigating the Wonders of Yellowstone’s Backcountry
8/24 — 8/26
Only 4 spots left.
Step off the trail and into adventure during this combination navigation, hiking, and natural history class. You’ll begin with an evening presentation about how to utilize a compass and topographic map to explore the wonders of Yellowstone’s backcountry. During the next two days, you’ll practice your new navigation skills and experience the thrill of setting your own course across the landscape. The pace is slow, so you can observe the life and land around you. Along the way, you’ll learn about the animals, plants, and geology you are seeing, as well as some of the park’s human history. Your guide is one of the park’s most experienced rangers.
Experience the Geology of the Northern Range
8/24 — 8/26
Yellowstone is a geologist’s paradise. Explore the natural features of Yellowstone and the surrounding area as a geologist does. On short walks to a variety of formations in and around the park you’ll examine up close the diversity of rock types and features characteristic of Yellowstone and its many geysers. Learn to make your own interpretations of what you see on the landscape, and gain a greater appreciation of the geologic processes that created the park. You’ll also leave with a new perspective—the ability to look at the landscape through the eyes of a geologist—in Yellowstone, or beyond.
Bats of Yellowstone
8/27 — 8/29
Meet the denizens of Yellowstone’s night sky: bats! You’ll visit day roosts, such as tree snags, talus slopes, bridges, and buildings where you’ll search for bats and their sign. In the evenings, walks to different locations will illustrate how bats utilize different habitats. You’ll learn about bat research methods such as acoustic monitoring and capture techniques, as well as ways you can help bats. By the end of the course, you’ll gain an understanding of where bats reside and an appreciation for the benefits that bats provide to natural ecosystems as well as modern agriculture.
8/27 — 8/30
Bison grazing in broad grassy valleys, cutthroat trout darting upstream, wolves howling in the distance—many of the experiences visitors cherish today are the result of arduous conservation journeys. Yellowstone is the largest intact ecosystem in the lower 48 states, and a model for modern ecosystem conservation—but it wasn’t always this way. From bison, wolves, and bears to fish and fire, delve into some of the park’s biggest conservation issues by learning directly from the park scientists on the front lines. You’ll gain an appreciation for the science—and dedication—required to steward Yellowstone’s natural resources through modern challenges.
Experience the Geology of the Super Volcano
8/28 — 8/30
In this class you become the scientist, studying the Yellowstone volcano. You’ll travel many of Yellowstone’s geyser basins—including Upper, Midway, Lower, Lone Star, and West Thumb—evaluating field measurements on seismic activity, temperature, elevation change, gas emissions, and a variety of water quality parameters. Over the course of two days, you’ll record your data on geologic maps, illustrating the similarities and differences throughout Yellowstone’s geothermal features. You’ll also gain an appreciation for the scientific data critical to understanding Yellowstone’s volcano—and predicting eruptions. A limited number of rooms will be held until 30 days prior to the course; call us for details.
8/31 — 9/2
Digiscoping—taking high quality images at long distances through a spotting scope—brings birds and wildlife within the reach of any aspiring photographer. It can be as simple as “phonescoping” using the sophisticated cameras in today’s smartphones, or as technical as using a compact mirrorless camera and a fixed lens behind the eyepiece of a high-quality spotting scope. Either way, the results are great. Come learn about this exciting approach to photography from ZEISS Ambassadors Melissa Penta and Steve Ingraham. Bring your smartphone!
Raptors over Yellowstone
9/2 — 9/3
It’s a raptor time of year. Start your weekend with an evening classroom session about raptor identification and ecology and then head out in the field the next morning to watch for birds of prey (raptors) flying overhead on their journeys south. Join a former Yellowstone education ranger and bird expert and visit one of Yellowstone’s valleys—such as Hayden Valley—where you might see individuals filling up on plentiful grasshoppers and small rodents. With any luck, you’ll see eagles, osprey, and a variety of hawks and falcons.
Autumn Day Hiking in Yellowstone
9/16 — 9/20
Only 2 spots left.
Some days are diamonds—and autumn sparkles with more diamond days than any other season in Yellowstone. Chilly mornings give way to sunny afternoons. Cobalt skies press against the white of new snow in the high country. Golden sunlight plays upon cured yellow grasses. Elk enliven the air with their eerie bugles, and birds flock as they prepare to migrate south. Come spend three diamond days in Yellowstone, hiking up to 12 miles each day, with elevation gains up to 2,000 feet.