Ice Age Yellowstone: Tales of Winter Survival and Early Humans
January 13 - 16
Lamar Buffalo Ranch
Jeff Reed, Ph.D., Joanna Lambert, Ph.D.
Imagine walking alongside glaciers that tower above you by many hundreds of feet, following game while avoiding saber-toothed cats during an all-too-brief summer. Picture the sight of your target prey – woolly mammoths – walking alongside thunderous herds of bison, their hooves resounding in unison, echoing across the ancient plains. What might this have been like? How did wildlife and humans alike survive these challenging and bitterly cold landscapes? These questions and more will be answered in this seminar as we unfold the saga of the first humans and their profound connection with the wildlife that roamed the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in the Pleistocene Epoch.
Through engaging lectures, lively discussions, wildlife observation, and invaluable hands-on experiences in the field, this seminar will explore stories of survival over the past 20,000 years, revealing the profound impact of climate and geology on the behavior, morphology, and ecology of Yellowstone’s animal species, both extinct and extant, as well as on human livelihood. We will learn about the adaptations that emerged as climate shifts and human presence molded both the biology and the destiny of Yellowstone's diverse wildlife. We will consider the endurance and resilience of the wildlife species that survived the last geological epoch and evaluate the ways in which their strategies for survival are interwoven within the very fabric and function of this unmatched ecosystem.
Topics to be discussed will include animal adaptation and human survival strategies, how wildlife survive bitter cold, the utility and domestication of dogs, and human toolkit innovation and shelter. This immersive experience promises to be a fusion of education and adventure, providing you with an opportunity to forge a deep connection with nature and gain an understanding of the balance that exists among humans and the wild.
About the Instructor
Joanna Lambert, Ph.D., is a professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder. She has a deep passion for the natural world, resulting in a career spent publishing and teaching about the behavior, ecology, and conservation biology of wild mammals, especially primates and carnivores. Her research has taken her to every continent on the planet, though she has spent the most time (30 years) in equatorial Africa and especially enjoys doing research and teaching in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
Dr. Jeff Reed was born and raised in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in southwest Montana and owns Reedfly Farm in Paradise Valley, Montana. With a PhD in linguistics and history, he has published on the history of language and humans. He spent 30 years in the technology industry, working on linguistics and artificial intelligence, and now builds solutions that are used by wildlife researchers. He focuses much of his free time interacting with wildlife, practicing paleo-living, researching animal communication via computational linguistics, and living as part of nature. He is an executive committee member of the Upper Yellowstone Watershed Group and Wild Livelihoods, promoting the co-existence of people and wildlife…though he considers people wildlife too!
Download Program Information:
We are continually updating and refining our COVID-19 mitigation measures to ensure the health and safety our guests, staff and volunteers. Read our COVID-19 guidelines for program participants.