Yellowstone’s Prequel: Wildlife & Humans in the Pleistocene

Yellowstone’s Prequel: Wildlife & Humans in the Pleistocene

$1,492.50
Dates:
August 17 - 21
Location:
Lamar Buffalo Ranch
Meals Included?:
No
Instructors:
Jeff Reed, Ph.D., Joanna Lambert, Ph.D.
Audience Type:
Adult
Program Type:
Field Seminars
Program Subject:
Cultural History, Wildlife

Yellowstone National Park is world-renown for its wildlife and for having the most intact carnivore assemblages in the United States, but it pales in comparison to its faunal diversity in the evolutionary past. Join us in this 5-day seminar as we trace the evolutionary, archaeological, and cultural history of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem over the past 2 million years, but with a special emphasis on the last 20,000. Through lecture, film, and -- most importantly -- time in the field, you will learn about the magnificent wildlife of Yellowstone in the Pleistocene, when humans were newcomers to North America and mighty glaciers shaped every aspect of life. Topics to be discussed will include the diversity and adaptations of wildlife in the Pleistocene compared to today, how ancient humans lived and interacted with wildlife, the co-evolution of dogs and humans, and how you too can “listen for the language of wildlife” like those who came before us.

About the instructors

Joanna Lambert, Ph.D., is a scientist and tenured professor of animal evolutionary ecology and conservation biology 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 ecology, evolution, and conservation biology of wild mammals. Her wildlife research has taken her to every continent on the planet though she has spent most time working in equatorial Africa (>30 years) and more recently in Yellowstone National Park where she studies canid biology. One of her proudest recent conservation-related contributions has been in the effort to restore gray wolves to her home state of Colorado, an initiative founded on the science of reintroduction and recovery of wolves to Yellowstone National Park.

Jeff Reed, Ph.D. was born and raised in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in southwest Montana and owns Reedfly Farm, practicing regenerative agriculture and conservation. 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, promoting the co-existence of people and wildlife…though he considers people wildlife too!

 

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.

SUMMER ACTIVITY LEVEL SCALE

  • Be prepared to hike up to 1 mile per day, comfortably, through relatively flat terrain on maintained trails.
  • Be prepared to hike up to 3 miles per day, comfortably, with elevation gains up to 600 feet. Some off-trail hiking possible.
  • Be prepared to hike up to 5 miles per day, comfortably, with occasional elevation gains up to 1000 feet in undulating terrain.
  • Be prepared to hike up to 8 miles per day, at a brisk pace, comfortably, with climbs up to 1500 feet on dirt trails. Loose rocks, uneven footing, and off-trail hiking are possible. Good coordination is recommended.
  • Be prepared for brisk aerobic, destination-oriented hiking up to 12 miles a day. You should be physically conditioned to do these hikes comfortably. Elevation changes up to 2000 feet on dirt trails or off-trail. Loose rock, uneven footing, steep hillside traverses, and stream crossings are possible. Good coordination is required.

WINTER ACTIVITY LEVEL SCALE

  • Leisurely hikes up to 1 mile per day through relatively flat terrain on maintained or snow-packed trails.
  • Hikes on snow-packed trails, or snowshoe or ski trips, up to 3 miles per day with climbs up to 250 feet.
  • Brisk hiking, snowshoeing, or skiing up to 5 miles per day with climbs up to 500 feet, including some trail-breaking in snow.
  • Brisk aerobic snowshoeing or skiing up to 8 miles per day with climbs up to 1000 feet; or steep, rugged, off-trail skiing or snowshoeing—including breaking trail in variable snow conditions.
  • Brisk aerobic snowshoeing or skiing up to 12 miles per day with climbs up to 1500 feet; or steep, rugged, off-trail skiing or snowshoeing—including breaking trail in variable snow conditions.