YELLOWSTONE COMMUNITIES & KINSHIP: EXPLORING OUR PLACE IN THIS PLACE

DATES: JANUARY 28 – 31, 2025

PRICE: $997 | TUITION & LODGING

LOCATION: LAMAR BUFFALO RANCH

GROUP SIZE: 13

ACTIVITY LEVEL: 2

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PROGRAM INFORMATION

This seminar explores the concept of environmental kinship, the idea that Homo sapiens are simply members of the ecological communities that surround them. By focusing on shared relationships, kinship highlights the agency of the more-than-human world as well as the reciprocal gifts and
responsibilities shared with one another. As an epitome of  ecological interdependence and transformative rewilding, Yellowstone is a prime place to study kinship. The class will take advantage of this outdoor classroom with morning wildlife watching, afternoon snowshoe excursions, and other field-based activities like tracking and nature journaling. During the afternoons students will head back to the ranch to discuss the writings of notable environmentalists such as Robin Wall Kimmerer, Aldo Leopold, John Hausdoerffer, and others. Kinship, as these writers teach, is a way to restore human relationship with the land. The seminarr will conclude by discussing ways to be a good relative, both within Yellowstone and beyond.

DAY 1

WELCOME & ORIENTATION

The program starts with an evening orientation. Participants will get to know one another and be introduced to the program. Throughout the evening, the itinerary and seminar key concepts will be discussed, as well as what to expect to pack for the field each day.

DAY 2

The Yellowstone Web of Life

To introduce kinship, the class will first dive into trophic cascades, mutualism, and other connections that link the animate world of Yellowstone.

DAY 3

Humans as a Keystone Species

Day three explores the role of humans in the community of life.

DAY 4

Kinship as Practice

The last day will focus on the act of kinship, the ways in which humans can positively interact with surrounding species.

DAY 5

CHECKOUT & DEPARTURE

Dates & Times: The program begins at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 28, 2025, and goes through Friday, January 31, 2025 at 5:00 p.m.

Lodging Check-in & Check-out: Lodging check-in begins at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 28, 2025, and lodging check-out is at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 1, 2025.

Meals: This course is not catered. Participants will need to bring their own food; lunch should be able to travel in the field.

Optional Airport Shuttle: We provide an optional airport shuttle for those interested. The shuttle service is provided on the first day of the program with a 1:00 p.m. pickup and the last day of the program with a departure from the Lamar Buffalo Ranch at 8:00 a.m.

1st Day of Program | Shuttle Pickup Location:  Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport

1st Day of Program | Shuttle Drop off Location: Lamar Buffalo Ranch

Check-out Day | Shuttle Pickup Location: Lamar Buffalo Ranch

Check-out Day | Shuttle Departure Location: Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport

If you opt-in to the shuttle service, please ensure that your flight booking will allow for you to be picked up and dropped off during the above timeframes.

Whom to Contact: For any questions, concerns, or additional information please contact the following:

Program itinerary, health forms, payment, and general program questions please contact Yellowstone Forever at [email protected] or 406-848-2400 extension 3

Road updates, park conditions, and general park information please contact Yellowstone National Park Service at https://www.nps.gov/yell/contacts.htm

If running late for a program, please contact 406-641-2185.

General Information: For general information about the facilities, preparation for classes, what to expect, cancellation policies, and more, please see the Lamar Buffalo Ranch – Winter General Information document.

ACTIVITY LEVEL 2

  • Be prepared for hikes on snow-packed trails, or snowshoe or ski trips, up to 3 miles per day with climbs up to 250 feet.
  • Most activities will take place at elevations between 7,200 to 8,000 feet. Participants residing at lower elevations may want to arrive a day early to adjust to the altitude.
  • To learn more about how specific medical conditions can be affected by Yellowstone’s environment and our activities, please visit our site page on health information.
  • All field activities will be conducted as a group. If members of the group cannot participate in the day’s activities, they need to let the educator know in advance.
  • To participate in this program, each participant must fill out and sign a health questionnaire and assumption of risk waiver. These forms must be completed and returned at least 30 days prior to the program start date.

RECOMMENDED READINGS

  • Wall-Kimmerer, Robin. 2015. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants. Milkweed Editions.
  • Leopold, Aldo. 1949. A Sand County Almanac: And Sketches Here and There. Oxford University Press.
  • Van Horn, Gavin; Robin Wall Kimmerer; John Hausdoerffer, editors. 2021. Kinship: Belonging in a World of Relations. Center for Humans and Nature Press.
  • National Park Service. 2023. 2023 Resource and Issues Handbook. NPS.

Whom to Contact: For any questions, concerns, or additional information please contact the following:

Program itinerary, health forms, payment, and general program questions please contact Yellowstone Forever at [email protected] or 406-848-2400 extension 3

Road updates, park conditions, and general park information please contact Yellowstone National Park Service at https://www.nps.gov/yell/contacts.htm

If running late for a program, please contact 406-641-2185.

General Information: For general information about the facilities, preparation for classes, what to expect, cancellation policies, and more, please see the Lamar Buffalo Ranch – Winter General Information document.

TESTIMONIALS

“Sam is AWESOME. He’s one part ken Burns, another part David Attenborough. And toss in some google because he has encyclopedic level recall and facts. He’s a badass.” – Garen, TX

“Sam is an amazing instructor with a lot of knowledge. He was not afraid to say he didn’t know the answer but was always willing to look it up and find out. He shared many facts with us. He was willing to go out in the -25 temperatures and scout for us before we all had to unload out of the bus. He was helpful when we needed it while out on the trail in snow shoes and made sure we were all included.” – Kim, MT

“Sam rules. He’s either supremely qualified to be doing this, or just really good at making things up. I think it is the former. 🙂 His ability to answer esoteric wildlife ecology questions while nimbly adjusting to changing conditions is awesome. The support of Katie and those volunteers at LBR was amazing too. It was great to get to see the whole YF Institute machine in action from the inside. You guys rock!”

BOOK THIS FIELD SEMINAR NOW

Samuel Archibald, M.E.M.

Lead Field Educator

Sam Archibald is a Lead Field Educator for Yellowstone Forever. Sam first started with outdoor education as a US Peace Corps volunteer, working with an Ecuadorian nonprofit organization to develop outdoor leadership programs for youth. After earning his master’s degree in Environmental Management through Western Colorado University (Gunnison, CO), Sam joined the National Park Service, working as a Crew Leader for the Yellowstone Youth Conservation Corps. What was supposed to be a single season in YNP turned into many as Sam fell in love the vivacity of this ecosystem. Sam first joined Yellowstone Forever’s team as a winter seasonal educator and has been a permeant instructor since 2022. Sam is grateful for every day he gets to spend out in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and looks forward to the continual discoveries offered by this wild and wonderful landscape.

***Review our Cancellation & Refund Policies here.