WILDLIFE CONSERVATION IN NORTHWEST ECOSYSTEMS
Spring Quarter 2018
ESRM 459 - 3 credits: Field trip: 17-24 March 2018
pre- and post-trip discussion, skill building, and research experience (an optional 2 credits in ESRM 490 can be taken)
123E Anderson 334 Bloedel 101 Winkenwerder
Introductions to the issues currently defining the Yellowstone Ecosystem as studied by previous ESC 459 classes are available at: http://www.cfr.washington.edu/classes.esrm.459/yellowstone/
There are two required text books. Read them prior to departing on the trip and bring a copy with you:
· Dog Days, Raven Nights by John and Colleen Marzluff
· Wolfer, Carter Niemeyer
You May also want to read:
Two resources concerning geospatial analyses also require your attention
General reviews of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem can be found in:
· T. W. Clark, M. B. Rutherford, and D. Casey (editors). 2005. Coexisting with Large Carnivores—Lessons from Greater Yellowstone. Island Press.
Will the Wolf Survive?—Los Lobos---get it for your mp3 player.
This course will provide an opportunity to examine and analyze wildlife conservation issues in Yellowstone National Park. Management of Yellowstone’s natural resources generates significant controversy because diverse and powerful stakeholders recognize that Yellowstone often acts as a conservation “weathervane” for other national parks. As usual we will also do other neat things like catch golden and bald eagles, explore the thermal features of the Mammoth basin, eat pizza in Gardiner, and look for otters, bighorn, pronghorn, and deer. You will be required to develop an oral presentation as a group on a topic related to the data we gather while in the park. These group projects will be presented later in Spring quarter.
What You Might See
Our travels bring us up close to a large variety of birds and mammals. Our full list includes over 80 bird species and nearly 20 mammals. Highlights are American Crows, Common Ravens, and Gray Jays. But you will also likely get a look at wolves, elk, and if we’re lucky a grizzly bear. Download the checklist for your trip.
The course fee will be approximately $500. That includes transportation, lodging (hotels with 2 or 3 of you per room) breakfast, and lunch (and expert guiding!). Dinners are on your own, but pretty cheap in the Gardiner and Bozeman area.
We will purchase food for our breakfasts and lunches, but each person is responsible for planning and obtaining their dinners during the trip while we stay at motels in Bozeman and Gardiner. We will stop at grocery stores and fast food “restaurants” during travel days.
Be very prepared for cold, windy, and wet weather. It is winter in Yellowstone in March, so warm waterproof clothing and boots are a must. We will be outdoors and away from shelter for most of each day.
warm clothes (wool, fleece, layers)
duffel or small suitcase (no expedition packs)
notebook and animal checklist (linked above)
boots (hiking and snow)
small backpack (daypack), refillable water bottle
GPS (optional, we will have a few for you to use)
gloves, hat, warm socks, extra socks
shoes, and towel if you want to go in
compass (optional, we will have a few for you to use)
binoculars (checked out)
sunglasses and sunscreen
Before leaving for
1. Reading (textbooks and other background reading) prior to the trip.
2. Surfing - go through the entire interdisciplinary web site (linked above)
3. Google Earth exploration of the park
(specifically the northern access road from Gardiner to
During the field trip:
1. Each student will have ½ day responsibility of keeping the field trip list of sighted birds and mammals.
Post-field trip meetings and assignment:
We will be available to meet weekly during Spring Quarter so that each of you may organize, work on, and present your project to the class. Presentations should use computer software (PowerPoint or an html browser) to walk the class through your project (see below).
We will meet
in mid May to discuss our research findings.
This will be a formal presentation of your impressions from the trip to
the public. Each student (small teams
can work together on a topic of mutual interest as well) will be responsible
for investigating some aspect of our research in
Tentative Daily Itinerary
Saturday March 17th
Depart Seattle for Bozeman, Montana at 6:00 AM (arrive at 5:45 to load vehicles)
Land Use Patterns – Wildlife Implication
Columbia River Overlook
Silver Valley Idaho
Arrive in Bozeman at Lewis and Clark Motel, Bozeman, MT (824 W Main St, (406) 586-3341)
Sunday March 18th
Eagle Trapping with Marco Restani and Eric Johnston
Evening in Bozeman
Monday March 19th
Meet with ranchers Hanibal Anderson, Malou Anderson, Dre Ramirez, and Hilary Anderson—Tom Miner Basin (1030)
Afternoon safari in park and meet to discuss fire ecology with USFS ecologists
Evening at Best Western Gardiner (800 828-9080)
Tuesday March 20st
Early morning Safari and cougar research with Connor Meyer
Evening in Gardiner
Wednesday March 21st
Early morning Safari and raven survey project (weather pending)
Meet with Doug Smith, Leader Yellowstone Wolf Project. Lecture on wildlife issues in Yellowstone National Park
Thursday March 22nd
Early morning Safari
Afternoon hike with bighorn sheep
4:00 Meet with Dr. Rick Wallen, NPS Bison Research Leader, Gardiner, (406) 581 9040, discussion Evening in Gardiner
Friday March 23rd
Drone Demonstration with USGS scientists, Aaron Johnston
Evening in Bozeman at Lewis and Clark Motel, Bozeman, MT (824 W Main St, (406) 586-3341)
Saturday March 24th
Depart Bozeman for Seattle
Discuss paper topics reroute
Evening in Seattle
Pool winner announced for closest ETA