Spring quarter class w/ trip to Yellowstone Nat’l Park – ESRM 459

Are you interested in traveling to Yellowstone National Park over spring break? Want to see wolves, explore US National Park Service management, put your GIS and wildlife skills to work, or catch a bald eagle? If so, then you may be interested in taking ESRM 459 with Professors John Marzluff, Aaron Wirsing, and Monica Moskal. To be considered for the class, please email Dr. Marzluff (corvid) the following information before Feb. 20:

1. Your name, major, and class standing.

2. A 5 sentence (or less) paragraph stating your motivation to join the class and what you hope to learn/experience in the class.

Upon our review we will issue add codes for the class, which can be taken for either 3 or 5 credits. Previous trip schedules, which will be similar this year but during the current break dates (March 21-28), can be found at:


A summary follows:

During the class you will learn how to identify wildlife, study their behavior, and examine the human dimensions of issues that influence wildlife in the West. When you return you work with a team to analyze data and prepare oral and written presentations of your research. This year we will continue our work with National Park Service biologists to survey ravens and wolves and study their interrelationships. We will continue a project started last year following elk to quantify their vigilance—their head up, ears forward looking for potential predators—and you will be able to relate this wary behavior to their location in the herd, body condition, and position on the landscape. As in the past, we also will meet with park biologists studying bison. With luck we will have another roasted succulent deer leg for a group BBQ. We end the trip by meeting with affiliate professor, Marco Restani (Professor at St. Cloud State University) and Montana State University professor Al Harmata to catch, band, and study contamination in bald and golden eagles. This typically involves a bit of time on the MBarZ ranch talking with lifelong Montana rancher Tom Milesnik. Tom is candid in discussing his views of predators, people, and the changing West. He has innovated a number of improvements to his land so that he can raise cattle (red angus) and provide quality wildlife habitat. His land teems with deer, pheasants, eagles, and magpies. His stream is a trophy trout fishery.

We look forward to hearing from you.