Travel Study Programs
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Yellowstone - July

A field experience and travel study course to South Dakota and Wyoming offered by the Departments of Biological Sciences and Geography and Geology in cooperation with the Office of Continuing Education, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (Biology 250, Geology 250, 4 undergrad credits; counts for General Lab (GL) credit, except for Biology majors.)

Education Majors: The course satisfies the Conservation requirement (for applicable majors). It may be taken as Geology 250 or Biology 250. See course syllabus for detailed information.

Travel dates: July 13 - July 26, 2020*

*The course is three weeks online and two weeks of travel July 13 through July 26, 2020.

Download the Flyer (Adobe Reader PDF)

Download the Syllabus 

See our students in action

Where will I go?

Our primary destinations will be the Black Hills in South Dakota and the Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. Participants will explore the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem from ecological and geological perspectives. While on the road to and from Yellowstone, the group will stay at local motels (multiple occupancy).

The K Bar Z Guest Ranch in Cody, Wyoming will be the group's primary residence while in the Yellowstone area. Presentations on the topics of carnivore ecology, botany, mining, and human environmental impacts, fire ecology and paleontology will be offered on site. We will also talk to park rangers, researchers and other experts in the area. Students will have opportunities to use global positioning systems and other field survey equipment for the study of geology and ecology. 

This use is authorized under a special uses permit issued by the Shoshone National Forest.

What will I study?

Plants and animals and their adaptations will be identified in a number of ecosystems. Students will participate in ecological data collection. Visits are planned to a variety of biomes, from alpine meadows to rivers carving spectacular canyons, to the fragile "badlands." The environmental impacts of human activity and the current land use issues will be explored. In addition, we will have the opportunity to observe the aftermath of various forest fires in the Yellowstone area, see some of the best geology that the West has to offer and discover how geologic processes have led to the development of the present ecosystems. We will study present and paleoecosystems and visit geothermal sites, fossil beds, mines and caves.

Who can come?

This course is open to all university students, or anyone else who has serious interest in these topics. Teachers who have participated in the past have returned to their classrooms with a wealth of materials including slides, photos, minerals and fossils. Students with disabilities may be accomadated. Biology or Geology majors/minors should take should take Biology/Geology 451.

Cost: $2,550 (estimate). Based on 20 full paying participants. Includes lodging, transportation, some meals, entrance fees, and all instructional costs including tuition for four undergraduate credits. Financial aid may apply.

To receive an enrollment packet or additional information, please contact:
Kari Borne, Continuing Education, UW-Whitewater, Roseman 2010, 
800 W Main St., Whitewater, WI 53190
Phone: 262-472-1003 (direct), Phone: 800-621-5376 (toll free),

Yellowstone July 2014 Photos

Yellowstone July 2013 Photos


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