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Feb 19th
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Home Things to Do Winter Fun Explore Yellowstone’s Winter Wonders With Field Seminars, Tours

Explore Yellowstone’s Winter Wonders With Field Seminars, Tours

Yellowstone Association Institute Unveils 2009/2010 Programs for Wildlife, Geology and History

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A new season of field seminars and tours about what goes on in Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park during the winter has been announced by the Yellowstone Association Institute (YAI), a non-profit field school operated by the Yellowstone Association in partnership with the National Park Service.

This season's winter lineup includes Field Seminars, Lodging & Learning programs and Private Tours.

Field seminars are multi-day courses taught by experts focusing on topics such as wildlife, geology, history and more.

Lodging & Learning programs combine field experiences with a YAI naturalist/guide during the day and comfortable lodging in park hotels at night.

Private Tours are naturalist-led day tours for small groups that want to learn more than a self-guided tour will tell them about Yellowstone National Park's wildlife, geology and natural history.

"Our programs are designed to showcase what many people long for the rest of the year - the quiet and pristine winter that turns Yellowstone into a completely different park," said Jeff Brown, director of education for the Yellowstone Association Institute.

This year's lineup of Field Seminars features 20 programs, including seven new offerings.

The series kicks off with "Are Wolves Worth the Effort?" on Nov. 5-6, 2009 and finishing up with "Coyote and Raven: Two Full of Facts and Folklore" on March 24-26, 2010.

In between classes will cover wolves, tracking, photography, writing and history. Most of the field courses are limited to 13 participants and are based at the historic Lamar Buffalo Ranch, where simple and comfortable log cabins are available for $30 per person per night. Participants bring their own food and cook it in the ranch's community building which serves as classroom, kitchen and gathering place.

YAI will also offer four one-week volunteer programs called "Food for the Masses - Researching How Yellowstone's Wolves Affect Scavengers" starting Nov. 17, 23 and 29 and Dec. 5, 2009. Participants will work with an Institute team leader experienced in field research.

The research team's primary responsibility will be to observe and document predator activity, collect data and learn about wolf and scavenger ecology through direct observation, informal field lectures and evening presentations by experts. The seminars will be based at the Institute's historic Buffalo Ranch field campus in the Lamar Valley and will include expert instruction, lodging and in-park transportation.

This season's Lodging & Learning programs feature accommodations at the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and/or the Old Faithful Snow Lodge. Topics include observing wildlife, skiing the park's trails, enjoying the park as a family and experiencing a comprehensive overview of the park.

Lodging & Learning programs include accommodations, most meals, in-park transportation, expert instruction and discounts in restaurants and gift shops. These programs start Dec. 21, 2009 with "Winter in Wonderland" featuring two nights each at the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and the Old Faithful Snow Lodge. Lodging & Learning programs are held through early March.

Private Tours appeal to families or small groups up to 26 participants who want to learn about the park in eight-hour sessions under the guidance of an Institute naturalist/guide. Guides pick up participants in the morning and cover the topics "Wolves in Winter," "Yellowstone by Ski or Snowshoe" and "Wildlife Watching on the Northern Range." Private Tours are conducted in the northern area of the park during winter.

For a free copy of YAI's winter catalog, go to

To make reservations for a Field Seminar or Private Tour, call (406) 848-2400; for Lodging & Learning program reservations, call (866) 439-7375. Yellowstone Association members receive a $10 discount on all courses, and family memberships begin at just $35 per year.

For more information on any Institute program, go to

The Yellowstone Association Institute is a non-profit field school operated by the Yellowstone Association in partnership with the National Park Service. The Institute was founded in 1976 and offers more than 500 courses each year on the park's plants, animals, geology and history. Courses are based at the organization's Lamar Buffalo Ranch field campus, at park hotels, and in the backcountry.

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