Education Programs at the
Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary

Our trained education staff are passionate about connecting youth to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem through engaging programs. We have developed several environmental education programs that fall under three themes: Prevention, Wildlife Care, and Ecosystems & Conservation. Program formats are flexible to fit to your group’s schedule and curriculum needs.

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Questions?

Email Courtney Long at Courtney@yellowstonewildlife.org, or by calling (406) 446-1133

PREVENTION: These programs focus on human-wildlife interactions and how we can make decisions to help prevent wildlife from coming to the Sanctuary.

  • Where the Wild Things Are (And Where They Are Going)- Wildlife corridors improve connectivity species that move long distances. A series of activities puts students in the perspective of several different kinds of wildlife and how they rely on wildlife corridors for safe passage. 3rd-6th grade.

  • Break the Habit- Several of the animals at the Sanctuary are habituated or imprinted on humans. Some wildlife lose the ability to forage for themselves, or no longer fear humans which can lead to negative interactions. In this lesson we talk about animal diets, nutrition’s role in growth and development, and impacts of human interaction with wildlife. 2nd-5th grade.

  • Wildlife Detectives- Who ate your teacher’s garbage? Who nibbled in your neighbor’s vegetable garden? These are some of the questions students will answer through observation of animal evidence, like scats and tracks, and other clues left behind by common backyard visitors. This program wraps up with a discussion in why wildlife are attracted to our backyards, and possible solutions to living with wildlife. 2nd-5th grade.

  • What is Wild?- Designed for younger children, students compare the differences between wild and domestic animals through examples of canids found in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Kindergarten & 1st grade.

WILDLIFE CARE: These programs discuss individual animal needs and the importance of maintaining overall wellness of our residents at the Sanctuary.

  • An Enriching Opportunity- Students learn several adaptations of wildlife at the Sanctuary, and why it’s important to provide mental and physical stimulation in their enclosures. They will be challenged with designing an enclosure for a resident of their choice. This program is best facilitated at the Sanctuary following a guided tour. 4th & 5th grade.

  • Animal Castle- If you could design your own castle, what would you include? In this program students learn how animals are adapted for their environment and have different habitat needs. Students will be able to choose a Sanctuary resident, observe, and draw or model a new “animal castle” to fit its needs. This program is best facilitated at the Sanctuary. Kindergarten & 1st grade.

  • Fit for a Bear- Our animal care staff weigh and provide a proper diet for each of the residents. Students will learn about different wildlife fill an ecological niche through the example of black bears. In this program we explore the food web, nutritional importance to development, and emphasize the importance of biodiversity in ecosystems. Variations for Kindergarten-9th grade

ECOSYSTEMS & CONSERVATION: Through hands-on discovery students explore other components of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

  • Stream Studies- Plant to get a little wet and muddy as students explore a freshwater ecosystem. We will discuss the importance of water conservation, how the water cycle is not a closed loop, and how scientists use wildlife as indicators of healthy streams. All ages.

  • Predator Perceptions- Students gain a perspective of predator roles in ecosystems as we explore the food web and the flow of energy between organisms. We also discuss how human actions can either disrupt this energy flow or protect natural resources to maintain healthy ecosystems. 6th-8th grade.

  • Partnerships in the Field- Sometimes we are able to partner with local agencies to take your students into the field. This relies on collaboration. If you are interested in getting your students into the field for active lessons, we would love to coordinate an opportunity.

  • Citizen Science- There are a variety of citizen science projects that will get your students involved in real scientific research that can be done either in your schoolyard or here at the Sanctuary. All ages.

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PROGRAM COSTS

On-Site: $3 per participant (includes activity + 1-hour guided tour)

Off-Site: $120 for programs outside of Carbon County

Off-Site: Free for programs within Carbon County

Animal Encounter: $35 additional fee per program