Yellowstone Studies Center

Yellowstone: The World's First National Park

Established in 1872 as the world’s first national park, Yellowstone is one of the most unique places on Earth. At 2.2 million acres, it’s the centerpiece of the last remaining large, nearly intact ecosystems in the northern hemisphere. Centered over the largest volcanic caldera on the continent, it’s home to 10,000 thermal features, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, forests, grasslands, flora, and mountain ranges. Hundreds of species of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles live in the Park including the oldest and largest free-ranging herds of bison in the U.S.

The Greatest Classroom on Earth

Because Yellowstone is one of the world’s foremost natural habitats in landscape ecology, geology, biology and history, scientists, researchers, professors, teachers and students have been studying and learning about the natural wonders in the “Greatest Classroom on Earth” since its founding. In 2011, WYED embarked upon an economic development project to partner with colleges and universities from around the country that come to the Park for research and study. In 2015, the project partnership was expanded to include elementary, middle and high school classes and any other educational classes that connect people to the outdoors in and around Yellowstone Country.

The Yellowstone Studies Center Mission- You Teach, We Support

WYED established the Yellowstone Studies Center (YSC) to provide a facility and support services to professors, teachers, students and other educational organizations who take part in experiential teaching and learning in West Yellowstone and Yellowstone National Park. Located just 6 blocks from the Park’s west entrance, it’s an ideal location for all classes to use as a base location for their time in town and trips into the Park.

As an educator, you bring your own faculty and/or students and established curriculums and schedules. West Yellowstone and Yellowstone Park offers you Learning That Comes Naturally: natural outdoor environments with endless subject matter and teaching and learning opportunities, activities, discovery and wonders. YSC provides you with certain support services to ease your burden of bringing faculty and students to The Greatest Classroom on Earth.

Yellowstone Studies Center Consortium (YSCC) Annual Fall Conference

Each year, we bring YSCC member professors together for a 3 day conference in West Yellowstone. The purpose of the Conference is threefold:

  1. To have member professors (and additional faculty they may bring whom haven’t been to the Park before) view the YSC facility and engage in a few Town and Park experiences- a tour of the Park, a trip to Earthquake Lake and Visitor Center and a visit to the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center. This allows professors and other faculty to evaluate and envision firsthand the experiential teaching and learning opportunities for themselves and their students
  2. To have them share curriculums, ideas, stories and experiences with each other
  3. To have them participate in discussions and contribute ideas, viewpoints and experiences for addressing issues and concerns and making improvements to the YSC Use and Services Program