Date: Monday, Dec. 4

Time: 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Location: Unitarian Fellowship, 325 N. 25th

The National Wildlife Refuges of Alaska include the two largest conservation units in the United States, and 14 other unique and wild refuge areas. Mike Vivion spent nearly 30 years as a wildlife biologist/pilot assigned primarily to Alaska’s Izembek, Kodiak and Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuges. With Mike Vivion as guide, program participants will get an introductory tour of these three areas, and a “fly-over” of other Alaska refuges. Along the way, he will introduce some of the fascinating research projects that he was involved with during his career in Alaska.

Vivion MikeInstructor: Mike Vivion spent much of his life as a wildlife biologist with the US Fish & Wildlife Service in Alaska. Assignments included the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge in Cold Bay, and the Kodiak and Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuges. During his tenure in Alaska, Mike participated in projects on most of the other Refuges in Alaska. After retiring from FWS, he taught at the University of Minnesota for seven years.


Kathryn Earley 2When my husband and I were looking for our place to retire, one of the places we visited was Bozeman.  While we were here we went to the library, where I happened to pick up a Wonderlust brochure.  Here was university-quality instruction by experts in a huge number of subjects.  No homework, no exams, no papers, just a chance to learn new things or review things we’d already studied.  It was also an opportunity to meet people with a wide variety of interests.  I was hooked! Over the past several years, I’ve come to feel strongly about supporting this valuable community resource for lifelong learning, and fortunately there’s a community of dedicated volunteers who feel the same way.

This past year was our first as Friends of MSU Wonderlust, whose mission is to support and promote MSU Wonderlust.  We’ve contributed funds to getting a new projector at Hope Lutheran Church, where many of our classes are held, and to Gallatin Community Radio, which broadcasts many of our Friday Forums.  We’re also sponsors of and taking part in Active Aging Week and the Prime Age 50+ Expo.

In September Friends will sponsor the MSU Wonderlust reception.  Join us at the Country Bookshelf on September 9, 5 pm – 7 pm, where you can meet instructors and other people interested in learning.  Also in September we’ll be a sponsor of the Bozeman Public Library’s celebration of Yellowstone National Park, Our Yellowstone.  

On October 3rdand 4thMSU Wonderlust is hosting an interactive symposium for practitioners and lifelong learners, Lifelong Learning: New Opportunities for Aging Communities.  This symposium, sponsored by Friends of MSU Wonderlust and MSU’s Office of Research and Development, will provide an opportunity to share knowledge, experiences, innovations, and strategies.

Save the dates: Wednesday, October 3, 5 pm – 7 pm, for the opening reception and presentation featuring Dr. Renee Reijo Pero of MSU and Dr. Rick Knopf of Arizona State, and Thursday, October 4, 9 am – 4 pm,for in-depth sessions on various topics, featuring speakers from across Montana and the U.S.  For details on the symposium and on all MSU Wonderlust program offerings, see   

Kathryn Earley, President of Friends of Wonderlust