Dates: Tuesdays; Jan. 23–Feb. 27

Time: 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Location: Hope Lutheran Church

This course is an exploration of the wildlife ecology of the Yellowstone area focusing on the dozen or so large mammal species. A brief review of the geology of the area is included as well as human interactions from prehistory (archeology and myths) and historic times that relate to the animals. An area of about 11,000 square miles, covering the Yellowstone “dome” with Yellowstone Park at its center, is the focus of the course. The course objective is to provide information to increase the understanding and enjoyment of this unique area.

Class Format: Lecture and discussion

Readings: A list of sources will be distributed in class

Instructor: Harold Picton

PictonHarold Picton earned his PhD in physiology from Northwestern University. He is an Emeritus Professor of Wildlife Management (MSU), a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and author of several books about wildlife. He has received several professional awards for his work in science and communication. He was associate producer of a DVD about Montana’s wildlife history and has taught at the Yellowstone Institute in YNP for decades.


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