Date: Monday, February 12

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

Location: GranTree, Bozeman

While we are often taught history from a social, cultural, or political perspective, Mark Fiege’s work literally grounds our human stories in the physical world. Participants in this program will take a journey through some of our most familiar historical territory—the founding of the nation, the Civil War, Brown vs. the Board of Education, even the creation of the atomic bomb—and ask a rarely asked question: “What does nature have to do with it?” Looking through this new lens, we may recover to history the significant and often overlooked role that nature plays, even in the most “human” of events.

Presenter: Mark Fiege

FiegeMark Fiege is Professor of History and the Wallace Stegner Chair in Western American Studies in the Department of History at MSU. Beginning as a seasonal park ranger in Virginia, Mark eventually became a prominent environmental historian. He has received many awards for teaching, scholarship and engagement, and is Co-Founder of the Public Lands History Center at Colorado State University. His books include The Republic of Nature: An Environmental History of the United States (2012). He recently co-edited National Parks Beyond the Nation: Global Perspectives on ‘America’s Best Idea,’ published in 2016.



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