Lessons From the Field in a Time of Rapid Change and Crisis

Over the summer of 2020, we hosted a conversation series with six innovative leaders working at the juncture of science, culture, and storytelling. The unprecedented time we’re in demands a look at ourselves and our efforts to meet the environmental and social challenges we face. Please join us for a chance to learn from top thinkers and professionals working in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and beyond. 

To watch a recording of a session, click on the photo of the speaker you’d like to watch.

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Week 1 - July 16
Jesse Bryant

Jesse Bryant is a field instructor for NOLS, the co-creator of Yonder Lies podcast, and a PhD student at the Yale School of the Environment. His Masters work was in the small Wyoming town of Ten Sleep where he took an integrated approach to understand the origins of the growing conflict between the rock climbing community, Forest Service, and local Ten Sleepers. His doctoral work will be focused on environmental discourse in online platforms like Instagram and TikTok, and how those discourse set the bounds for politics, public opinion, and elite imagination.

Week 2 - July 30
Richard Reading

Richard Reading is the Director for Research and Conservation at Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster, CO and Executive Director of the Coalition for International Conservation. Rich has conducted or overseen projects on six continents, working primarily on grassland and arid ecosystems. His work focuses on developing pragmatic, effective, and interdisciplinary approaches to conservation. In 2020, Rich received the highest state decoration of Mongolia, the Order of the Polar Star, for his significant contributions to wildlife conservation, leadership, strengthening bilateral cooperation, and building the capacity of the next generation of Mongolian conservationists.

Week 3 - August 13
Hannah Jaicks

Hannah Jaicks is an interdisciplinary scientist working with communities throughout the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. She is currently the Program Director for Future West in Bozeman, MT. Her background in environmental psychology allows her to develop stronger avenues of communication and inclusion amongst the public, decision makers and scientists around issues of wildlife conservation and working landscapes. Hannah received her Ph.D. in Environmental Psychology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. When she's not at work, she's out pacing the sidelines to coach her beloved BHS girls lacrosse team or winding up locally sourced wool for her latest knitting project.

Week 4 - August 27
Molly Loomis Tyson

Molly Loomis Tyson has lived in the Tetons, as a writer, teacher, and climbing ranger since 2001. Molly’s areas of interest are problem solving, conflict resolution, communication and education as it pertains to human-wildlife conflict and public land management. She is also passionate about using connection to place (“sense of place”) to instigate environmental advocacy and protection. She’s published over 300 articles for many major publications. In May, Molly graduated with a Master of Environmental Management from Yale’s School of the Environment. She’ll be returning to Teton Valley to continue her work as a writer and educator.

Week 5 - September 10
Katie Shepherd Christiansen

Katie Shepherd Christiansen is an artist, naturalist and educator, and editor of the soon-to-be-released book, The Artists Field Guide to Yellowstone. She’s inspired by the ability of art to connect humans to the natural world. In 2019, Katie designed and developed an NEA-funded interpretive installation for Bozeman, MT’s Story Mill Community Park. This summer, Katie contributed her interpretive design and natural history illustration expertise to Jackson's Astoria Hot Springs Park. Katie is a graduate of Yale’s School of the Environment.

Week 6 - September 24
Rebecca Watters

Rebecca Watters is a wildlife biologist and social scientist who works at the intersection of culture, human rights and conservation. Her work has taken her to numerous countries, most recently Mongolia, where she studies wolverines and other climate sensitive wildlife in collaboration with the rangers and staff of the Ulaan Taiga Protected Areas in northern Huvsgul province. The goal of Rebecca’s work is to work with local communities to create effective conservation strategies that also preserve human communities and cultures.