January 2021 Newsletter
The past year has taught us many things, one of which is that we believe our work is more important than ever. Judging from all the support we received over the holiday season and into the new year, you believe it is too. From the bottoms of our hearts: thank you. Once again, we are overwhelmed with gratitude for your continued support, and we are excited to get back into the field to do our mission's work.
When we take students into the field, we build meaningful relationships with people and places, and we engage with issues as a community. We learn from each other and the places we visit with open minds and eager spirits. We trust in the restorative power of place and collective action. Our nation is currently reckoning with issues that have long been overlooked, and any hope for the future relies on our ability to seek truth, to take a criticaland humblelook at history, and to care about the integrity of our species. Above all, we must resolve to work for something better, and to draw strength from a vision of mutually flourishing communities. We'll be doing this work, and we'll be doing it outside. We hope to see you out there.

In December we gave you the scoop on our Restoration Ecology course, which explores the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Next up: Wild Rockies: Conservation Across Boundaries, a summer course that takes a deep dive into conservation issues that transcend political borders in the Northern Rockies. Conservation Across Boundaries is WRFI's only summer semester course, offering students a total of 12 credits in Environmental Studies, Native American Studies, Natural Resource Science & Management, and Geography.

This course takes place over six weeks from mid-June to late July, and explores regions of the Crown of the Continent landscape spanning areas of northwest Montana and parts of Alberta and British Columbia, Canada. Students on this course examine how to coordinate conversations about conservation and rural development across various tangible and conceptual boundaries, while gaining a firsthand understanding of issues facing social and ecological communities in these extraordinary places.

“WRFI is a very special thing. The places we saw, the people we met with, and the tight community we formed is unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced. There were highs and lows, some days harder than others, but the memories made have been worth it all. I will never forget our hikes in Montana and Canada or floating the Flathead River, and will always be grateful for the knowledge and growth I’m taking away from this trip.”

-Gillian Wormood, Conservation Across Boundaries '19

A new semester is upon us, and we're expanding our team of of WRFI Campus Ambassadors to help us reach new students this spring. If you're a WRFI alum who is currently enrolled at a college or university, and you'd like to earn some money while representing WRFI on your home campus, please email Outreach Manager Mel Wardlow (mel@wrfi.net) for more information. We'd love to have your help as part of the WRFI outreach team!

We have a new schedule of virtual information sessions for spring semester! These sessions are open to anyone interested in learning more about WRFI, and are great opportunities to connect with staff and alumni. Our next info session is coming up THIS WEEK:

Can't join us this week? We have several more sessions scheduled throughout spring semester. View the schedule on our website, and don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!

Need to fill that blank space on your wall after saying farewell to 2020? There's still time to get yourself a 2021 WRFI calendar, and to look forward to seeing snapshots from the field for the rest of the year. These puppies are going fast, so visit the WRFI Store today if you'd like to get your hands on one of our last copies!

WRFI is a little organization with a whole lot of heart. Sometimes it might seem like our ambitious goals are a bit heavy for the shoulders of our current two-person/two-dog staff, but we stand on a foundation of support that gives us a continuous source of strength and purpose.

Thank you to all of our instructors near and far, who are fueled by a fierce love of place and teaching, and who always seem to be there when we need a helping hand. Thank you to our amazing board members, who have been working to guide WRFI through a global pandemic while continuing to help us develop a just organization with quality programs. Thank you to our widespread alumni, who are doing inspiring work around the world and are a constant source of inspiration. Thank you to our donors, university partners, guest speakers, and other supporters for believing in the work that we do, and for investing in education for a better world.

We couldn't do this without you.

With love and gratitude,

Keri and Mel
Wild Rockies Field Institute is a 501(c)3 organization. Your gift is fully tax deductible. Our Federal Identification Number is 81-0487425.