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BWI

A Summer Internship for our Alumni!

The Bitterroot Wildlife Internship (BWI) is an intensive, 4-week long internship focused on ecological education, conservation service, and hands-on research at the MPG Ranch in Lolo, Montana.

 

The internship provides high school students the opportunity for one-on-one interaction with scientists that are conducting on-going studies. The experience culminates in a symposium-style poster session, open to the public, where interns share the findings of their own independent projects.

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BWI
Season Highlights

  • How do I know if EPI is right for me?
    EPI programs place a strong emphasis on science, adventure, and the great outdoors. These are academic programs. If you like to learn, if you're curious and open-minded, if you're willing to try something new, then these programs will be a good fit. Look through the Why EPI pages and the Travel Programs pages for more detailed information. If you're having a hard time deciding, or want to hear more about a specific course, don't hesitate to get in touch. We're happy to help.
  • What does a typical day look like?
    There's a lot of variety to the days on an EPI program. That being said, most days will include some amount of data collection or conservation service. There will definitely be some 'classroom time', but our classrooms are usually outside, and there will also be some time for hiking or snorkeling or exploring. The days are full, but fun!
  • Can I get credit for my program?
    It depends on where you are traveling! All of our Yellowstone participants (PD or students) can receive credit for their course through the University of Montana. Professional development participants traveling on our other courses can receive credit through Hamline University. We are working to expand our partnerships to be able to offer all students who wish to receive credit the opportunity to do so.
  • How old are most students?
    EPI runs Travel Programs for middle school, high school, and college-aged students and Professional Development programs for all teachers and non-traditional educators.
  • EPI is a non-profit. Is my tuition tax-deductible?
    No. Because you'll receive a service (a travel program) your tuition is not tax-deductible. If you decide to support a local student, however, you'll receive a letter of proof for your donation.
  • Does EPI offer financial aid?
    Yes! EPI offers need-based student financial aid and PD scholarships. Awards typically range from $300-600, so it won't cover the full cost of the program, but it can help offset it. The student financial aid application can be found here and the teacher professional development scholarship application can be found here. If you're a school chaperone or travel organizer, you should also know about our School Grant Program which can provide up to $8000 toward group travel during our low seasons. Need additional fundraising ideas? Check out our handy EPI Scholarship & Fundraising Guide for students or our Fundraising Resources for Educators guide.

Protecting 
vulnerable ecosystems 
in Yellowstone

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Yellowstone
Season Highlights

Yellowstone National Park sits in one of the last nearly intact temperate ecosystems on the planet. And it’s home to some of the continent’s most charismatic wildlife, like bison and grizzly bear, species once on the very brink of extinction.

 

The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is intact because of the determination of citizens and scientists who have supported, preserved, reintroduced, and managed these critical species and habitats-otherwise it would be lost.

 

EPI’s programming develops this conservation mindset by engaging local students in scientific research and providing deep experiences with the natural world. These students arrive in the field as inquisitive youth and emerge as empowered, inspired conservation leaders.

Beyond 

the Fieldwork

Life-changing experiences in the field are continued through in-depth alumni programs, like the Bitterroot Wildlife Internship, which provide students with a more extended and self-driven experiences in ecological studies and conservation service. 

EPI's alumni opportunities build on our core educational programs, deepening the impact on our students. Through independent research projects and mentorship with scientists, these programs change lives. 

Meet some of our alumni and the wildlife they're working to protect.

YellowstoneA Teacher Who Travels
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Support 
Yellowstone Students

Take the first step in engaging the next generation of conservation leaders.

Your Gift is
Matched!

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EPI's Yellowstone Ecology field-based programs immerse participants in the sights, sounds, and conditions of the locations where they're studying. In Yellowstone, groups sleep, eat, and study outdoors, meaning they’re subject to the changing weather of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, and so is the equipment they use.

 

Your contributions to the Yellowstone program's Fuel the Field wishlist ensures we have the equipment needed to keep students safe and comfortable while they enjoy place-based education and hands-on research!

Check out our wishlist items to see how you can make a meaningful contribution to each participant’s experience.

Research on the Range

Binos and spotting scopes are crucial to our fieldwork – receiving heavy use in a challenging climate.

Sun Shades & Shelters

In Yellowstone, we camp, learn, & dine outdoors, and shades provide protection from the sun & rain.

Sleeping Outdoors

Durable, high-quality tents are needed to keep up with the rigors of Yellowstone's climate.

Snowshoes

Data collection in winter provides extra opportunities for learning and adventure via snowshoe!

Feeding the Field

Participants prepare meals together using cookstoves and camping coolers.

Safe Travels

Safe student transportation is a top priority, and keeping our adventure rigs maintained is a tall order.

I want to fundraise for this!

RESEARCH PARTNERS

B Bar Ranch 

Custer-Gallatin National Forest (Gardiner Ranger District) 

National Parks Conservation Association 

Yellowstone Bear Management Team

Yellowstone Bison Management Team 

Yellowstone Wolf Project

FUNDERS

Alps Corportaion

Anonymous Donor (2)

Cinnabar Foundation 

Cross Charitable Foundation 

First Interstate BancSystem Foundation

First Interstate Bank of Billings

High Stakes Foundation

The Lightfoot Foundation 

Llewellyn Foundation

Park County Community Foundation

Patagonia

Rick McIntyre

Sandy & Kevin Phillips

State of Montana GEAR UP Program

The William H. and Margaret M.      Wallace Foundation 

 The William H. & Mattie Wattis Harris Foundation

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