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.
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?Yes! Regardless of whether you're a high school or college student, a Professional Development participant, or a teacher chaperoning one of our courses, there is undergraduate and graduate credit available through our partnerships with Hamline University and the University of Montana.
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.
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.
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.
Take the first step in engaging the next generation of conservation leaders.
Your Gift is
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.
Durable, high-quality tents are needed to keep up with the rigors of Yellowstone's climate.
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 student transportation is a top priority, and keeping our adventure rigs maintained is a tall order.
I want to fundraise for this!
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
Anonymous Donor (2)
Cross Charitable Foundation
First Interstate BancSystem Foundation
First Interstate Bank of Billings
High Stakes Foundation
The Lightfoot Foundation
Park County Community Foundation
Sandy & Kevin Phillips
State of Montana GEAR UP Program
The William H. and Margaret M. Wallace Foundation
The William H. & Mattie Wattis Harris Foundation