13th Biennial Scientific Conference Keynote Speakers

The Biennial Scientific Conference on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem typically includes named lectures in honor of notable influences Aubrey L. Haines, past Yellowstone National Park historian, and A. Starker Leopold, who greatly influenced National Park Service policy. A third lecture named for Yellowstone's superintendent invites an international leader in conservation to speak about some global aspect of park science and management. Additionally, the conference invites an opening keynote speaker to inspire participants and set the tone for the three day meeting.
David Quammen

Opening Keynote—America’s Wild Idea: Telling the Story of Yellowstone

David Quammen, Author and Journalist

David Quammen is an author and journalist whose fifteen books include The Song of the Dodo (1996), Spillover (2012), and, most recently, Yellowstone: A Journey through America’s Wild Heart (2016), an expanded version of his text for the May 2016 special issue of National Geographic Magazine, with photographs from the same team of photographers. Quammen has written for National Geographic since 1999, when he did the Megatransect series about Mike Fay’s 2,000-mile survey walk across the forests of Central Africa. He has also written for many other magazines, ranging from Harper’s, The Atlantic and The New York Times Book Review to Rolling Stone, Outside and Powder. In 2012 he received the Stephen Jay Gould Prize, for writings about science, from the Society for the Study of Evolution. He lives in Bozeman with his wife, Betsy Gaines Quammen, a conservationist at work on a doctorate in environmental history, and their house full of animals.

Bob Gresswell
A. Starker Leopold Lecture—Yellowstone and the Conservation of Native Western Trout

Dr. Bob Gresswell
, emeritus research biologist, USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center and affiliate professor at Montana State University

Dr. Bob Gresswell has studied fish abundance, distribution, and life history in the western US, with a special focus on Yellowstone cutthroat trout. He is an emeritus research biologist with the USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center in Bozeman, Montana and affiliate professor at Montana State University. Bob first worked in Yellowstone National Park (YNP) as a biological tech in 1969 and that experience changed his life forever. After earning a MS at Utah State University, he worked in YNP for 17 years as a fisheries biologist for the US Fish and Wildlife Service; from 1981 to 1990, he was Assistant Project Leader. During that time, Bob helped develop science-informed regulations to maintain healthy cutthroat populations and edited an influential volume on the status and management of cutthroat trout. In 1990, Bob left YNP to pursue a doctoral degree at Oregon State University drawing on his years of research on Yellowstone Lake. With PhD in hand, he joined the US Geological Survey in 1997 as a Research Scientist in Corvallis, where he helped build a multi-disciplinary science program to tackle research needs in the Pacific Northwest. Much of his attention was on coastal cutthroat trout and their vulnerability to clearcut logging, debris flows, and fire.

He first became interested in the effects of fire on aquatic systems during the 1988 Yellowstone fires, and he has studied this topic in the US and beyond, publishing on patterns of postfire response at local and landscape scales, and the fire risks for isolated trout populations. Bob has authored comprehensive reviews about fire and aquatic ecosystems and the status of Yellowstone cutthroat trout across the historic range of the subspecies. In 2004, Bob returned to the Yellowstone region, this time focusing his attention on the introduction of lake trout in Yellowstone Lake. He has been involved in the search for new approaches for lake trout suppression, as well as the use of acoustic telemetry to follow lake trout movement and locate spawning areas. Bob currently chairs the Independent Scientific Review Panel, which assesses the lake-trout suppression program on Yellowstone Lake. Bob is proud to contribute to the enormous scientific and resource management program underway to restore the Yellowstone Lake ecosystem, an effort that matches his personal commitment to see healthy populations of Yellowstone cutthroat trout for future generations. For more information, please visit https://www.usgs.gov/ staff-profiles/bob-gresswell.
Bill Wyckoff

Aubrey L. Haines Lecture—Archives, Images, and Fieldwork: Historical Geographies of the American West

Dr. Bill Wyckoff, Professor of Geography at Montana State University

Dr. Bill Wyckoff, a native of Southern California, received his masters (1979) and doctoral (1982) degrees in historical and cultural geography from Syracuse University. After teaching for two years at the University of Georgia (1984-1986), Bill moved to the Department of Earth Sciences at Montana State University and has lived near Bozeman with his wife, Linda for the past 30 years. He is the author of five books on the West and on the frontier, including his most recent volume titled How to Read the American West: A Field Guide, published by University of Washington Press in 2014. Earlier books include The Developer’s Frontier: The Making of the Western New York Landscape (Yale Press, 1988), The Mountainous West: Explorations in Historical Geography (with co-editor Lary Dilsaver, Nebraska Press, 1995), Creating Colorado: The Making of a Western American Landscape (Yale Press, 1999), and On the Road Again: Montana’s Changing Landscape (Washington Press, 2006). He also coauthors Diversity Amid Globalization: World Regions, Environment, Development, an award-winning world regional geography textbook published by Pearson. Living so close to Yellowstone, Bill also developed a long-standing interest in the cultural and historical evolution of the western national parks. Partnering with Lary Dilsaver, Bill has published two articles on Glacier National Park (on the Going-to-the-Sun Road and on Great Northern tourism promotion) which have appeared in the Journal of Historical Geography and Geographical Review. In addition, Wyckoff and Dilsaver produced a research article on many national park sites that were proposed in Montana, but never created (“Failed National Parks in the Last Best Place”) that was published in Montana: The Magazine of Western History. Their more general assessment of “The Political Geography of National Parks,” published in the Pacific Historical Review in 2005 won the annual Everhart Award for the best peer-reviewed article on the national parks. Bill has also encouraged several graduate students to complete masters theses and doctoral dissertations on the West’s public lands system. His edited volume on Yellowstone’s changing cultural landscape (with Karl Byrand), to be published with George Thompson Publishing is entitled Designs Upon Nature: The Cultural Landscapes of Yellowstone National Park features the work of several of his former students. Currently, Bill is Professor of Geography at Montana State University and he is working on another new book. This is a re-photography project of the Arizona landscape, based on the images of Norman Wallace, who worked for that state’s Department of Transportation between 1932 and 1955. Bill is also continuing his creative partnership with Lary Dilsaver with new research on the creation of mining-related national park units in the American West.

Gary Tabor

Superintendent’s International Lecture—Boundless Conservation - Parks within the Emergence of Large-Scale Conservation

Dr. Gary M. Tabor, Executive Director, Center for Large Landscape Conservation

Dr. Gary M. Tabor is an ecologist and wildlife veterinarian based in Bozeman, Montana. Gary is the Executive Director of the Center for Large Landscape Conservation (www.largelandscapes.org) which prototypes collaborative solutions that address large scale ecological impacts. Gary has worked on behalf of large landscape conservation internationally for over 30 years (8 years in East and Central Africa, 2 years in Australia, 1 year in South America) as well as 12 years as a leader within the U.S. philanthropic community. In his career, Gary has advised over a dozen foundations including Dodge, Kendall, Turner and Wilburforce Foundations. His work in conservation finance also includes the design of international conservation trusts for USAID, and the World Bank. Gary co-founded the Australia Environmental Grantmakers Association. Gary’s conservation achievements include the establishment of Kibale National Park in Uganda; establishment of the World Bank’s Mountain Gorilla Conservation Trust; a Congo Basin wide review of Great Ape conservation for the USFWS; co-founding the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative; pioneering the field of Conservation Medicine and EcoHealth with Tufts Veterinary School, Harvard Medical School and EcoHealth Alliance; catalyzing the Western Governors’ Association Wildlife Corridors Initiative; co-founding Patagonia Company’s Freedom to Roam wildlife corridor campaign; co-founding the Practitioners’ Network for Large Landscape Conservation (www.largelandscapenetwork.org) and co-founding the Roundtable of the Crown of the Continent (www.crownroundtable.org) – recent winner of the inaugural climate adaptation award by the Joint Implementation Committee of the US National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy.

Sitting on multiple conservation and government agency boards in the US and Australia, Gary is a Henry Luce Scholar and 2013- 2014 recipient of an Australian American Fulbright Scholar award in Climate Change.

Last updated: December 21, 2016

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