2018 Annual Symposium Excursions Pre-symposium Excursions

Reservations for the two pre-symposium excursions will be through the same website as Registration.  Costs are in US dollars and include transport, accommodation, lunches, and guides.  The capacity of each of the excursions will be around 38. Photos of some of the landscapes, vegetation types, and species that you will see during the excursions are available on the Photo Gallery and links to websites, books, and phone apps on the vegetation and flora are on the Flora and Vegetation Resources page.


Pre-symposium Excursion A: Continental Divide and Glacier National Park

July 17-21, 2018 (4 nights)  Cost $695


Pre-symposium excursion A heads west of Bozeman to the western side of the Continental Divide.  Due to differences in species pools resulting from differences in Pleistocene refugia and the much more maritime, less continental climate, the vegetation west of the Continental Divide is more diverse and more productive.  Many interesting species and vegetation types occur only west of the Divide.


We will spend the first day exploring the beautiful Swan Valley, with the Swan Mountains and the extensive Bob Marshall Wilderness to the east and the Mission Mountains to the west.  The Swan Valley features the majestic and charismatic Pinus monticola and Larix occidentalis among the diverse, low elevation vegetation.  We will end the day in Whitefish, Montana, a popular tourist destination.


The second day we will spend exploring Glacier National Park.  Because of the mesic climate and the dramatic relief of the Livingston and Lewis Mountain Ranges running north-south through the Park, dramatic variability in vegetation, ranging from foothill grasslands and woodlands through dense forests to alpine vegetation at the peaks, can be observed.  Glacier National Park features many of the iconic species of the northern Rockies, including Thuja plicata and Tsuga heterophylla forests, and the well-known Xerophyllum tenax, Vaccinium globulare, and Rubus parviflorus hillsides.  The vegetation of Glacier National Park can be explored in detail at: https://science.nature.nps.gov/im/inventory/veg/project.cfm?ReferenceCode=1047714


After another night in Whitefish, we will continue west along the Kootenay River through the Flathead, Kootenai and Kaniksu National Forests to Sandpoint, Idaho, exploring the mesic low elevation forests of western Montana and the Idaho Panhandle.  Northern Idaho, under the leadership of Rexford Daubenmire, was the cradle of the now extensive system of classification of Potential Natural Vegetation (PNV) employed widely in the Rocky Mountains.


After Sandpoint, we will head south and east along the Clark Fork River to Missoula, Montana, home to the University of Montana.  Along the way we'll visit both more xeric grassland vegetation and wetlands on the Flathead Indian Reservation.  Finally, we'll turn our sights for Bozeman, and travel back through the valley bottoms and grasslands of western Montana to see the iconic Pseudoroegneria spicata/Festuca campestris grasslands.


Pre-symposium Excursion B: Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks

July 17-21, 2018 (4 nights)  Cost $935


Pre-symposium excursion B will travel south from Bozeman to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.  The first stop will be in the Gallatin Valley at Big Sky, Montana, where we'll take the tram up Lone Mountain to visit the alpine vegetation at the summit.  The next day we will enter Yellowstone National Park through the West Yellowstone portal and travel south through the western side of Yellowstone to Jackson, Wyoming.  From Jackson we'll explore Grand Teton National Park.  Due to the significantly different geology and dramatic relief, the vegetation of Grand Teton is distinct from Yellowstone National Park, exhibiting dramatic gradients and variable geomorphology.  We'll visit Artemisia-dominated stream terraces, unique Picea pungens riparian woodlands, and the woodlands and forests of the Teton Range.  The vegetation of Grand Teton National Park can be studied at:



After another night in Jackson, we'll return to Yellowstone National Park for a day of exploration of the Park, including vegetation of thermally-altered soils and other unique communities of Yellowstone.  We'll spend the night at the iconic Yellowstone National Park Lake Lodge.  Finally, the next day we'll return down the Paradise Valley of Montana through Livingston, Montana on our way back to Bozeman by Saturday evening.

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