Yellowstone Reports

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Online Class Offering

Eavesdropping on Wild Conversations
by Dr. Nathan Varley

May 11, 2020

Hi all, As the quarantine time drags on, I have increasingly considered how to do my work of sharing Yellowstone and its wildlife with people stuck at home…while I am stuck at home, too.

The park is still closed. The wildlife continue doing what they do, without us observing them.  That may change soon, but I still contemplate how to share when we all base out of our homes.

Then along comes George Bumann, a friend, a brilliant naturalist, and a talented artist.  For years I have known George and watched his career blossom here in Yellowstone.  As a teacher, he has exceptional ability to illustrate complex ecological concepts.  He has amazing talent to watch, listen, and learn about nature, then turn it around and teach effectively. 

George did what I only aspired to do.  He put these valuable teachings online, as a series of video presentations, using the reputable Teachable platform.

The emphasis of the course, Eavesdropping on Wild Conversations: Decoding the Secrets of Animal Language for Ultimate Wildlife Encounters, is on what you can do from home.  While nature is so prominent and tangible in Yellowstone Park, the skills you need to take full advantage can be employed and built upon in your own backyard.  The course consists of 6.5 hours worth of online lectures at a cost of $299. For course modules and lessons, and to enroll go to:

The online course describes a process that will help you find your own wildlife encounters, by tuning in to the subtle communications of the wildlife around you and deciphering what they say. You will be amazed at what you can find by: 
  • learning how to enter the conversation of nature 
  • identifying your “animal messengers” 
  • defining the patterns in their behavior
  • interpreting what those behaviors mean
  • and becoming a part of the conversation

There are 6.5 hours of lessons, but you can go at your own pace. Each lesson is designed to be watched in short, manageable sessions of 15-30 minutes; you could do it over breakfast! The lessons will help you use the time you already spend outside more effectively. Beyond that, the more you practice, the more you’ll see. 

You’ll also be part of a private Facebook group where we’ll chime in with new information and examples, and people all over the country will share their experiences, to further enrich the learning for everyone.

I feel this product is here and available at the right time, and usable far into the future.  Regardless of whether you live in the city, the suburbs, or on the doorstep of Yellowstone as George and I do, the material is relevant and the experience is lasting.


Eavesdropping on Wild Conversations