Crews are working to improve access to and from Rocky Mountain National Park with the Downtown Estes Loop Project.

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Tundra Pioneer: The Life and Legacy of Bettie Willard

  • 500 Big Thompson Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517
  • Phone: (970) 586-3262
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Join Cheri Yost and Leanne Benton for a look at the remarkable life and career of alpine ecologist, Bettie Willard, whose research influenced Rocky Mountain National Park’s tundra protection policies and who founded the Rocky Mountain Conservancy Field Seminars Program. We will travel to the tundra to immerse ourselves in and discuss Bettie’s beloved alpine ecosystem, look at the alpine plants she studied, and visit her research sites. The course will also touch on Bettie’s numerous career assignments on the state and national level, with emphasis on her determination to overcome the obstacles women faced professionally in the 1950s and 1960s. During this course, we will take a careful look at Bettie’s research initiatives and the resulting management actions undertaken by Rocky Mountain National Park to better protect the alpine tundra. We’ll discuss tundra ecology and the possible impacts of a changing climate on the plants and animals that live there. We’ll also discuss Bettie’s lifelong mission to educate individuals, as well as corporate, political, and government leaders, on the impacts of human activity on the natural environment. This mission is as significant today as it was decades ago, and we hope you’ll join us for this very special course!