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Yellowstone Partners

Since 2014, YESPI has contracted and worked with a variety of professors, researchers, academics, professionals, informed individuals, and institutions in a wide array of subject areas.   These resources will be utilized for the students ISPs.  In some cases, these are the teachers that will teach specific sections of the ISP program.  In other cases, these are the individuals or institutions (as well as others depending on the topic) who can be made available to students pursuing their ISP topic.

The list below is not complete, but it reflects the depth of the team of professionals and service providers that YESPI has access to for its programs.

Professors, Teachers, and Lecturers

Dr. Pat Munday – Tenured professor at Montana Tech with a PhD in Science & Technology Studies from Cornell University. His academic experience ranges from teaching chemistry at Cornell to teaching science writing to PhD candidates at

Zhongshan (Sun Yet-sen University).  He instructs research methods, photography, environmental science, and the development of the Independent Study Project (ISP).

Chen Shihua – MS from Montana Tech studying under Professor Munday.  Shihua is a native of China and completely bilingual. She teaches presentation skills for the ISP program and assists with the ISP program.  She is actively pursuing a Ph.D.

Dr. Vaughan Judge – Director of the Art School at Montana State University and collaborator with YESPI on 188 Art’s development in the USA and China.

Dr. Tom Walsh – A professor of languages a Montana State University.  Dr. Walsh assists with the ISP program for YESPI.

Dr. John Xanthopolous – Professor at the University of Montana Western and instructor for the Socratic Study methods classes of the YESPI programs.

Dr. Dana Cotton – Professor at the University of Montana Western and instructor for the Socratic Study methods classes of the YESPI programs.

Dr. Deidre Combs – Professor at Montana State University and instructor for the leadership component of YESPI programs.


Dr. Michael Duchemin – Director of the Charlie Russell Museum and collaborator with YESPI on the Shanghai-based 188 Art’s programs in America.

Nick Gevock – Conservation Director for the Montana Wildlife Federation and instructor for the Yellowstone orientation and the back country camping and ecology courses

Mike Meese – Director of the Buffalo Field Campaign in West Yellowstone.  Mike provides specialized tours to YESPI groups to teach about the Yellowstone bison herds.

Cyndy Andrus – The current Mayor of Bozeman and a board member of the Montana Arts Council.  Cyndy traveled to China with 188 Art in 2016 and has spoken at YESPI’s welcome dinners to its students.

Karen Boehlinger – The former Second Lady of Montana (wife of the Lieutenant Governor) and a member of the Montana Art Council.  Karen has extensive contacts in Montana and has traveled to China twice with the 188 Art group.  She worked closely with Sam on the 188 Art tour.

David Stonehocker – The International Student Coordinator of Butte Central High School, co-founder of the Montana Study Group, and instructor for the speech and debate and standardized testing for YESPI programs.

Les Gilman – A rancher and director of a nonprofit foundation focused on sustainable ranching.  Les taught a session on ranch and wildlife ecology in 2015 to YESPI’s summer academy students.

Marie Bothamely – Instructor for YESPI’s life coach exercises and activities.  Marie provided one-on-one counseling sessions to students in the 2015 summer academy.

Scott McMillion – An author and owner of Montana Quarterly magazine.  Scott can offer unique insight to Yellowstone’s grizzly bears.

Brian Farrell – Owner of Yellowstone Trail Guides, Brian has a license to take groups into the back country of Yellowstone National Park.

Parks Reece – A Montana artist based in Livingston, Parks has hosted the 188 Art group several times and has held four shows of this artwork in China.  He has taught art classes for YESPI.


Institutional Partners

Montana State University – This is a four-year university in Bozeman with close to 800 foreign students currently enrolled.  YESPI’s student groups stay on the MSU campus, hire teachers and presenters, and use campus classrooms. YESPI also has a recruitment contract to represent MSU in China and Vietnam.

Montana Tech – This is a four-year technical and engineering school.  YESPI is in discussion with the university about the co-development of a series of environmental workshops.  Montanan Tech provides accreditation to YESPI students who complete the Independent Study Project (ISP). 

West Yellowstone Economic Development Council INC (WYED) - This is a nonprofit economic development council that owns and operates the WYED Center.  YESPI’s summer students stay at the WYED Center during their program.   YESPI also uses the classroom and overall infrastructure of the facility for classes.

Greater Yellowstone Adventure Series LLC (GYAS) – This is a sporting series owned by Sam Korsmoe.  It hosts a series of races in and around the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.  It host students for a five-day internship after the flagship summer program.   

Yellowstone Trail Guides – This is a private company that offers guided tours into Yellowstone National Park.  It has a special permit to take these groups in the Yellowstone’s back country. 

Montana Arts Council – YESPI has worked very closely with the Montana Arts Council which has sent several artists to China and has hosted several Chinese artists from 2014 to 2017.

University of Montana Western – This is a four-year university in Dillon and is part of the University of Montana (Missoula) network.  The YESPI group in 2015 stayed on the UM Western campus.

Clark Fork Watershed Education Program – This is an education program on the Montana Tech campus.  It specifically is focused on the Clark Fork River and the many years of its environmental cleanup of the Butte/Anaconda region. 


Service Providers

Montana Whitewater – This is a private white water rafting company on the Gallatin River near Big Sky.  YESPI takes river tours each summer with its groups.

Grizzly Wolf Discovery Center – This is a research center and zoo for grizzly bears, wolves, and birds of prey.  YESPI spends at least one day at the Center for the students to do research, interview experts, and observe the wildlife.


Montana State University Dormitories – This is the student housing at Montana State University.  These are the dorm rooms that American students stay and which are made available to YESPI during its summer programs.


WYED Center – The WYED Center is a research center with a dormitory for overnight students.  It can accommodate up to 40 students at one time (20 male, 20 female).


Miller Hall Dining – This is the largest dining hall on the campus of Montana State University.  It provides all the meals for YESPI students while they are on campus during the summer programs.

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