The world’s first national park was founded as Yellowstone National Park in 1872 - a new experiment in forming a permanent, publicly-owned reservation for future benefit of the land. As national parks are powerful natural laboratories in a relatively unspoiled state, they are sought after by scientists of many disciplines to test hypotheses about the Earth. In this course, we will actively explore the geological processes that formed the landscape of the United States through the lens of our national parks.

In this course you will explore the science of several national parks using a repeated structure of:
1. Exploring the science available about the park
2. Distilling these stories into key geologic processes
3. Working with data to interpret these processes
4. Summarizing our interpretations of the data and processes
5. Exploring the human impact on the park or the park’s impact on humans (or both!)