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About Yellowstone Wild

Yellowstone Wild is a local, family-owned and operated guiding service offering custom tours in Yellowstone National Park.

We are a team of passionate lifelong learners and Yellowstone enthusiasts dedicated to crafting unparalleled, personalized experiences for visitors within Yellowstone’s majestic landscapes. Our mission is to engage curiosity for the wonders of the natural world through hands-on, inquiry-based excursions in Yellowstone National Park. Embracing a culture of respect, client connection, ethical and responsible engagement with the landscape, and sustainable operations, we collaborate to deliver the BEST personalized adventures for guests of all ages, backgrounds, and beliefs. 

We believe in fostering a playful sense of discovery, where wonder and curiosity become the driving forces of learning. Our vision is simple: To guide our guests—through exploration, play, observation, and discovery—to find their passion for Yellowstone and all wild places. In this immersive experience, we aim to not only create lasting memories but also instill a profound sense of pride and ownership for wild landscapes around the world. 

At Yellowstone Wild, we are more than just “guides”; we are storytellers, artists, teachers, and stewards of nature. Collectively the Yellowstone Wild staff has over 80 years of experience guiding, educating, writing, photographing, researching, and exploring in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Our commitment to our clients is unwavering–to craft and deliver unforgettable experiences that transcend the ordinary. We embrace the diversity of our guests, tailoring every day to each group’s unique interests, abilities, and backgrounds. Our guides work one-on-one with each client to ensure a Yellowstone experience that is special to EVERY participant. Our hope for every tour is that all guests walk away with their curiosity engaged and a piece of Yellowstone forever lodged in their hearts and minds.

Meet Our Team

About Emil

Owner

Emil was raised on a remote ranch in the mountains of southern Colorado, where from a very early age he developed a deep interest in the wildlife and wild places around him. As a child growing up in a wilderness environment, he spent much of his youth exploring the natural world and taught himself to track and observe the wildlife in the mountains and forests near his home. Emil earned a Bachelor´s degree in biology with an emphasis in ecology from Colorado College. He studied carnivore ecology on campus and abroad, and in 1997 he began formal field research in Costa Rica with leading jaguar scientists. Shortly after college he studied mountain lions in Yellowstone National Park, and gained valuable first-hand experience with Yellowstone´s amazing wildlife. Emil then spent an instrumental winter snow-tracking wolves through the Northwoods of Michigan, before attending graduate school to earn a Master´s of Science degree in Wildlife Conservation and Management from Humboldt State University. His graduate studies included five years of field research on mountain lion feeding ecology. Emil has authored many scientific publications and educational articles and taught courses on traditional and modern animal tracking.

Emil´s work to study and conserve wild carnivores has taken him to many unique locations throughout North and Central America, Europe, Southern Africa and the Saharan Deserts of Morocco. Prior to returning to Yellowstone, he spent five years working for the European Union on the reintroduction and conservation of the Iberian lynx, the world´s most endangered wild cat, in the Sierra Morena Mountains of Spain and Portugal.

About Tyrene

General Manager/Naturalist Guide

Originally from Portland, Oregon, Tyrene fell in love with Yellowstone and its ecological diversity during her first visit to fish in the park in 1996, while pursuing a BFA in Acting in Ashland, Oregon. It was a life changing experience, and in 2002, she made the choice to give up her dreams of Broadway to live the dream of moving to Yellowstone. Since 2007, Tyrene has worked in the park as an Interpretive guide, snowcoach driver, fly-fishing guide & instructor, Certified Interpretive Guide Trainer, and outdoor educator.  Tyrene finds inspiration in guiding both new and seasoned park visitors to find a deep and personal connection to Yellowstone as well as encouraging them to discover what wildness means to them.

Tyrene’s greatest joy is the timeless beauty of a day on a river, and she spends as much time as possible in the backcountry of Yellowstone and the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness searching for wildlife (not just fish!), wildflowers, and her next great adventure. She passionately believes that fostering education through fun, interactive, hands-on experiences has the power to inspire change, increase understanding of, and develop a voice for, our wild places. She brings this passion to the Yellowstone Wild team with a deep-rooted commitment to fostering and implementing a culture focused on continual professional development, one-on-one coaching, and biannual seasonal trainings with the Naturalist staff.

Tyrene is a Certified Interpretive Guide Trainer and Certified Interpretive Guide with the National Association for Interpretation.

About Chelsea

Social Media Manager/Assistant General Manager

Chelsea is a born-and-raised Yellowstone-area resident who grew up alongside thermal features and free-roaming bison on the shoreline of Yellowstone Lake. Chelsea’s family eventually moved to the North Entrance community of Gardiner, Montana, where she and her sister attended Gardiner Public School. Upon graduating, Chelsea temporarily traded the wilds of Yellowstone for a career reporting and writing in the urban jungle.

Chelsea earned a bachelor of arts in print journalism from the University of Montana and had work published in a variety of publications over the course of the next decade ranging from the Missoulian to the Portsmouth Herald to the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. She’s also had work published in magazines including Rediscover Montana, OM Yoga & Lifestyle, and Northern Arizona Mountain Living. She continues to freelance write educational blogs for the Gardiner Chamber of Commerce’s web site and travel guide and interpretive retail text for Yellowstone National Park’s non-profit partner, Yellowstone Forever.

Chelsea left the world of journalism in 2008 to pursue a decade-long career as a Grand Canyon river guide during summer and ski and wildlife-watching guide during winter. Today, she is fortunate to combine her dual passions of writing and helping visitors experience and enjoy the natural world – in particular, the national parks.

About Rob

Lead Naturalist/Photo Guide

Rob was first captivated by the grandeur of Yellowstone as a 9-year-old on a family vacation. His first memory of Yellowstone’s wildlife was watching the famed Druid Peak wolf pack hunting in Lamar Valley during the height of their reign. Over the next two decades, the pull of Yellowstone grew ever stronger as he racked up hundreds of miles exploring the trails of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. He spent three seasons working for one of the park’s main concessionaires before relocating to Gardiner permanently, where he has worked full-time as a guide for the past three years. He is passionate about sharing Yellowstone’s eminent wildlife, geology, and natural history with others.

Rob is also an avid landscape and wildlife photographer with 12 years of experience behind the camera lens. He loves the challenge of capturing the raw beauty and truly wild fauna of  Yellowstone in photographic form. In addition to guiding, Rob enjoys climbing in the Tetons, backpacking throughout the GYE and beyond, and trying amazing new foods from around the globe.

Rob is a Certified Interpretive Guide with the National Association for Interpretation and a Certified Wilderness First Responder. He studied Outdoor Recreation Leadership Management at Northern Michigan University.

About Matt

Lead Naturalist Guide

Matt took the scenic route to Yellowstone and hasn’t left. After obtaining a degree in Wildlife Biology from Illinois State University, Matt followed some great advice and headed west.

He worked for Colorado Parks and Wildlife on projects restoring native cutthroat trout to mountain lakes throughout the Centennial State. At CPW he also contributed to projects involving monitoring burrowing owls, raptors, and songbirds. From Colorado he continued west living and working in Oregon and Alaska. Matt was the crew leader for a research project in the Alaskan bush on Kodiak Island focused on sockeye salmon. The crew spent the summer collecting data on the migration of the young salmon from the freshwater lake they were born in to the sea.

Making his way back to the lower 48 he landed in Yellowstone where he now lives, plays and works. Yellowstone is a playground for a naturalist like Matt. Between the bears, birds, wolves, weasels, and thermal features, he might never leave. Matt spends his summers hiking and recreating all over the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in free time. Matt has joined the Yellowstone Wild Team on a year round basis and is embracing the opportunity to lead both single and multi-day wolf, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and family tours. He will bring a deep knowledge and enthusiasm of the natural world to your time in this magical place.

Matt is a Certified Interpretive Guide with the National Association for Interpretation.

About Laura

Lead Naturalist Guide

Laura first came to Yellowstone from Chicagoland on a whim in 2005 with a friend to work for a summer at Old Faithful before heading off to college. After graduating with a degree in Sociology, getting married and exploring the west for a little over a decade, Yellowstone beckoned with its sulfuric arm.

While reconnecting with the wildness of Yellowstone, Laura became a certified interpretive guide who enjoys sharing her knowledge about wildlife, imagining what the park looked like over millions of years of geologic history,  and discovering some of Mother Nature’s hidden secrets.

Laura has joined the Yellowstone Wild Team on a year-round basis and loves spending her free time identifying small scurrying critters’ tracks, and venturing out into seemingly untouched wilderness. She is ready to explore this enchanting part of our world together!

Laura is certified in avalanche safety and is a Certified Interpretive Guide with the National Association for Interpretation.

About Aleksa

Naturalist Guide

After growing up in Syracuse, New York, Aleksa stayed fairly close to home for a few years after graduation. With a degree in Wildlife Science from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry under her belt, she studied small mammal and vegetation abundance in the heart of the Adirondacks. One day, she and her mother decided to take a trip to Yellowstone, and Aleksa was sold. It was less than a year after that when she said “goodbye” to the High Peaks and “hello!” to the Rocky Mountains.  Aleksa now works in the park year-round, and is looking to keep it that way for quite some time. Where else in the world do you get wolves, bears, and boiling hot water shooting out of the ground all in the same place?

While she does love the larger animals of the park, insects, birds, amphibians, and all of the “little guys” have captivated Aleksa since she was a kid. When she is not birdwatching or hiking, you can usually find Aleksa hunched close to the ground, marveling at the creepy-crawlies that make the world go ‘round.

Aleksa is a Certified Interpretive Guide with the National Association for Interpretation.

About Leysa

Naturalist Guide

Leysa regularly states: “If you told me five years ago where I would be today, I would not believe you in the slightest.” Before moving out west, the big cities of Minneapolis and Chicago were her home. But, she always found comfort in the natural parts of the large, concrete cities. She regularly swam, canoed, or strolled about at Minneapolis’s Chain of Lakes. Over the years, Leysa has found a passion for the tranquility, ecological diversity, and beauty out here in Yellowstone.  Leysa has gained a vast knowledge of Yellowstone’s geology, wildlife, and history via volunteering for the National Park Service, being a Yellowstone Snowcoach Driver for the park’s main concessionaire in winter, and being a resident of this wonderful place for the last six years. She is excited to be on the team, connect with guests, and show visitors how important our natural world is.

Leysa’s favorite pastimes include using her spotting gear to watch wildlife. You can also find her hiking and exploring to her heart’s delight. She is currently a part-time student pursuing a B.S. in Environmental Science with a concentration on Natural Resource Conservation.

Leysa has recently become a Certified Interpretive Guide with the National Association for Interpretation and is a Wilderness First Responder.

About Kyle

Naturalist/Photo Guide

Kyle is originally from Orlando, Florida where he earned a bachelors degree in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation from the University of Florida. While in Florida, he worked as a fire ecologist, freshwater mussel ecologist, small mammal biologist, and botanist with various NGO’s, state, and federal agencies. As Kyle entered what he calls his “quarter life crisis” at the age of twenty five, he decided to explore other opportunities and traveled to South America on a work assignment chasing jaguars using camera traps before eventually landing in Montana.

Moving to Montana was life-changing for Kyle. Initially working as a wildland firefighter in the summers and a fisheries biologist in the winter, everything changed when Kyle discovered guiding in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). This line of work proved insatiable to Kyle and before long he found himself leading tours in Yellowstone through every season. In addition to Naturalist Guiding, Kyle is a professional wildlife and nature photographer with more than 8 years experience. 

When he’s not working you can almost always find him with a camera in hand exploring hidden treasures in the GYE. Kyle also enjoys just about anything outdoors and hanging out with friends and family. During the “shoulder” season of guiding Kyle is either running a photography workshop or traveling the world in search of wild places with wild animals. 

Kyle is a Certified Interpretive Guide with the National Association for Interpretation, Wilderness First Responder, and is Avalanche Level 1 certified.

About Erik

Naturalist Guide

Erik grew up in the mountains of “The Middle of Nowhere,” Upstate New York. Ever since he was little, he was drawn to the great outdoors and spent countless hours exploring the woods, ever curious about the wonders of the natural world.

Erik developed a passion for travel and later traversed the globe, setting his sights on places where wildlife is abundant. On each trip, he made sure to go on some sort of “Wildlife Viewing/Spotting Tour.” Keen on assisting the guide to find animals—as well as on absorbing new information about the resident species that lived there—Erik always harbored a hidden passion to “one day” become a naturalist guide.

With a background in film, and having worked for CBS and NBC, Erik later dedicated several years to a private film company until he decided to change career paths entirely. He embarked on a one-way journey to South Africa where he learned about the wildlife, flora, and encompassing landscape. Here, Erik led safari tours and educated visitors from all across the world.

Erik is now excited to apply his guiding skills and passion for nature to his naturalist position in Yellowstone. With each day, an opportunity to experience nature, learn, and to see something new fills him with anticipation to see what each day has to offer his guests.

Erik is an Eagle Scout, a certified field guide through the Field Guide Association of South Africa, and certified in Wilderness First Aid/CPR.

About Evan

Naturalist/Photo Guide
Originally from Kentucky, Evan was first captivated by the vast wilderness of Yellowstone at 16 years old while on a family road trip through the mountain west. Shortly after this trip, he began college in Kentucky but found he was always dreaming of Yellowstone and its diversity and abundance of wildlife.
To bring those dreams alive, Evan spent his summers working as a seasonal employee in the park. In his off time, he could be found searching for wildlife and exploring the unique and beautiful landscapes of Yellowstone. Whether he was volunteering with the park’s bear management team or looking at an elk through the barrel of his camera lens, Evan observed the park’s wildlife each and every day.
After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Wildlife Biology, Evan moved to the Yellowstone area permanently to pursue his dreams of being a naturalist guide, wildlife photographer, and an advocate for conservation in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Evan will be taking the summer 2024 season off to enjoy time honing his skills in the parks interior, but plans to rejoin the Yellowstone Wild Team for the winter 2024/2025 season.

Evan strives to educate and inspire all who come to Yellowstone and hopes that visitors leave the park with a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the ecology, geology, and history of this magical place.

Lola & Chance

Directors of Joy and Optimism

Lola and Chance are the heart of Yellowstone Wild.  As best friends and adventure partners, they have worked hard to develop their professional contributions to the team by remaining available at ALL times to lend a paw in all aspects of the operation.

Lola’s special skills include chasing the shop bunnies away from incoming/outgoing vehicle traffic, assisting with the removal of potential hazards such as elk/deer bones, and ensuring the Yellowstone Wild workspace remains 100% free of wayward food items. Her efforts to ensure the property is clear of all possible bear/animal attractants has been an inspiration to the entire team (she sure leads by example!) and the staff remains grateful for the positive attitude and true joy she brings to her daily duties.  Additionally, she is exceptionally cute  and loves to have her front paws massaged.  She’s always game for snuggles and when staff needs a hug, a laugh, or a hiking buddy, they know Lola will be there for them!

Chance’s greatest strength lies in his tireless efforts ensuring all staff remain in tip-top shape. His motto is simple: “If you have time to talk you have time to throw!”  Chance takes this seriously as demonstrated through his commitment to pursuing any manner of flying object including (but not limited to): frisbees (preferred), sticks (close second), balls, stuffed animals, pinecones, small rocks, 2×4’s, entire logs, twigs, bones, ropes, and much much more. When staff is busy and unable to immediately throw an object for  Chance, his continued optimism to keeps working to convince his team to throw something is beyond inspirational. He knows the crew will buckle eventually and he’s ready when they do! This “keep ’em engaged” work ethic has proven invaluable for staff morale when things get tough and we can’t thank Chance enough for reminding us of the healing power of staying active, engaged, and enjoying the endless bounty of the natural world.