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About Yellowstone Wild

Yellowstone Wild is a local guiding service offering custom tours in Yellowstone National Park. We specialize in crafting personalized educational experiences with Yellowstone’s wildlife, natural and cultural history, and geology. Our highly experienced naturalist guides and top-of-the-line equipment consistently produce first-rate wildlife sightings, educational offerings, and wilderness excursions. Collectively the Yellowstone Wild staff has over 80 years of experience guiding, educating, learning, photographing, and exploring in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. This in-depth, personal knowledge of Yellowstone’s wolves, bears, bison, and otherworldly hydrothermal features and geology fuel our teachings and enthrall new and returning visitors alike.

We engage adventurers of ALL ages through our explorations in nature! Each Yellowstone Wild Naturalist Guide prides themself in providing only the finest educational tours: wildlife watching, day hiking, geology exploration, and family adventures. Our guiding service is especially well suited for viewing Yellowstone wolves as our guides have years of experience following their movements and social dynamics on a daily basis. On our tours, it is common to witness a pack of wolves traversing Yellowstone’s vast landscapes, hunting wild prey, or traveling to and from their dens to feed their playful puppies. In the unforgettable beauty of a Yellowstone dawn, we often hear wolves howling across the breathtaking expanses of Yellowstone’s famed Northern Range.

This place is truly wild—nature at its purest extremes, without restraint or control, and within that wildness hides Yellowstone’s unique beauty. We custom build each expedition into the world’s first national park around your interests and expectations, and we fill your day with unforgettable experiences surrounded by magical landscapes, untamed wildlife, and geological wonder. Each day in Yellowstone is different in its own way.  Our guides work with your group to ensure your Yellowstone experience is special to YOU. Our hope for EVERY tour is that you walk away with a part of Yellowstone forever lodged in your heart and mind.

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Meet Our Team

About Emil

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

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, Interpretive 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.

About Chelsea

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 Kyle

Kyle Dudgeon is a naturalist, nature photographer, writer and guide with true passion and knowledge for the wildlife and wilderness of the American West. After pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in the Environmental Sciences in northern New York, Kyle found his home in Bozeman, Montana. It was here that he began several seasons of field work involving birds, spanning from the open prairies to the tall mountains across the state. Kyle discovered his true love for Yellowstone through numerous solo experiences throughout the park watching wildlife. Whether it be tracking great gray owls through dense, lodgepole pine forests in Yellowstone’s interior, or spending sub-zero mornings with American bison in Lamar Valley, Kyle is dedicated to his role of capturing the park’s essence through eyes and camera.

Through interpretive tours, Kyle strives to convey the importance of keeping our wild places wild, our flora and fauna thriving and our ecosystems as intact as the modern world will allow. What better place to do so than Yellowstone National Park?

About Travis

Travis developed a passion for the natural world at an early age while growing up in Utah. After spending a year studying Forestry at Utah State, Travis just had to get out into the thick of things. He first worked in Yellowstone the summer of 1991 as a groundskeeper at Canyon Village. Following that summer, he joined the U.S. Navy for a “4 year enlistment”, which turned into a 20-year career. After retiring with an honorable discharge, Travis returned to Yellowstone  in 2014 as an interpretive guide for the main park concessionaire. He now works summer and winter seasons in Yellowstone… because there’s no  cooler place on the planet! 

About Rob

Rob was first captivated by the grandeur of Yellowstone as a 9-year-old on a family vacation. 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. When yearly trips were no longer enough to satisfy the Yellowstone craving, he decided it was time to make the park his home. Rob spent 3 seasons working in the park before relocating to Gardiner permanently to guide full-time. He is passionate about sharing Yellowstone’s eminent wildlife, geology, and natural history with others.

In addition to guiding, Rob is an avid landscape photographer, climber, and all-around lover of mountains. On his days off, he can be found exploring the deep backcountry of Yellowstone and the Beartooth Mountains, climbing in the Tetons, and capturing photos of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem’s world-class scenery.

Rob is a Certified Interpretive Guide and Certified Wilderness First Responder. He studied Outdoor Recreation Leadership & Management at Northern Michigan University.

About Matt

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 winter Matt is a backcountry ski guide in Yellowstone doing multi day trips staying off the grid inside the park. He will bring a deep knowledge and enthusiasm of the natural world to your time in this magical place.

About Laura

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.

In winter, Laura works as a backcountry ski guide, loves identifying small scurrying critters’ tracks, and venturing out into seemingly untouched wilderness. She is trained in avalanche safety and ready to explore this enchanting part of our world together.

About Aleksa

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 mammals and visitor use of trails in the heart of the Adirondacks starting in 2018. She even had a stint helping to bring back the suffering American chestnut tree through genetic engineering. Eventually, Aleksa started to wonder if New York was truly where she wanted to be, and she visited Yellowstone for the first time with her mother in 2021.

Trading the High Peaks of New York for the Rocky Mountains after that eye-opening visit, Aleksa is ready to experience all things big and small in Yellowstone full time. While she loves the larger animals of the park, insects, birds, amphibians, and all of the “little guys” continue to captivate her. When she is not birdwatching or hiking, you can usually find Aleksa hunched close to the ground, marveling at the creepy-crawlies of the world.

About Isaac

As a child growing up in Northern California, Isaac spent much of his time exploring numerous National Parks with his family.  After many unforgettable adventures in Yellowstone, Isaac knew he wanted to move there one day in the hopes of finding a job that allowed him the opportunity to work with wildlife.

After graduating from Cal Poly Humboldt in 2022 with three associates degrees, five certificates, and a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Management and Conservation, Isaac was ready to begin following his dream.  He began project work focusing on the greater sage grouse in northeastern Utah, which gave him the chance to travel into Yellowstone nearly every weekend.  He began following the Wapiti Lake wolf pack as they raised that year’s litter from pups to adolescence and formed a deep connection to both this place and the wildlife that call it home.  The personal significance of this unique experience helped cement Isaac’s deep belief in the importance of conservation and the power of nature’s ability to connect people from all over the world with each other, the natural world, and the desire to help protect these wild places.  He is thrilled to have this opportunity to share Yellowstone with visitors!

Isaac spent the 2023/23 winter season at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge as an Interpretive Guide and snowcoach driver for Xanterra Leisure Holdings. In the future, he plans to return to school to continue working towards a Masters and PhD in Animal Behavior.  He has always had a passion for wolves and his dream is to land a job studying them with a focus on inter and intra pack behaviors and interactions, as well as their impacts and relationships with other species ranging from the canids to other predators on the landscape.

About Leysa

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. Earlier this year, she began to look for new opportunities involving outdoor recreation, education, and guiding. She 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 this past winter, and being a resident of this wonderful place for the last five 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.

About Evan

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 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.

About Virginia

Virginia comes to Yellowstone from a long history in outdoor education and the Girl Scouts. She first worked in the park in 2012, thinking it would be just a fun one- summer job. But after falling in love with the animals, the thermals, and even the lodgepole pines, she never left! Virginia has worked for 8 years as a Yellowstone Naturalist, working with families, teachers, school groups and everyone in between. In the Girl Scouts, she has worked as a summer camp counselor and Leadership Director, and as an international volunteer and Leadership Seminar facilitator. Virginia is a Certified Interpretive Guide, a Leave No Trace Trainer, and a Wilderness First Responder. After the initial shock of her first -30° Yellowstone winter days, this California girl now thrives in the winter and lives for summer hikes and paddle trips. She uses her degree in theater to make science and the outdoors come alive for students of all ages!