Campfire Philosophy Outing/Field Seminar Program in Yellowstone — “Where the Wild Things Are: An Exploration of Our Relationship with the Wild”

This dynamic and interactive Yellowstone Forever Institute field seminar program & Merlin campfire philosophy outing explores our relationship with the wild through the lens of literature, philosophy & science. Led by Marisa Diaz-Waian & Thomas Baumeister, the 4-day program involves a mix of classroom and outdoor time — with a heavy emphasis on the outdoors, reflection, experiential learning, and discussion. The field seminar program/outing runs from August 24th – 28th 2020 and includes lodging at Lamar Buffalo Ranch Field Campus in Yellowstone National Park.

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Merlin Community Scholar Fellow Makes 4 Montana Papers with His Article on Elk Shoulder Seasons

Congratulations to 2019 Merlin Community Scholar Fellow, Thomas Baumeister, for making the paper once again with his research and writing on the practical and moral challenges associated with elk shoulder seasons.  His article was picked up by four papers across Montana: Helena Independent Record,  Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the Missoulian, and Butte Standard.

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Elk Shoulder Seasons Ineffective–Time to Think Outside the Box

Montana is home to a lot of elk—134,557 to be more precise. Elk reign prominently in our state’s identity and Montana is better for it. Yet, according to the Elk Management Plan put forth by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP), this is 42,419 elk too many. In this article, 2019 Merlin Community Scholar Fellow Thomas Baumeister, discusses the numerous practical and moral challenges of elk shoulder seasons. Read more!

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Montana Conversations Philosophy Program at Red Lodge Ales Brewing Co.: The Environment, Conservation & Yellowstone

We are delighted to be presenting a hand-tailored version of our Montana Conversations program “Philosophy:  What Is It Good For?” and our Philosophy Think & Drink at Red Lodge Ales Brewing Company! Interactive and dynamic, this program is geared for community members of all ages interested in learning more about how philosophy can help enrich our lives and will specifically examine and apply philosophy (and biomimicry) to some of the environmental and conservation challenges in Yellowstone National Park and its surrounding areas. 

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Merlin Community Scholar Fellow in the Paper with His Article on Wolf Conservation

Congratulations to 2019 Merlin Community Scholar Fellow, Thomas Baumeister, for making the paper with his research and writing project on the democracy of wolf conservation. Prompted by bills currently being proposed in Montana that will decide the fate of wolves for years to come and the democratic process of conservation, Thomas asks us to consider the role of adaptive management and pragmatism (over blind ideology) and engaged citizenry(so that the ends do not justify the means) in wolf conservation. The article went live on the Merlin website on Friday, February 8th, was submitted for consideration as an op-ed to the Helena Independent Record on the same day, and appeared as a featured “guest view” article on-line and in print on Wednesday, February 13th.  

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The Democracy of Wolf Conservation

No other species on this planet elicits stronger emotions in us than the wolf. This should come as no surprise. After all, it’s the wolf which has been in our presence the longest, it’s the wolf with whom we’ve shared our ancestral dwellings and whose descendants we keep as pets today, and it’s the wolf who has shaped our humanity and our relationship to wildness like no other. In this article, 2019 Merlin Community Scholar Fellow Thomas Baumeister, discusses the role of adaptive management, pragmatism, and engaged citizenry in wolf conservation.

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Merlin Community Scholar Fellow Makes the Paper with His Elk Project

Congratulations to 2019 Merlin Community Scholar Fellow, Thomas Baumeister, for making the paper with his research and writing project on elk.  Prompted by a concern for the state of hunting and conservation and ethical questions regarding the measure of the hunt, fairness, and respect, Thomas offers valuable & important food for thought — for hunters and non-hunters alike.  The article is a perfect example of how philosophy reaches beyond the classroom and why asking philosophical questions matter to our everyday lives (and the lives of others), practices, and policies. The piece went live on the Merlin website on Sunday. January 13th, was submitted for consideration as an op-ed to the Helena Independent Record on Monday, Jan. 14th, and appeared as a featured “guest view” article on-line and in print on Thursday, Jan. 17th.

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Measure of the Hunt: Elk Deserve Better

Elk are elk and their worth does not rely on us, though it is influenced by our ability to identify and communicate that value. If we truly love and appreciate elk, it’s time for hunters to reclaim the ethical highroad of fair chase hunting that honors elk for what they are and demands the hunter to be the very best he or she can be. In this article, 2019 Merlin Community Scholar Fellow Thomas Baumeister, discusses two different “measures” of hunting, how fairness and respect are part and parcel of reverence, and why reinstating the ethical pursuit of the hunted as a measure is important.

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