Resources Details

Sharing the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem lesson plan/activity

Part of the Climate In My Backyard (CLiMB) series, this lesson plan includes an active strategy game through which students will experience the frustrations of trying to balance the needs of wildlife conservation, ranchers, home developers, and wildlife conservationists in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. (Teachers could substitute another ecosystem with which they are familiar). Participants will also discuss possible solutions for accommodating all stakeholders. The activity is based on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, which hosts some of the country's greatest diversity of wildlife and hydrothermal features that have made it a famous and highly valued system. The GYE supports a high abundance of wildlife, ranchers, homeowners, recreationists, and tourists that all depend on its resources. Climate change is expected to have a significant impact on species and resource composition and distribution. Understanding and preparing for climate change requires an understanding of how to balance the needs of all stakeholders in the ecosystem. This is a complex and often frustrating challenge, and requires understanding the perspective of each group. This lesson gives students an experience in the frustrations involved in sharing resources in order to discuss solutions and strategies needed to prepare for a balanced GYE under future climate change.

Key Concepts

land use, natural resources, yellowstone, agriculture, wildlife, climate


Climate In My Backyard (CLIMB)  View All »


One hour




Institute on Ecosystems

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Sharing an Ecosystem lesson plan


Earth Science, Life Science

Resource Type

Lesson Plan


Acrobat PDF



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