John T. Thompson, Ph.D
Formerly on the faculty at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, Mr. Thompson currently serves as an educational consultant and biology researcher. He was awarded the Swan Award as Illinois Environmental Educator of the Year, the Sigma Xi Outstanding Teacher Award, and was named an Illinois Governor Master Teacher. He has taught classes and done research in the Yellowstone/Teton area since 1982.
Thompson jokes, “Some children go through what their parents term their ‘bug phase’ while being curious about living things in the outdoors. I apparently never outgrew mine and so ever since I can remember I have enjoyed asking questions and sharing experiences in various field settings.” In fact, he has lead over 800 field experiences, but what excites Thompson about leading this particular one is “the opportunity to share the richness of ecological questions in an environment that has been an international landmark for centuries and as a professional curiosity for me for more than thirty years.” More than an appreciation for the landscape and its wildlife, however, Thompson wants students to come to understand how biologists collect data and analyze what they see in the field. “While the Yellowstone/Teton ecosystem is spectacularly striking, it is the ability to think through an ill-structured messy issue in a logical and scientific manner while doing a thoughtful inquiry that would be the best outcome for students.”