Who Is A Naturalist's World?
A Naturalist's World ANW) is an ecologically oriented company dedicated
to providing educational programs, books, slide shows and videos reflecting
the natural history of North America. In addition to tracking, our programs
cover bears, wolves, winter ecology, northern lights, alpine ecology and
ANW is owned by Jim Halfpenny, Ph.D. Jim and Diann Thompson,
B.S.N., who run the daily business, teach classes, and lead programs. Other
instructors assist on various courses.
ANW is located in Gardiner, Montana, the north Gate to Yellowstone
National Park. Facilities for ANW and students are housed in the
Track Education Center and Museum.
Who are Jim and Diann?
Jim is a scientist and educator whose background is mammalogy and ecology
including polar, alpine, long-term specialties. He has been tracking since
1957 and teaching tracking since 1969.
Jim is author of many books, articles,
and videos including
Yellowstone Wolves in the Wild,
A Field Guide To Mammal Tracking in North America,
the Scats & Tracks regional series,
Winter: An Ecological Handbook,
Living with Ice Bears,
A Celebration of Bears and
Elk for Hunters.
His writing, photographs, and classes have been featured
Backpacker, BEARS Magazine, College Science Teacher, Colorado Outdoors,
Field and Stream, Natural History, New York Times, Outdoor Photographer,
Outside Magazine, Ranger Rick, Science World, Sierra, Sports Afield, Summit,
and Wyoming Wildlife.
Since 1961, Jim has taught outdoor education and environmental programs
for state, federal, and private organizations including among others Aspen
Center for Environmental Sciences, Audubon, Colorado Outward Bound School,
National Outdoor Leadership School, National Wildlife Federation, Nature
Conservancy, Sierra Club, Smithsonian, Teton Science School, Wilderness
Society, Yellowstone Institute, various Universities and state wildlife
agencies, and Rocky Mountain, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier National
Jim has conducted research and led expeditions to the four corners of
the world including both polar regions, the deserts and mountains of China
and Africa, and the forests of the tropics. Jim is a member of the Explorer's
Club and a Vietnam Veteran.
Diann is a registered nurse who has worked on tracking, bear, ski, and
northern lights programs from Yellowstone to Hudson Bay in Canada. Diann
is co-producer of Living with Ice Bears, A Celebration of Bears and
Tracking Elk for Hunters and co-author of Discovering Yellowstone
Jim and Diann reside in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem where they spend
as much time in the field as is possible, especially on crosscountry skis.
Track Education Center and Museum
The Track Education Center and Museum (TrEC) consists of a museum classroom, symposium
classroom, kitchen, dormitory rooms, and apartment complex located in Gardiner, Montana
(north entrance to Yellowstone National Park).
The museum contains a teaching and reference collection of more than 1000 plaster
footprint casts, scat, hair, bones, teeth, skulls, antlers, and horns. Casts represent footprints of
North American amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals and fossil mammals and dinosaurs. Some
non-American animal tracks are also present. This track collection is one of the largest known
and is used as a reference for identification, often in legal cases. Scat, hair, bones, and teeth
represent North American mammals and serve primarily for teaching about animal signs. Walls
are decorated with posters about animals and from various student and research projects.
Computer databases are maintained on measurements of footprints of mammals. Facilities are
also available to make duplicate plaster casts from collection material. All materials are
available for photography.
The symposium lecture room seats 40 people at tables facing speaker and screen As an
auditorium without tables, 70 may be seated. When used as a dining room, 60 participants may
be served at tables. Audio / Visual and Projection equipment available includes two 35 mm
Kodak projectors, DLP projector providing 5-ft wide image, television and small speaker system,
DVD player (may be used with DLP projector), VHS player / recorder (may be used with DLP
projector), computer for PowerPoint type presentations, and projection screen and white wall for
The kitchen is fully equipt with dishes, cooking utensils, and coffee machines (timers are
available for early morning departures to the field).
Dormitory rooms sleep eight with two bunks per room. The apartment sleeps six with bunks in
each or two bedrooms. The apartment has a separate entrance, bathroom, and kitchen.
Four bathrooms are available on the premises and facilities are handicap accessible.
All facilities are within walking distance of dining, conveniences store, and gas stations.
Contact A Naturalist's World to arrange to use facilities and for lecture and program availability.
Our calendar is full so make arrangements early. (406) 848-9458.
Map to Track Education Center and Museum
Print picture for a written copy.