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About Yellowstonian

Welcome to Yellowstonian, a special project of Artemis Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in the state of Montana, and headquartered in Livingston, Montana.  Yellowstonian also has an office in Jackson, Wyoming. 

Together with our readers we explore the dynamic intersection between people and wild, untamed nature in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem—and beyond. Greater Yellowstone is the most iconic, wildlife-rich bioregion in the Lower 48, and home to Yellowstone, the mother of all national parks on Earth that is its geographic heart. This makes it a beacon for reflection in pondering the nature of place.

Yellowstonian is devoted to delivering impactful, fact-based conservation journalism, grounded in science and indigenous wisdom. We believe in the power of art and storytelling that not only inspires our readers but positions them to cast their own positive ripple effects in defense of our imperiled wild planet.

Artemis is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. All contributions made on behalf of Yellowstonian or WILDLIFES are tax deductible. Our success depends on you and we are profoundly grateful for your support.

Our Mission


Deepening human pressures coupled with the effects of climate already are negatively affecting the ecological integrity of Greater Yellowstone and the window for crafting a bio-regional strategy is narrowing every day. Unlike the Florida Everglades and other ecosystems that have been severely degraded, Greater Yellowstone, a mosaic and public and private lands, still remains intact. What’s certain is that under existing status quo approaches to land protection, this web of ecological cohesiveness cannot endure.

Thus, Yellowstonian’s mission is exploring these questions: How do we nurture the survival of wild places? How can the function of degraded environments be restored through re-wilding? How can we take preventative action to insure Greater Yellowstone does not unravel, leaving our legacy to be one of de-wilding?

Confronting these inquiries requires engagement by those who care and embrace Greater Yellowstone and the perpetuation of wildlands everywhere to be part of their own legacy.

We at Yellowstonian and Artemis exist to elevate ecological literacy so that residents of Greater Yellowstone, and millions of nature-loving people who visit the Northern Rockies (or dream of coming here) are consciously aware of both its magic and fragility. 

Through the years, Artemis Institute has sought to awaken the senses of connection between human and natural culture. Yes, the converging lifeways of all species represent a confluence of cultures tested by time. We aspire to cultivate enlightenment about the larger community of life to which humans belong and of which we are only a part. To save something as remarkable as Greater Yellowstone, we must evolve our understanding of impact, influence, and responsibility.


Our Philosophy


Today more than ever, the persistence of wild nature is on an unsustainable path. There’s a reason why Greater Yellowstone is one of the only ecosystems of its kind left in the world yet its future is uncertain. We recognize that modern humanity is extracting too much from a finite Earth, whose own biological diversity is a one-of-a-kind miracle in the cosmos. Survival of our own species and millions of others requires us to acknowledge that we can no longer use up more than we give back. 

There is more to living a meaningful and intrinsically purposeful life than material accumulation. The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is not only a high-profile, global bellwether, but it is, in myriad ways, a living laboratory and an experiment testing whether humans can truly co-exist in reciprocity with other wild beings and regeneratively with the land.

Artemis Institute was founded by Dr. Lori Ryker, on the belief that the tie between the creative process and the relationship we seek with nature is profound—and, when engaged and expressed, can result in transformations of how we relate to the world in which we live.

We invite you, our valued supporters, to join us in exploration of how a healthy ecosystem can remain vibrant and resilient in the face of a rapidly expanding human footprint. Our intention is using unrivaled storytelling, art and experiential learning to advance personal and professional awakening. From its first beginnings, Artemis has accomplished this through community projects, public events and discussions, the development of university-level courses to help hatch our next great younger thinkers, and personal enrichment programs for those who want to continue growing in mind and spirit, no matter their age or background.

Who We Are
Todd Wilkinson
Co-founder, Yellowstonian

Todd Wilkinson is regarded as one of the foremost environmental journalists and authors writing about the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and the American West. His experience spans four decades and assignments have taken him around the world. His work has appeared in dozens of national publications, including National Geographic, The Guardian, Christian Science Monitor, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and many others. He is known for being able to tackle any subject, and that includes fine art, culture and business.

In 2017, he and Gus O’Keefe co-launched Mountain Journal and together grew its audience to more than a quarter million followers on social media and his stories alone, praised for their insight and depth, were widely circulated, reaching tens of millions and readers in 200 countries. Wilkinson retired from Mountain Journal in August 2023 and, based upon an outpouring of reader requests, created Yellowstonian to serve as a -content-driven community forum aimed at saving Greater Yellowstone from escalating human pressure. 

Wilkinson is author of several acclaimed and award-winning books on topics as varied as the conservation legacy of Ted Turner, Jackson Hole Grizzly 399, scientific whistleblowers, For 30 years he also penned a popular weekly column, The New West. That column is returning as a regular feature at Yellowstonian. Wilkinson, a native of Minnesota, began his writing career as a violent crime reporter at the City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary training ground for young “cub” reporters. 
Angus O'Keefe
Co-founder, Yellowstonian

Gus O’Keefe is a native Montanan and passionate defender of this region he calls home. Under Todd Wilkinson’s leadership, he served as Associate Content Editor for Mountain Journal, a nonprofit journalism site dedicated to conservation in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. There, O’Keefe focused on building the site’s social media presence, helping reach millions of readers throughout the world.

The son of a father who was a ranger in Glacier National Park and a mom who is a veterinarian, he was raised to appreciate the value and necessity of wild places and the species that inhabit them. An avid outdoor recreationist, he spends his winters on the slopes and his summers on the trails, often with his dogs Louise and Arthur.

At Yellowstonian, he will take the lead on bolstering reader engagement while creating, managing and curating content across social media platforms, working to expand the reach and impact of the site.  In addition, as a self-taught graphic artist, O’Keefe’s work will frequently be featured throughout Yellowstonian.

Dr. Lori Ryker
Founder/Director, Artemis Institute

Dr. Lori Ryker is founder and Executive Director of Artemis Institute. She oversees development of Artemis’s projects and programs, including its original hallmark, an immersive education program called Remote Studio. Not long ago, Artemis launched WILDLIFES, an initiative that promotes public art as a way of engendering greater awareness about the importance of wildlife migrations and the import of maintaining healthy, intact ecosystems for species like grizzly bears, wolves and bison. 

Dr Ryker has also been a professor of architecture and, in private practice, is founder of studioryker, a design firm located in Livingston, Montana, a historic gateway to Yellowstone National Park. She has written three books, numerous essays and her design work and teaching philosophy has been published nationally and internationally. Her column, Switchbacks & Cairns, will appear regularly at Yellowstonian. A recipient of a Graham Foundation Grant, National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a Montana Artist Innovation Award, Lori often serves as a juror and visiting faculty at universities.

A graduate of the Harvard School of Design and trained as an architect and artist, Lori developed the core pedagogical focus of Remote Studio and the mission of Artemis Institute during the research for her PhD from Texas A & M University. Drawing from over ten years of teaching experience at universities and a belief in the need for immersive education and first-hand experience of natural environs, from 2000-2105 she led Remote Studio in the Yellowstone region to students from universities across North American and abroad.

Her work for Artemis Institute is inspired by the need to draw out the best creative ideas to actively engage with and generate positive outcomes for the Earth and all of its inhabitants. 

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