Article that brings back memories.

scatman

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Way, way, way back in 1982, while I was a freshman at Utah State University, I took a year (three quarters) long biology class that was team taught. One of my professors from that team was Dr. Barrie Gilbert, who just happened to be researching grizzly bears, and had done some of his research in Yellowstone National Park. Dr. Gilbert was the first person that I knew that had spent any time in the Yellowstone backcountry. Of course, professors back in the day, kept office hours for average students like myself, to ask questions concerning the subject matter being taught. I scheduled to meet with him one afternoon, but I really didn't have any questions about the biology class, I was more interested in Yellowstone. Now after making up a couple questions about what we were studying, I then asked him to tell me a little bit about Yellowstone. He couldn't have been more generous. I could tell by the way that he spoke how enthusiastic he was about the Park, and I'm sure some of that enthusiasm wore off on me at 18. He also told me his story of encountering a grizzly bear while doing research in the Park. You see, Dr. Gilbert wore any eyepatch as a result of that encounter. While he didn't go into as much detail as this excerpt from his memoir, it was nice to hear him tell it to me with the excitement and fear in his voice .

I like to read about bears, and occasionally Dr. Gilbert's name will come up and it will remind me of my visit with him nearly 40 years ago. I saw his name again today and followed a couple of links to get to this article. It is from 2019, so for those who have already read it, I apologize.

Well, It's time for me to stop typing and let Dr. Gilbert tell the story since he does a much better job of it than I ever could. So if you like bears, people who study bears, are familiar with Yellowstone, like reading about a good person and what can happen to them, or how to get back up on your horse if you should happen to fall off, then I think that it will be a good read. I will always be very appreciative of the time he spent talking to a naïve freshman about Yellowstone, and some of his time there to me. And I am sure in some small way he helped lead me to a wonderful thirty so years of backpacking in the Park.

My Yellowstone Mauling and Mountaintop Rescue
 

Janice

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Way, way, way back in 1982, while I was a freshman at Utah State University, I took a year (three quarters) long biology class that was team taught. One of my professors from that team was Dr. Barrie Gilbert, who just happened to be researching grizzly bears, and had done some of his research in Yellowstone National Park. Dr. Gilbert was the first person that I knew that had spent any time in the Yellowstone backcountry. Of course, professors back in the day, kept office hours for average students like myself, to ask questions concerning the subject matter being taught. I scheduled to meet with him one afternoon, but I really didn't have any questions about the biology class, I was more interested in Yellowstone. Now after making up a couple questions about what we were studying, I then asked him to tell me a little bit about Yellowstone. He couldn't have been more generous. I could tell by the way that he spoke how enthusiastic he was about the Park, and I'm sure some of that enthusiasm wore off on me at 18. He also told me his story of encountering a grizzly bear while doing research in the Park. You see, Dr. Gilbert wore any eyepatch as a result of that encounter. While he didn't go into as much detail as this excerpt from his memoir, it was nice to hear him tell it to me with the excitement and fear in his voice .

I like to read about bears, and occasionally Dr. Gilbert's name will come up and it will remind me of my visit with him nearly 40 years ago. I saw his name again today and followed a couple of links to get to this article. It is from 2019, so for those who have already read it, I apologize.

Well, It's time for me to stop typing and let Dr. Gilbert tell the story since he does a much better job of it than I ever could. So if you like bears, people who study bears, are familiar with Yellowstone, like reading about a good person and what can happen to them, or how to get back up on your horse if you should happen to fall off, then I think that it will be a good read. I will always be very appreciative of the time he spent talking to a naïve freshman about Yellowstone, and some of his time there to me. And I am sure in some small way he helped lead me to a wonderful thirty so years of backpacking in the Park.

My Yellowstone Mauling and Mountaintop Rescue
Gilbert's description of his experiences and philosophies is excellent; thank you for sharing this. And YOUR story of your connection to him is just wonderful. Have you been in touch to let him know what an impact he had? Teachers love hearing that they're appreciated and have made a difference...
 

scatman

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Gilbert's description of his experiences and philosophies is excellent; thank you for sharing this. And YOUR story of your connection to him is just wonderful. Have you been in touch to let him know what an impact he had? Teachers love hearing that they're appreciated and have made a difference...

I have not been in touch with him. He did come to Salt Lake to talk about grizzly bears about 15 years ago, and I went to see his presentation.
 
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Thanks for the link and the article. It hit home in a personal way for me. I met Barrie Gilbert in Yellowstone when I was a Park Ranger for 6 seasons. I also worked in Katmai National Park and was charged by a bear myself (no injuries for me as an electric fence around the tent shocked the charging bear enough to stop it). His love for these animals and Yellowstone shine through in the article. Generous people like him and how he influenced your life in a positive way is what makes this world a better place.
 

TheMountainRabbit

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I was fortunate to go to a talk of his some years ago. Very cool that you had that more intimate interaction with Dr. Gilbert.
 

Pringles

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Great tribute to your prof. It sounds like you didn’t go back any more, to ask more questions, and then ask more about Yellowwstone did you?

I smiled about how they piled some sticks and limbs around their tent, to hinder a grizzly.
 
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scatman

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Great tribute to your prof. It sounds like you didn’t go back any more, to ask more questions, and then ask more about Yellowwstone did you?

I smiled about how they piled some sticks and limbs around their tent, to hinder a grizzly.

No, it was just that one meeting, I didn't want to be a bother to him. In hindsight, I should have met with him again, though having never been to Yellowstone before, it was hard to wrap my head around what questions needed to be asked, beyond what I inquired about in our first meeting. I might be able to carry on a reasonable conversation with him about Yellowstone now.

I got a kick out of putting sticks around their tents too.
 
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No, I haven't read it. Have you?
I had read th article last year sometime and got th kindle e book..I’m a third of th way through. It’s a good, very informative read. Th part about th attack was chilling…he was truly blessed to have all th right people there in Yellowstone area at the time.
Wish I’d started readin this before our trip…takes some of th edge off backpackin in grizz country for me..
I will peruse thru it again before th Grizzly Lake expedition.
 

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