Cornerstone University Students Take on Yellowstone National Park
by Jaleesa Stanford
During May 27 to June 9, 10 Cornerstone University students along with Professor Ray "Gator" Gates and assistant Bill Lee studied biblical perspectives on origins and stewardship of God's creation in the beauty of Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Tetons and the surrounding national forests.
The group observed wildlife and nature ranging from the mountainous vistas of the Grand Tetons, Old Faithful, various trees and plants, mountain goats, moose, black bears, big-horned sheep, pika and even had the opportunity to observe the intricacies of a wolf pack community.
"As students study the complexity of species and ecosystems, they see evidence of an intelligent designer, and that designer is the God of the Bible," Gates said.
Working with both the National Park Service and the National Forest Service, students were given an opportunity to study approaches to the management of these beautiful ecosystems in regard to wildfire prevention and stewardship, care for wildlife and natural resource stewardship.
This is the fifteenth time that Gates has taken students to Yellowstone. This year he had the privilege of taking along CU student Joshua Mitchell whose father Paul Mitchell enjoyed the same opportunity with Gates back in 1993.
"It was honestly the best two weeks of my life being able to learn about God's creation while out exploring it, and it especially meant a lot to me because my dad took this exact same course with Gator and Bill when he was a student at Cornerstone," Mitchell said.
Gates has been spending summers working in Yellowstone since the mid-1970s and has high hopes of continuing his legacy of leading creation and stewardship trips for other believers after he retires from Cornerstone next year.