Discover Nature’s Genius

Discover Nature’s Genius
June 3-8, 2018 | Blacktail Ranch, Wolf Creek, Montana

Discover Nature’s Genius during this five-day exploration through the intersection of the Rocky Mountains and the Montana prairie. You’ll join a diverse, motivated set of participants as our world-class instructors help you discover, unpack, and be inspired by all that biomimicry can bring to your work.

This immersion workshop is for anyone open to discovery–providing cutting-edge professional training designed to boost creativity, drive innovation, and provide the inspiration for next generation of changemakers to lead the transition into a more sustainable world. 

Feature image by Ricardo R. Mastroti
Registration is Closed

What To Expect

Every immersion workshop is tailored to the local ecosystem, ensuring each day is brimming with content and exploration. You should plan to clear your agenda and fully immerse yourself in the biomimicry experience! From our homebase of the Blacktail ranch in central Montana, we’ll visit the sweeping Rocky Mountain Front and expansive conifer forests. We’ll be mentored by bald eagles and rainbow trout as we float the Missouri River and explore Ice Age caves as we reflect on the endurance of nature’s genius.



What can you expect to experience while you Discover Nature’s Genius in Montana? Here’s a preview of what each day will include:

Day 1: Meet the group at the Helena Airport for a 4 p.m. shuttle to the Blacktail Ranch. Settle in at the ranch and spend the evening getting oriented to biological wonders of the Rocky Mountain Front while getting to know your fellow participants.

Day 2: Dig into the biomimicry tools for discovering nature and bridging from biology to design. Begin honing your observation skills during exploration of the conifer forest. We’ll also explore an Ice Age cave for lessons on endurance. You’ll begin to link biological strategies to design challenges in your field.

Day 3: Explore three levels of mimicry as we float down the Missouri River, spotting for bald eagles, bighorn sheep, and rainbow trout. Regroup back at the the ranch and discuss how nature’s solutions responded to the contexts we’ve seen. After dinner, you’ll work in teams to apply today’s lessons.

Day 4: Explore life’s resilience strategies in quaking aspen stands while connecting with Life’s Principles, a Biomimicry 3.8 tool that summarizes the rules for how life survives and thrives on Earth, and how our designs might too. Spend the evening sharing your team’s design ideas inspired by the day’s discoveries.

Day 5: New lessons await as we explore a prairie and discuss the dynamics of change in nature. After lunch, spend the rest of the day on a continued journey of discovery into your selected biological phenomena and share with the group what you’ve learned and what ideas it has inspired. Give thanks to the wisdom found in this rich biome and celebrate the final evening of the workshop with the group!

Day 6: During the final morning at Blacktail Ranch, we'll hear presentations from each of the teams, demonstrating how inspiration from nature led to a new design. The shuttle will depart Blacktail Ranch after lunch for a 3:00 pm drop off at the Helena Airport.


Jamie Dwyer–Biomimicry 3.8 Principal, Design & Research

Biomimicry provides the perfect opportunity to fuse Jamie’s seemingly divergent interest in the fields of biology and architectural design. Her work for Biomimicry 3.8 is is often focused on integrating biomimicry in the built environment, from uncovering local biological champions as inspiration for place-based design to working towards creating factories that provide ecosystem services like a forest. Jamie has also led innovative research efforts in product design and social innovation. Working with companies such as HOK, BNIM, Interface, and Kimberly-Clark, Jamie has managed projects, led research and inspired many designers. Jamie has led dozens of budding biomimics through the biomimicry design process as well as through ecosystems around the world during past biomimicry workshops.

Erin Rovalo–Biomimicry 3.8 Senior Principal, Designer

Drawing from an architectural design background, Erin Rovalo now weaves biomimicry into her design thinking expertise, which has allowed her to cultivate a distinctly innovative approach to finding sustainable solutions to a wider range of design sectors and challenges, such as packaging design and organizational development. For the past 7 years, Erin has successfully managed biomimicry innovation initiatives for Natura, Estee Lauder, Lone Meadow, Interface, and Burt’s Bees. Erin teaches Biomimicry & Design and iSites: Biomimetic Nature Journaling in the accredited MSc Biomimicry program at ASU and has supported the training of over 150 Biomimicry 3.8 certification alumni. Erin is a PhD researcher at Loughborough Design School investigating the use of prototyping in the biomimicry ideation process.


The all-inclusive price for the workshop includes delicious, organic, and locally harvested breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks; overnight accommodations for five nights; all activities during the week; tuition and course materials; transportation from the Helena, Montana airport(at a set time); and administration costs. The price varies based on the rooming type you select. All rooming types are limited and first come, first served.  See photos of the lodge and cabins on Blacktail Ranch’s websiteReserve your seat for only $500. Full payment is due March 30, 2018.

Shared Double or Triple Room in the main lodge | $3,475
The main lodge, built in 1928, is the center of the Blacktail Ranch and retains the rustic beauty and warmth of a traditional western lodge. Each bedroom is simply furnished with two or three beds. There are shared men’s and women’s bathrooms in the hallway.

Private Room with shared bathroom | $3,600
A private room with a queen bed in either the lodge or Raymer cabin. Bathrooms are shared.

Private Cabin en suite | $3,900
These private cabins have large bathrooms with jacuzzi tubs, deluxe and comfortable beds, decks with great views, a microwave and coffee maker. Limited availability.

Discounts–Limited Availability!
All discounts have limited availability, are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis, and may not be combined.

  • Student discount: Enrolled university students save $250. Must upload copy of current student ID upon registration.
  • Biomimicry Global Network member discount: Members of a local Biomimicry Global Network save $250. Must upload brief, written endorsement from local network leader upon registration.
  • Group Discounts Thinking of sending your team? Take advantage of our group tuition discounts. Email for more information.
    • 3 Participants: 10% Off
    • 4 Participants: 15% Off
    • 5+ Participants: 20% Off

Convince your boss by downloading and sharing our new PDF that outlines the professional benefits and value biomimicry immersion workshops can add to any organization. Download Convince Your Boss pdf here.

Registration and deadlines

Registration is now closed.

Learn more about Immersion Workshops here

Questions? Contact us at or +1 406-543-4108 *233

American white pelicans

American white pelicans

The American white pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) are found in in wetland habitats such as rivers, estuaries, bays, marshes, lakes, and reservoirs. They can be seen during migration throughout Montana, including some breeding grounds on Montana lakes and reservoirs. We can learn plenty about cooperative behaviors from pelicans, as groups of American white pelicans cooperate while feeding. They coordinate while swimming to drive fish into the shallows where they can more easily scoop the fish up. (Photo credit: Kendal Allen / USFWS)

Limber pine

Limber pine

Limber pine (Pinus flexilis) live among dry, wind-swept, mountainous ecosystems on rocky slopes and ridges, and occasionally in subalpine areas. What can we learn from pines that live in often harsh conditions? The limber pine is a slow growing tree, but can withstand dry and windy growing situations. The young trees, especially, can withstand substantial bending along the trunk, allowing the tree to grow in avalanche areas. The branches also bend, allowing them to bend under the weight of snow without breaking. (Photo credit: US Forest Service)

Mule deer

Mule deer

Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) have a wide range of habitats that vary by season. They can be found from riparian areas and grasslands to montane and subalpine coniferous forests. Among the adaptations we can learn from mule deer include the fact that their coats are made of long hollow hair with a soft dense undercoat. These layers in their coat, along with behavioral actions, allow them to stay warm even in the winter. (Photo credit: John Carr / USFWS)

This is by far one of the best workshops I have ever attended. Biomimicry is the missing link for the next generation of innovations. Be prepared to be amazed!

— Phil Samuel, Chief Innovation Officer, BGMI
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