Camping under the stars each night, we spend over 90 days in the field. We travel over 8,000 miles to meet a wide variety of people who are shaping the future of the American West: conservationists, ecologist, writers, local officials, energy experts, foresters, ranchers, community activists, poets, and visionaries. We read traditional texts, but the nearly 80 people we meet in the field are our main texts. Much of what we experience is tangled in a web of scientific complexity and political controversy. Our aim is to create a supportive, interdisciplinary learning community to successfully navigate the contours of public land conservation challenges.