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'The Great Gatsby'
Earth from space

How Did Life Become Complex, and Could It Happen Beyond Earth?

When astrobiologists contemplate life on nearby planets or moons, they often suggest such life would be simple. But from such simple life, more complex lifeforms could eventually come to be. That's what happened here on planet Earth. How did the chemistry evolve to get life to where we are today? What transitions took place? Frank Rosenzweig, an evolutionary geneticist at UM, is looking into such questions over the next five years with funding from the NASA Astrobiology Institute. Read more about his research on Space.com.

UM student Freddy Monares interviews with KPAX TV

Hundreds Prepare for First Semester at UM with Spring Orientation

Hundreds of new students spent the day getting adjusted to life on campus Thursday, in preparation for their first semester as UM students. The spring semester at UM starts Monday, and about 200 new students are going through orientation until the end of the day Friday. New students got the chance to tour campus and move into their dorms early to get a head start on the new semester. KPAX News reports.

Wide Receiver Ellis Henderson runs with the ball

Griz Wide Receiver Henderson Returns to UM After Illness

Coach Bob Stitt's offense just got another weapon, this time a proven one at the collegiate level. Wide receiver Ellis Henderson has re-enrolled at UM after withdrawing from classes last fall and leaving the Grizzly football program because of a mysterious stomach illness. Henderson said Thursday he is almost completely healthy once again and plans to participate in full in spring practices in preparation for the fall campaign. Read more about Henderson’s return.

Colin and Angel take in the view from the top of Mount Sentinel

‘From Hellgate Canyon We Could Almost See Tuscon’

“We trudged up the steep and rocky path, leaving the Kim Williams riverside trail below us. Even though there was a great view of the Missoula Valley behind us and fall colors ahead of us, I felt uneasy. I started to feel tired and my calves began to ache.” UM freshman Colin Brust recounts his hike up Smokejumpers’ Trail on assignment for his Adventure Writing class. Read Brust’s full account on the Make It Missoula blog.

Scene from the local-produced movie Bella Vista

Missoula Named Among Top Five Towns for Moviemakers

The independent film magazine MovieMaker recently named Missoula to its list of “Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker 2015: Top Five Towns.” The article notes Montana’s dramatic landscapes, as well as the fact that Missoula is home to the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, the International Wildlife Film Festival and the Montana Film Academy. The ranking also mentions students from UM’s School of Media Arts. Read more about what MovieMaker has to say about Missoula.

officials from UM, MCPS and Japan sign an agreement

UM Signs Exchange Agreement with Japanese Education Board

A new agreement between UM, Missoula County Public Schools and their Japanese counterpart aims to increase educational exchange opportunities. Representatives from UM and MCPS met with a delegation from the Kumamoto prefecture of Japan on Tuesday to sign a memorandum of understanding that will bring more student exchange and professional development opportunities to Missoula. Read more about the partnership with Kumamoto.

The Story Behind the Photo

Montana Repertory Theatre, the professional theatre-in-residence in UM’s School of Theatre & Dance, opens its 47th consecutive national touring season in Missoula Jan. 23 with the production of “The Great Gatsby” by Simon Levy. “The Great Gatsby” will play in Missoula for a limited run prior to the national tour, which begins in February and travels the country through April. For more information, visit http://www.montanarep.org. Photo by Terry J. Cyr.

Submit photo and story ideas to thrive@umontana.edu