UM student Mina May, right, and her mentor, Ginger Collins

Graduate Student Selected for Competitive Leadership Program

Mina May, a UM communicative sciences and disorders graduate student from Honolulu, recently was selected to participate in the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s competitive Minority Student Leadership Program. She also earned a national award from the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association. Read more about how May’s hard work and enthusiasm earned her this honor.

giant sea spider on ocean floor

Researchers Probe Secrets of the Gigantic Sea Spiders

The average sea spider in McMurdo Sound is neither itsy nor bitsy. Although they live in oceans all over the world, to find the really enormous ones, scientists have to trek to Antarctica. The big scientific question is, why is that the case? And there is no single answer. Yet. Art Woods, an associate professor of biology at UM, is studying these marine giants as part of a U.S. Antarctic Program-supported team. The Antarctic Sun reports on Woods’ research.

Libby, Montana

SoBA Joins Team to Move Libby Beyond Superfund Era

Libby and Troy are beginning a campaign to re-brand themselves as places to live, visit and invest in – trying to shake off more than a decade-old economic shadow. The Kootenai River Development Council has teamed up with UM’s School of Business Administration, Lincoln County, and a Missoula ad agency to tell the community’s new story. Montana Public Radio reports.

<image_alt />

Missoula Wins Can the Bobcats Food Drive

UM’s 54-35 victory in Saturday’s Brawl of the Wild wasn’t the only win for Missoula. The city also topped Bozeman as part of Can the Bobcats/Can the Griz, the 16th annual food drive competition. Missoula hadn’t beat Bozeman since the first year of the drive but brought in more donations this year, with 196,160 pounds of food and $85,227 in donations for the Missoula Food Bank. Read more in the Missoulian

UM cast members rehearse Treasure Island

Freshman Lands Lead Role in UM's 'Treasure Island'

Without intending the pun, Morgan Solonar said the upcoming production of "Treasure Island" has been unexpected and exciting. "The whole process has been an entire adventure from the beginning," she said. She's only in the fall semester of her freshman year in UM’s Department of Drama and Dance and she's already landed a lead role. Read more about the production in the Missoulian.

UM defensive end Derek Crittenden

Crittenden One of the Smartest Student-Athletes in America

Montana football wraps up the regular season this weekend in Bozeman against rival Montana State. It’s the biggest game of the season, but there’s a good chance 23-year-old co-captain and defensive end Derek Crittenden will miss it. He has a bigger competition to face. Crittenden flies to Seattle on Nov. 19 for two days of challenging interviews with the regional committee that will select two Rhodes Scholars on Saturday. Read more about Crittenden in the Flathead Beacon.

cowboy in Kazakhstan herds cattle

Alumnus Travels Kazakhstan to Chronicle Rising Cattle Industry

UM alumnus Ryan Bell earned his master's in nonfiction creative writing in 2014 and then went on to earn the coveted Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship. Now he’s traveling through Russia and Kazakhstan for nine months to write about how those nations are rebuilding their cattle industries in the wake of the Soviet Union's collapse. Learn more about his project and read his articles on his Comrade Cowboys blog.

Jack Steward, left, and Colton Smith

UM Alums Turn Love of Outdoor Adventure into TV Show

Now in its second season, "Rock the Park" follows UM alumni and longtime buddies Jack Steward and Colton Smith in their travels to national parks around the country. This year, "Rock the Park" won the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Travel Program. Read more about Steward and Smith’s quest to visit all the national parks

Can the Bobcats donation bin in the UC

UM Makes Final Push in Can the Bobcats Food Drive

UM has a lot of ground to make up between now and Friday, Nov. 20, when the donations are weighed for the Can the Bobcats Food Drive. The off-field competition between UM and Montana State University is held annually to see which community can collect the most donations for their local county food banks. Read more about how you can help UM Can the Bobcats.

UM campus

President Holds Campus Forum on UM Budget

President Royce Engstrom held a campus forum on Nov. 17 to discuss the University's budget picture. Engstrom spoke with the campus community about the need to realign UM's base budget with current enrollment and outlined a series of steps that the University will take to continue to deliver an exceptional and transformative education. Read Engstrom's remarks here.

UM students canoe the Missouri River

Wilderness Trip Participants See Higher Retention, GPAs

Freshman Wilderness Experience participants are found to have higher retention rates and GPAs than the average UM student.  FWE introduces incoming freshmen to Montana’s outdoors during a four-day rafting or backpacking trip before fall semester starts. The program already has 120 alumni. Read more about the FWE in the Montana Kaimin.

Daly Elementary students learn how the 3D printers at Bitterroot College's Fab Lab work

Bitterroot College’s Fab Lab Offers New Learning Opportunities

Not every fifth-grade class creates something that will change a person’s life. Then again, not every fifth-grade class gets to work with the latest in technology, including 3D printers and advanced computer design programs. Both of those things came together this week in the Bitterroot College’s brand-new Fab Lab. Read more about what the Daly fifth-graders are working on in collaboration with Bitterroot College

UM students participating in the Up 'til Dawn event

Students Raise $34,444 for Children’s Hospital at Annual Event

UM students raised $34,444 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on Nov. 6 during their Up ‘til Dawn event. The student-run, student-led Up ‘til Dawn group held an overnight challenge dedicated to raising funds and increasing awareness for pediatric cancer and other catastrophic diseases. They have a goal of raising a total of $44,000 by the end of the year. Read more about this year’s successful Up ‘til Dawn event.

Members of the UM Alexander Blewett III School of Law negotiation team

Law Negotiation Team Earns Second Consecutive First-Place Finish

UM Alexander Blewett III School of Law students recently took first place in the American Bar Association-sponsored Law School Regional Negotiation Competition held Nov. 7 in Calgary, Alberta. This marks the fifth year in a row the UM team advanced to the final round. Team members Nick VandenBos of Bozeman and Lindsay Thane of Missoula advanced to their second final-round appearance in two years. Read more about the law team’s top-notch performance in Calgary

UM social work graduate student Tawnya Cazier

Advocate Uses Storytelling to Change Sexual Assault Conversation

Ira Glass is certainly aware of the phenomenal success of his radio program and podcast, "This American Life." But he probably doesn’t know he has changed the dialogue about sexual assault in Montana. Tawnya Cazier, a graduate student in Social Work at UM, is using “The American Life” techniques to change the way people discuss this complicated issue. She presented at UM this week during the Not In Our State summit on sexual assault. Montana Public Radio reports on Cazier’s work

Health Nut Blog screen shot

Wellness Blog Offers Healthy Living Tips for Students

What started out as a magazine sharing UM students’ stories and tips on healthy living has been reimagined for the digital world. Curry Health Center’s Wellness department recently relaunched Health Nut magazine as a blog at The new version of Health Nut will continue to bring student stories about healthy living with specific insights for living on campus, local food and life in Montana. Health Nut will publish new content every Monday during fall and spring semesters. 

Charging Forward piece of art at UM

Montana Museum of Art and Culture Marks 120 Years of Collecting

The Montana Museum of Art and Culture at UM is home to the vast Permanent Collection – Montana’s largest public art collection – but it does not have a dedicated facility. Some pieces are displayed across campus, but the majority of the collection remains in storage. In celebration of the 120th anniversary of the MMAC, the Missoulian newspaper is showcasing one piece of art from the Permanent Collection each week. View a slideshow of the art and learn more about the collection.

UM researcher team in Anarctica

Researchers Study Cold-Blooded Animals in Antarctica

UM faculty members Bret Tobalske and Art Woods and Division of Biological Sciences graduate student Steven Lane have spent the past several weeks in Antarctica studying animals that live in the surrounding ocean environments. The goal is to understand how cold-blooded animals in the polar oceans live in such inhospitable habitats, as well as investigating their unique adaptations and biology. In honor of World Science Day on Nov. 10, visit to learn more about the research they are conducting.

Not In Our State Statewide Summit on Sexual Assault logo

UM to Host Sexual Assault Prevention Summit Nov. 8-10

For the first time, a statewide summit to prevent sexual assault will be hosted at UM. The Not In Our State Sexual Assault Summit 2015 runs Sunday through Tuesday, Nov. 8 through 10, and the fourth annual conference is shaping up to be the largest yet. Some 300 people, participants and presenters, are scheduled to attend, hitting the goal for the year, said Kim Brown Campbell, coordinator of the Campus Assault Prevention Office. The Missoulian reports on the upcoming summit.

Crown of Continent Yellowstone Magazine

Online Magazine Examines Crown of Continent, Yellowstone

UM has released the Summer/Fall 2015 issue of its UM Crown of the Continent and Greater Yellowstone E-Magazine. In this issue readers will find articles, essays, special features and a large number of photos and other visuals that focus on a wide range of topics involving these two iconic ecosystems, said Rick Graetz, co-director of UM’s Crown of the Continent and Greater Yellowstone Initiative. Read the e-magazine here.

UM journalism Professor Jule Banville

Last Best Podcast Festival Takes Audio Storytelling Social

There's no shortage of live music, arts or film festivals in Missoula. Now UM journalism Assistant Professor Jule Banville wants to add another festival to the mix. This one for podcasts and the people who love them. Banville is calling all "public radio nerds" and fans of audio storytelling to come together at the Last Best Podcast Festival to enjoy stories from students and independent producers. Montana Public Radio reports on Banville’s podcast festival.

UM senior Derek Crittenden

Crittenden a Finalist for Rhodes Scholarship

UM football team captain and William V. Campbell Trophy finalist Derek Crittenden is officially one step closer to becoming a Rhodes Scholar after receiving an invitation to participate in the District 14 interview process in Seattle on Nov. 20-21. In the U.S., 32 Rhodes Scholarships are awarded nationally. Those selected receive support for two to three years of study at the University of Oxford in England. Read more about Crittenden’s quest to become a Rhodes Scholar on

Dr. Sarj Patel and Dr. Tom Rau, UM scientists

Documentary Explores UM Scientists’ Concussion Research

After following a pair of UM researchers for more than a year, MontanaPBS is set to share their work examining concussions with a documentary that will air in November. “Concussion: Answers in the Blood?” is the story of the work being done by Dr. Tom Rau and Dr. Sarj Patel from UM’s Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Read more about the upcoming Montana PBS documentary in the Missoulian.

UM cross country coach Collin Fehr

Coach Collin Fehr Combines Love of Running, People

In the eyes of cross-country coach Collin Fehr, Missoula is a runner’s paradise. The mountains, the hills, the trails; Missoula has every component that a distance runner could want and he can’t imagine being a coach anywhere else. Fehr holds a Master of Science and is currently working toward a doctorate in counseling with an emphasis on sport psychology. Kaimin Sports recently had the opportunity to speak to coach Fehr. Read the interview here.

U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez speaks at UM

Labor Secretary: Students Need Job Skills and Critical Thinking

U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez cautions Montana educators against thinking too narrowly about their jobs. "It's a false choice to suggest we're either training people for the jobs of tomorrow or we're training people to be critical thinkers. Our workforce needs both critical skills and critical thinking." Perez was the keynote speaker for the final day of an education conference at UM. Montana Public Radio reports on the visit from Perez.

Missoula College nursing students and professor work together

Missoula College Nursing Students Earn 100 Percent Pass Rate

Students at Missoula College UM are well above average when it comes to passing licensing tests required to practice nursing. In 2015, every student in Missoula College’s Associate of Applied Science Practical Nursing Program who took the National Council Licensure Exam passed. Likewise, students in MC’s Associate of Nursing Program garnered a pass rate of 94 percent in 2015. Learn more about how Missoula College prepares nurses for success.

Glenn Kneebone, One Button Studio manager, stands in the new studio at UM

Library Adds Automated Video Recording Facility

The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library at UM has launched a new One Button Studio, an automated video-recording facility that can be used by UM students and employees and requires no previous video production experience. The facility is modeled after the One Button Studio at the Penn State Libraries that integrates third-party hardware to create an automated and streamlined video recording studio. Read more about the new One Button Studio at UM.

UM senior Mitch Zandera helps fourth-graders Tucker Capell and Ashton Johnson examine their catch in the Clark Fork River

Fourth-Graders Learn River Ecology from UM Students

It was a case of students teaching students last week as undergraduates from UM led a field trip on river ecology for a fourth-grade class from Paxson Elementary School. Once the students from Kelli Van Noppen’s class arrived, the UM students took charge, leading the fourth-graders in a series of activities identifying insect species from different areas of the water and using them to talk about healthy river ecosystems. Read more about the educational experience in the Missoulian.

In this artist's conception, a Ceres-like asteroid is slowly disintegrating as it orbits a white dwarf star.

UM Telescope Helps Find Planet Being Destroyed

UM owns one of four Minerva telescopes placed atop a mountain in Arizona, and those instruments recently helped discover a rocky object being torn apart as it spirals down toward a distant white dwarf star. UM astrophysicist Nate McCrady, a co-author of the new research, said Minerva helped make hundreds of precision observations of the star over many nights. UM partnered with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics on the work. Read the Harvard news release here.

members of UM's Cave Club stand inside Lick Creek Cave

UM’s Fledging Cave Club Takes Off, Leads Clean Up Effort

Stomping up the steep forest trail in their boots, dressed in bright red and blue cave suits with backpack pumps, the cave club looked like a group of Ghostbusters. It was a blazing 85 degrees, but everyone doubled up with layers of fleece, flannel and gloves. It would be a damp 40 degrees in the Lick Creek Cave. UM’s cave club, only in its second semester, recently led the Lick Creek Cave Clean Up Project. Read more about the cavers in the Montana Kaimin.

UM West African dance instructor Tarn Ream

Tarn Ream Shares Love of Dance as Student, Teacher

When people ask Tarn Ream what she does, she's never quite sure what to say. One day she's teaching West African dance classes at UM. The next day she might be teaching a community class with Unity Dance and Drum, or at the Center for Music by People with Disabilities, or in the public schools with the SPARK! Any Given Child Initiative or the CoMotion Dance Project. Read more about the dance instructor’s varied work in the Missoulian.

Samantha Alario, owner and designer of Gemini Mountain Swimwear

Grad Student Makes Swimsuit Line for Mountain Girls

Samantha Alario was sick of buying swimsuits that fell apart and didn’t fit. Growing up in California, Alario lived in a bikini. When she moved to Montana in 2003, there weren’t a lot of options for swimsuits that fit the active needs of Montana women. So in January, after buying another disappointing bikini, Alario began creating her own. Gemini Mountain Swimwear Company will be debuting in spring 2016. Read more about Alario’s business in the Montana Kaimin.

Montana educator teaches in virtual classroom

STEMfest Showcases Careers to Montana High Schoolers

High school students across Montana are getting the chance to virtually connect with Missoula business leaders and academics who have careers in science. Called STEMfest, the series of interactive presentations is a collaboration of Missoula College, We Are Montana in the Classroom, and Inspired Classroom. All told, around 500 students across the state will participate in the live sessions, and some 2,000 total will be exposed to the presentations, which are recorded. Read more about STEMfest in the Missoulian.

Keith Anderson, a UM associate professor of social work, poses with a photo of a vintage car

Researcher: Automobile Memories Bring Happiness

In a study published earlier this year in the Journal of Gerontological Social Work, a UM researcher and his colleague at Ohio State University showed that using automobiles as a focus of reminiscence has emotional and even cognitive benefits for older adults. "I can't say it's going to be a life changer, but it could be a day changer," said Keith Anderson, a UM associate professor of social work. Read more about Anderson’s research in the Missoulian.

Lommasson Building at UM

UM Career Services Office Now Offers CPA Exam

Testing Services, a division of the Office of Career Services at UM, now offers the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination to test-takers hoping to earn CPA licensure in Montana and other states. Previously, Helena and Billings were the only testing sites in Montana, forcing UM accounting students to travel to take it. The new availability in Missoula will make the examination process more convenient and less stressful for accounting students in Western Montana. Read more about the new CPA test at UM.

UM graduate Josh Smith looks at a price tag on a tree at UM

Students Calculate Benefits of Trees on Campus

For the next week, trees across campus will be wearing price tags showing off the value they provide to the school. Josh Smith, a recent UM graduate and employee of the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, said the project was organized by students from UM’s College of Forestry and Conservation. Students marked 28 different trees around campus with the neon green tags that show their economic benefit to the school. Read more about the project in the Missoulian.

Students participate in Love Your Body Day at the UC

Event Inspires UM Students to 'Love Your Body'

To help young men and women find beauty in their own skin and dismiss conventional images of beauty portrayed by mass media, the Student Involvement Network of the UC joined the National Organization for Women Foundation in "Love Your Body Day." The group brought together volunteers and painters, such as T.J. Gould, to create live and unique displays of beauty. Read more about the event in the Missoulian.

Davidson Honors College

Honors Students Use Knowledge to Cultivate International Adventures

The Davidson Honors College at UM has 204 students in its entering cohort this year, the largest class since 2008. Competition for the entry into the Davidson Honors College is more intense than ever, the average SAT and ACT scores of DHC applicants were at record highs. Read more about the honors college students’ academic accolades and the international experiences they are incorporating into their education at UM.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez

UM Plans Major Educational Conference Oct. 26-27

UM will host a major educational conference on Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 26-27, highlighted by a keynote address from U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez. The conference, “Defining a 21st Century Education for a Vibrant Democracy,” will be held both days on the third floor of the University Center. It will focus on important and timely topics in higher education, including liberal education, global education, workforce development, academic innovation and educational delivery. Read more about the upcoming conference.

The Montana Race Project: Everyone has a story.

Students Launch Project Telling Stories About Race in Montana

Students in UM’s School of Journalism have launched a new endeavor to tell the uncovered stories of racial experiences in Montana. The project, “The Montana Race Project: Everyone Has A Story,” launched Oct 12. Students in UM’s Diversity in Media class are gathering six-word essays by working with all 16 Montana University System campuses along with Montana’s seven tribal colleges. Read more about “The Montana Race Project.”

grizzly in Yellowstone National Park

How a Potent Pepper Spray Became the Best Bear Repellent

Across the northern Rocky Mountains, big game hunting season has begun. From now until the end of autumn, no other season is more hazardous for people and grizzly bears to be in the woods together. In past decades, many people traveling in bear country during this time of year have shot bears. Today, many carry bear spray, a revolutionary tool that UM students and researchers developed in the 1980s and 90s. National Geographic reports on how bear spray came to be.

Grace Cady participates in a UM outreach tour at Flathead HIgh School

UM Outreach Tour Brings Science to Kalispell Classrooms

Students in science teacher Ben Young’s class listened to the call of the wild Thursday as University of Montana doctoral student Alexia Billings gave a presentation on animal sound identification. Billings, along with University of Montana associate professors, spoke to Glacier and Flathead high school students and led simple science activities as part of a “We are Montana in the Classroom” outreach tour. Read more about the tour’s stop in Kalispell in the Daily Interlake.

UM's Chamber Chorale

Chamber Chorale Invited to Perform at Seattle Conference

UM’s Chamber Chorale has been honored by the American Choral Directors Association with an invitation to perform at the association’s 2016 northwest conference March 3-6 in Seattle. It is UM’s first ACDA invitation and follows the choir’s recent invitational performance at the National Association for Music Education’s Northwest Conference in February, which also was a first in the choir’s history. Read more about the choir’s latest honor.

Retired UM Professor Don Kiely in the lab at Rivertop Renewables

Missoula Chemical Company Takes Big Step Forward

In the 1980s, UM scientist Donald Kiely discovered an economical and efficient way to produce glucaric acid, which can serve as a replacement for phosphates. It could eventually make Missoula the headquarters of a global chemical company, the firm’s CEO said. On Tuesday in Danville, Virginia, a different company began manufacturing the acid commercially, which made it a huge day for Rivertop Renewables of Missoula. Read more about Rivertop Renewables in the Missoulian.

UM alumna Whitney Williams walks along a road in Congo

UM Alumna Helping Influential People Change the World

Founder and CEO of the social impact consulting firm williamsworks, UM alumna Whitney Williams has dedicated her life to doing good in the world. And if the roster of powerful, wealthy people who turn to her for advice is any indication, she’s done it well. Since launching her firm, Williams has helped people, foundations and corporations give their money and use their influence in ways that have brought about real change in the world. Read more about Williams’ work in the Montanan magazine.

Montana Hodges unpacks coral reef fossils after a recent trip to Alaska

Student Goes From Hunting Stories to Hunting Fossils

Montana Hodges just brought a suitcase full of fossils back from Alaska and wears Tyrannosaurus Rex shaped earrings. This month she is the lead author of a paper in a geology journal about approximately 2 million-year-old coral reefs. Believe it or not, it was journalism that brought her here. Today she’s pursuing a Ph.D. in paleontology at UM. Read more about how Hodges is blending her passions to earn a unique education

culinary students work in the kitchen

Missoula College Responds to Demand for Hospitality Professionals

Aimee Elliott knows good food. As the Chef Instructor for Missoula College’s Culinary Arts Program, herself a graduate of the program, Elliott guides her students through rigorous five-week cycles of instruction that end in multi-course gourmet meals. But Elliott also knows good hospitality. The winning combination finds a home this fall in MC’s new offering, Professional Certificate of Hospitality Management. Read more about the new program at Missoula College.

UM Professor Doug Emlen

Professor’s ‘Animal Weapons’ Book Earns Major National Award

A book written by Douglas Emlen, an acclaimed UM evolutionary biologist, has been awarded the 2015 Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science. Emlen officially will receive the award for his book “Animal Weapons: The Evolution of Battle” and a $10,000 prize at a gala dinner Dec. 4 at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. The award recognizes outstanding contributions by scientists to the literature of science. Read more about Emlen’s latest accolade

UM student and rugby player Martin Iosefo

UM Rugby Star Has Chance to Represent U.S. at Olympics

The life of a student-athlete can be difficult and strenuous. It is hard to find the time to balance school, sports and a social life. If you throw traveling the world and qualifying for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro into that mix, it may seem overwhelming. But such is life for current UM student Martin Iosefo, who is also a member of the U.S. national rugby team. Read at Q&A with Iosefo in the Montanan magazine.

plant specimens donated to UM by the Craighead family

UM Herbarium Grows with Gift from Craighead Family

Three giant steam trunks of wildflower specimens sat in the basement of the Craighead household for 50-some years. The specimens, numbering nearly 900, mostly were collected from locales throughout Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. They were used in “A Field Guide to Rocky Mountain Wildflowers,” written by the famous Craighead twins—John and Frank. Now the specimens reside in UM’s Herbarium, a gift from the Craighead family. Read more about the collection in the Montanan magazine

UM business students in former attire

Students Visit High-Tech Company in Downtown Missoula

Working as an information systems technology consultant can be fast-paced and fascinating, but somewhat mysterious to students who are pondering going into the profession, according to David Firth, professor of management information systems at UM’s School of Business Administration. On Oct. 2 Firth will take his students to Advanced Technology Group Missoula Solutions Center to demystify just what technology consultants do on a day-to-day basis. Read more about how the onsite visit helps UM students envision their future.

UM history Professor Anya Jabour poses with actress Hannah James

History Professor Serves as Etiquette Consultant for PBS Drama

Anya Jabour has a pretty strict etiquette list for what a person should and should not do. For instance, she notes, you should speak clearly and without hesitation. You should not fuss or fidget. And whatever you do, don’t be haughty. It’s offensive. In the 21st century, these directives seem laughable. But Jabour, a UM history professor, created this detailed inventory for cast members of a new PBS Civil War drama. Read more about Jabour in the Montanan magazine.

salad bar at UM's Food Zoo

A Plate Full of Greens: UM Dining Focuses on Plant Protein

University of Montana Dining announced they're changing the menu to provide a diet more focused on plant proteins. The shift is part of a program called Menus of Change through the Culinary Institute of America and Harvard T.H. Chan school of public health. Director of UM Dining Mark LoParco said UM has joined the movement to be more sustainable and provide a healthier diet. The Montana Kaimin reports on UM Dining’s efforts.

illustration of the new Missoula College building

Missoula Federal Credit Union Pledges $53,000 to Missoula College

Recognizing both the growing importance of renewable energy in the region and the rising need for trained professionals in the renewable energy sector, Missoula Federal Credit Union has pledged $53,000 to the Missoula Federal Credit Union Energy Technology Lab in the new Missoula College building on East Broadway. Missoula Federal Credit Union has a history of leading by example in green construction and renewable energy. Read more about MFCU’s gift to Missoula College.

A UM field team measure rocks at New York Canyon, Nevada

UM Student, Professor Discover Earliest Jurassic Corals

Five times in Earth’s history mass extinction events have wiped out up to 90 percent of global life. UM doctoral student Montana Hodges and geosciences Professor George Stanley recently found the fossil record of the earliest North American coral species that reappeared after the Triassic-Jurassic mass extinction event. Their findings were featured on the cover of the October issue of GSA Today: A Publication of the Geological Society of America. Read more about Hodges’ and Stanley’s work.

Terry Payne, left, and Suzanne and Bruce Crocker

UM Foundation Honors Donors with Prestigious Award

The UM Foundation awarded the Order of the Grizzly, its highest honor, on Sept. 24. Suzanne and Bruce Crocker of Palo Alto, California, and Terry Payne of Missoula are the 2015 recipients and were honored at the UM Foundation’s President’s Club and Heritage Society Dinner. “This award is one small way for us to recognize those who have given us so much,” said Shane Giese, president and CEO of the UM Foundation. Read more about this year’s Order of the Griz recipients.

UM Professor David Shepherd

Professor Appointed to National Institutes of Health Study Section

The National Institutes of Health recently selected a UM professor to be a member of its Center for Scientific Review. David Shepherd, a faculty member in UM’s College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences, accepted the four-year appointment to serve on the Innate Immunity and Inflammation Study Section. NIH chooses its members based on their demonstrated competence and achievement in their scientific discipline. Read more about Shepherd’s new NIH appointment.
Mehrdad Kia, director of UM’s Central and Southwest Asian Studies Center, and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock

Central and Southwest Asian Studies Director Lends Expertise to Governor

On Sept. 8, Mehrdad Kia, director of UM’s Central and Southwest Asian Studies Center, traveled to Helena to present a two-hour lecture on conflicts and critical issues in these countries to Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, his Cabinet, members of his personal staff and officers of the Montana Army National Guard. Read more about Kia’s visit and the center’s other statewide and national outreach and educational activities. Read more about the Central and Southwest Asian Studies Center at UM.

Nick Strom, a senior in environmental studies, holds an uprooted bitterroot

New Internship Explores Significance of Native Plants to Tribes

Sweet grass grows inside a rock circle outside the Payne Family Native American Center, the plant most people who pass by want to see. The bitterroot flower and Oregon grape grow in other circles, which soon will number eight in all. This semester, Nick Strom is among a group of students weeding and planting in the acre or so around the center as part of a new internship at the University of Montana. Read more about the new ethnobotany internship.

Barbie and Charlie Beaton, owners of Big Dipper Ice Cream

Big Dipper Ice Cream a Sweet Success for UM Grads

Big Dipper, the super-popular, super-friendly ice cream spot located on Missoula’s Hip Strip, celebrated its 20th year of business this summer. The homemade ice cream is considered one of Montana’s sweetest homegrown success stories. UM alumnus Charlie Beaton first came up with the idea for Big Dipper while studying business at UM and making ice cream. Read more about how Big Dipper became a Missoula icon in the fall issue of UM’s Montanan magazine.

University of Montana student April Werle is part of a new program at UM

UM Launches Program to Support Motivated, Talented Women

UM is launching a new program called "Pursue Your Passions." The program has a mission to encourage more students to consider starting careers around their passions by launching a new business or nonprofit organization, according to Jakki Mohr, Regents Professor of marketing at UM. It's open to students in all majors at all levels, but it's aimed at women in particular, Mohr said. Read more about the new program in the Missoulian.

Nike COO Eric Sprunk in his office

UM Alumnus Eric Sprunk Turning Nike into Innovation Powerhouse

Nike is not just an athletic shoe and apparel powerhouse. Known for its splashy advertising and big-time celebrity sports endorsements, the company is infusing innovation throughout the organization. Leading that charge is Eric Sprunk, a longtime Nike executive and UM alumnus, who now serves as chief operating officer, overseeing everything from manufacturing to IT infrastructure. GeekWire recently sat down for a Q&A with Sprunk. Read the interview here

Richard Diebenkorn. Photograph by Leo Holub, Santa Monica, Calif., 1984. Credit: Courtesy Estate of Leo Holub.

Rarely Seen Works by Master Painter Diebenkorn Coming to MMAC

After sifting through more than a thousand drawings by Richard Diebenkorn, one curator remains as effusive as ever about the late painter's work. "I'm still waiting to see a bad Diebenkorn," said Chester Arnold. He curated an exhibition, "The Intimate Diebenkorn: Drawings 1949-1992," that goes on display next week at UM's Montana Museum of Art and Culture. Read more about the upcoming exhibit.

Illustrated plans fo rthe new Washington-Grizzly Champions Center at UM

Vision for Washington-Grizzly Champions Center Complete

The exterior design for the new Washington-Grizzly Champions Center has been finalized. The end result will be a beautiful new 46,000 square-foot state of the art facility, tucked into the southwest corner of Washington-Grizzly Stadium. The Center will house a new 7,000 square-foot locker room for the Grizzly football team, a new 12,500 square-foot strength and conditioning center for all student-athletes, and team meeting space. Read more about the new center on

Great Falls attorney Alexander Blewett speaks at renaming ceremony

Law School Renaming Ceremony Honors Blewetts

Two decades ago, Great Falls attorney Alexander Blewett was able to make a $50 donation to his alma mater, the UM School of Law. On Sept. 11, UM renamed its law school the Alexander Blewett III School of Law in a formal ceremony honoring the trial attorney and his wife Andrea, who upped their donation from $50 to $10 million, one of the largest gifts ever bestowed upon the university. Read more about renaming in the Missoulian.

UM Professor Richard Drake

Teaching, Publishing and Coordinating with Richard Drake

Richard Drake sits in his naturally lit office on the third floor of University Hall with three walls covered in books and papers scattered across both of his desks. Drake taught at schools like UCLA and Princeton University where he only had one-year jobs. He eventually joined the University of Montana history department on a tenure, and said he never regretted the choice. Read the Montana Kaimin profile of Drake here.

Monica Serban

New UM Faculty Member Pleased to Call Missoula Home

Monica Serban is a new Montanan, having moved to Missoula with her family this summer. Serban, a new faculty member at the University of Montana, was most recently in Boston. She had an opportunity to take a job in Maine, but she chose Montana instead, and she's ready to make a home in the Big Sky and make a difference in the lives of students and others in her community. Read more about Serban in the Missoulian.

The UM Marching Band plays at the 2014 Homecoming football game

Reconnect Sept. 20-26 at UM’s Homecoming

Break out your traditional copper, silver and gold Griz gear and celebrate with the University of Montana during Homecoming 2015, Sunday through Saturday, Sept. 20-26. This year’s theme, “A Tradition of Champions,” commemorates the 20th anniversary of the Montana Grizzlies’ first NCAA Division I-AA football national championship in 1995 and also celebrates the countless successes of UM students and alumni throughout the years. Read more about this year’s Homecoming events

Author John Vaillant speaks to students

Acclaimed Author Shares Writing Lessons with UM Students

Sometimes you walk in the door with one set of expectations, and you learn something that points you in a brand new direction. On Sept. 10, acclaimed author John Vaillant shared that lesson and others from his writing career with some 40 members of the UM community. He was in Missoula because his award-winning story “The Tiger” is UM’s 2015 "First-Year Reading Experience." Read more about Vaillant’s visit in the Missoulian.

A mountain image

Program Provides Wilderness Experience for New Students

UM offers the Freshman Wilderness Experience to 90 students before the fall semester kicks off. The partnership between the Wilderness Institute and Outdoor Program takes multiple groups of eight to 12 incoming freshman on four-day rafting or backing trips before Orientation. “If you’re from Kansas, the Freshman Wilderness Experience is the first time you’re going to be in Montana wilderness,” UM’s Elizabethe Fricke said. “We want to make it good.” Read more in the Montana Kaimin

UM Dining Garden behind the Lommasson Building

UM Bought Over $1 Million Worth of Local Foods Last Year

The University of Montana Wednesday said that it’s now buying more than $1 million worth of local food a year. Director of UM Dining Mark LoParco said the numbers for last fiscal year have just been tallied, and they show that the school spent $1.2 million for Montana-grown food. LoParco says that’s nationally significant. Read or listen to the full story on Montana Public Radio.

Davidson Honors College Dean Brock Tessman

New Dean of Davidson Honors College Arrives at UM

The Davidson Honors College has found its new dean, and he’s got some big ideas. Though Brock Tessman has only been here a week (as evidenced by the scattering of unopened boxes in his office), the new dean of the DHC is excited to promote further interaction between the Honors College and the University, as well as making it accessible to a broader range of students. The Montana Kaimin sits down with Tessman for a Q-and-A.

female researcher works with microscope at UM

Research Resurgence: UM Logs Spending Jump

Frank Rosenzweig's laboratory at UM is working with NASA to understand key moments in the evolution of life. Researchers with the Neural Injury Center are developing new tools to gauge the recovery of individuals with traumatic brain injuries. And ecologists are teaming up with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to tackle issues of environmental management. These endeavors are just a few of the big wins scored by the university of late. Read more about UM’s surging research in the Missoula Independent

UM researcher Chuck Thomson, left, and his research partners

Researcher Earns $3.8M Grant to Investigate Chemical Exposure

A new, five-year $3.8 million grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has been awarded to a research team led by UM Professor Chuck Thompson. The grant will be used to support research that investigates new chemical and imaging technologies to understand how poisonous chemical agents known as organophosphates (OPs) enter the brain and how antidotes and therapeutics can be used to reduce neurotoxic effects to OP exposure. Read more about Thompson’s research.

the new Grizzly Student-Athlete Academic Center at UM

New Academic Center for Griz Athletes Opens its Doors

Student athletes are already hitting the books at the brand new Grizzly Student-Athlete Academic Center at UM. It's a $2.5 million project connected to the Adams Center, and it has large windows, but an understated entrance. The idea is a busy athlete with, say, an hour between weightlifting and class can crack open a textbook in a convenient place, said athletic director Kent Haslam. Read more about the new academic center in the Missoulian.

Paul Gladen, new CEO of MADE

UM's Blackstone LaunchPad Director Named CEO of MADE

Paul Gladen, director of the Blackstone LaunchPad at UM, recently was named CEO of the Montana Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs. In both capacities he helps students jumpstart their own businesses  This is an exciting time for entrepreneurship at UM,” Gladen said. MADE members voted last week to expand its mission from focusing on School of Business Administration students to encompass all UM students and entrepreneurial talent across the state. Read more about Gladen's new position and MADE's expanded mission.

Mount Sentinel trailhead

Mount Sentinel’s Popular Trailhead Gets New Look

It's a small corner on campus, but it represents the community's large heart, as well as its great love for trails. A couple years ago, Madeline Mazurski of the Montana Native Plant Society suggested moving an information board at the trailhead to the M, said Marilyn Marler, natural areas specialist for the University of Montana. Now, the main trailhead on Mount Sentinel has been transformed. Read more about the new trailhead in the Missoulian.

Griz fans hold UM Mascot Monte

Griz Victory Over Bison Seen in Nearly 1 Million Homes

Close to 1 million households tuned in to watch the Montana Grizzlies knock off the four-time defending national champions from North Dakota State on Aug. 29. Television viewership data released Sept. 1 showed that 981,000 households had their TVs tuned to the ESPN game, the network’s FCS Kickoff event. That’s good for a 0.7 Nielsen rating, or 0.7 percent of all households in the United States. Read more on the Missoulian sports blog, Griz Sports.

Video: Welcome to UM: 2015 Convocation

KPCN: The Peer Connection Network welcomes students to UM in this Convocation video. KPCN is a student-based video production team at UM that makes helpful tutorial videos from the student's perspective. See more of their work on the KPCN YouTube channel.

Map showing ecosystem disturbance across the Western U.S. from 2000 to 2012

Scientist Earns Grant to Study Carbon Across North America

UM researcher Ashley Ballantyne recently was awarded a nearly $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study ecosystem carbon production and consumption across North America. Ballantyne, an assistant professor of bioclimatology, will investigate how disturbances such as fire and insect infestation might be changing how the Earth absorbs carbon. The award comes from NSF’s Early Concept Grants for Exploratory Research and its National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) programs. Read more about Ballantyne’s grant.

Wild Mercy reading series

Creative Writing Grad Student Offers Glimpse of Program

Graduate student Alana Trumpy shares her thoughts on UM’s Creative Writing Program in a Q-and-A with Niche Magazine, an online literary publication. Trumpy is studying fiction writing with an interest in non-fiction. She talks about her experiences with her professors and her peers, the program’s visiting writer lecture series and workshops, living in Montana and shares some advice to other writers considering graduate school. Read the full article online at Niche Magazine.

UM students clean up trash in the University District

Sunday Sweepers Collect Game-Day Trash in U District

Missoula went into the weekend expecting big crowds and an equally big party. It woke up Sunday morning to a big cleanup. More than a dozen UM students gathered on campus Sunday before setting off into the University District Neighborhood to clean up trash left behind at Saturday’s home football game. The task before the volunteers was worth several large garbage bags, along with $100 for the participating clubs. Read more about Sunday Sweepers in the Missoulian.

Griz win over NDSU

Griz Take Big Win Over NDSU in Home Opener

Montana upset four-time defending FCS national champion North Dakota State 38-35 in a nonconference football game Saturday afternoon at Washington-Grizzly Stadium in front of a stadium-record crowd of 26,472. Brady Gustafson completed 30 of 55 pass attempts for 434 yards and Joey Counts scored the winning touchdown with two seconds to play as No. 12 Montana defeated No. 1 North Dakota State 38-35. Watch the game-winning drive on ESPN.

Research taking place in lab at UM

UM Receives Record-Breaking $83 Million in Research Awards

The research enterprise at UM received nearly $83 million in research awards during fiscal year 2015 – an all-time record for the institution. The total of $82,964,694 surpassed the previous awards record of $71 million set in 2009. “This new record shows how much our external sponsors value the contributions made by our research community,” said Scott Whittenburg, UM vice president for research and creative scholarship. Read more about the record-breaking research at UM.

UM campus

Princeton Review Names UM Among ‘Best 380 Colleges’

The University of Montana again made the annual list of top four-year colleges and universities in North America by the Princeton Review. “The Best 380 Colleges: 2016 Edition” was released Aug. 4. The rankings are based on surveys of 136,000 students nationwide. The 80-question survey asked students about academics, administration, campus life and the student body. Read the Princeton Review’s write-up on UM.

Hermit Thrush commonly raise four or more young

Researcher Discovers Why Tropical Songbirds Have Fewer Chicks

Tropical songbirds produce fewer, high-quality nestlings per breeding effort than do songbirds that breed in temperate zones, according to a study by UM Professor Tom Martin published Aug. 27 in the journal Science. Martin’s study reports that tropical songbirds’ nestlings grow longer wings, and faster, which means they spend less time in the nest where they are vulnerable to predators. The Guardian reports on Martin’s findings.

UM head football coach Bob Stitt works with this quarterbacks.

New UM Football Coach Welcomes Lead Role

New UM head football coach Bob Stitt dreamed of coming to a place where football ruled. Where the team – his team – crept in on every conversation over breakfast, lunch and dinner. Where the games mattered on more than just on Saturdays. Well, welcome to Missoula, Coach Stitt. As he prepares to coach his first home game, Stitt sat down with the Missoulian to discuss the role football has played in his life. Read more in the Missoulian

The University of Montana campus

UM Among World’s Top 500 Universities in Academic Ranking

The Academic Ranking of World Universities recently placed the University of Montana among the top 500 universities in the world. UM has made the list every year of the study, which began in 2003. The ARWU, which states it is “based on transparent methodology and third-party data,” is completed by the Center for World-Class Universities at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Read the more about UM’s ranking here.

Olivia Schuler with Facilities Services works on a grizzly bear mural

Campus Preps for the Influx of Students Arriving Soon

On Thursday, UM was in preparation mode for the onslaught of students arriving next week. Classes start Aug. 31, and an upcoming student orientation Thursday and ensuing move-in weekend soon will bring nearly 14,000 more people to campus – and an influx to the community as well. In the days before their arrival, UM staff and faculty were completing final tasks before the start of the school year. Read more in the Missoulian about preparations taking place at UM.

Dan Pendergraph and Sage Stowell backpacking in the Beartooths

Duo Spends Summer Guiding Volunteers into Beartooths

While large swaths of the West have suffered through extreme drought and wildfires this summer, Dan Pendergraph and Sage Stowell have endured numerous hail, rain, lightning and wind storms and the occasional snow flurry while working in the Beartooth Mountains, and they enjoyed almost every minute of it. Stowell and Pendergraph have spent the summer working as field leaders for the Wilderness Institute’s Citizen Science Program at UM. Read more about their adventures in the Billings Gazette.

UM President Royce Engstrom

President to Deliver State of the University Address Aug. 28

UM President Royce C. Engstrom will outline institutional accomplishments, issues and priorities ahead of the upcoming academic year during his annual State of the University Address at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 28. The public and members of the media are invited to the event, which will be held in the Montana Theatre of UM’s Performing Arts and Radio/Television Center. The address also will be streamed live online at

UM students cross the plaza in front of UM's Gallagher Business Building

UM Training Marketers to Think More Like Data Scientists

For the first time in history, marketers have comprehensive, real-time insight into the buyer journey. And yet, marketers are underprepared, and underperforming. Marketers that began their careers yesterday are not prepared for the realities of today. And higher education is burdened with preparing future marketers for the uncertainties of tomorrow. Fortunately, universities are up to the challenge. Leading the charge toward smarter, data-driven marketing strategies is UM. This blog post by PR2020 spotlights how UM is forging the way.

Farrukh Nazir, a graduate student from Pakistan who is studying curriculum instruction at UM, talks during the Aug. 24 picnic.

Friendship Program Benefits Foreign Students

The Missoula International Friendship Program stands ready to help UM international students learn more about life in the U.S. On Aug. 24, the Friendship Program hosted a spaghetti dinner for some 100 incoming international students, and board president Chris Kilzer said the program is looking for more local people to serve as friends. Community members who are interested in becoming friends may apply online at Read more in the Missoulian

James Wylder speaks at a campus event.

Estate Gift Creates Scholarships for Top Students

A longtime supporter of UM, James Wylder ’51 decided to leave a portion of his estate to support students. When he passed away in August 2014, the James M. Wylder Presidential Leadership Scholarship was established. Starting this autumn, the University will offer two exceptional Montana students the Wylder Scholarship. The award – among the most generous at UM – covers full tuition, fees, room, board, books and supplies for up to four years. Read the full news release

UM English department Chair Beverly Ann Chin

Professor Wins National Outstanding English Educator Award

Beverly Ann Chin, chair of UM’s English department, has been named the winner of the 2015 Richard W. Halle Award for Outstanding Middle Level Educator by the National Council of Teachers of English. The Halle Award honors an educator who has worked to promote understanding of the developmental needs and characteristics of young adolescents, especially in the English language arts. Read more about Chin’s work that earned her this award.

Lauren Astrup demonstrates a physical therapy tool developed by Associate Professor Ryan Mizner

UM Grows Portfolio of Patents to More Than 100

Ryan Mizner has a patent pending for a device called The Bridge, a physical therapy tool developed by the UM associate professor and one of his students. The device represents a trend at UM, too, according to Joe Fanguy. In the past five years, the university's portfolio of patents has grown to exceed 100, said Fanguy, director of technology transfer at UM. Read more about Mizner’s device and other UM patents in the Missoulian.

UM employees Justin Easterday and Lauren Henry work on a curation project in Virginia

UM Researchers, Students Help to Curate U.S. Navy Artifacts

UM anthropology Professor Kelly Dixon has spent most of her career reminding people that archaeologists don’t traipse around the world like Indiana Jones, with bullwhips and a nose for treasure. Like many professionals, they spend a lot of time indoors. Recently Dixon and her students find themselves indoors curating the vast historical collection of the U.S. Navy as part of a research cooperative agreement between UM and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Read more about their assignment in Research View.

UM golf coach Matt Higgins

Higgins Named Women’s Golf Coach at Montana

Matt Higgins, who led the Concordia-St. Paul women’s and men’s golf teams to nine NCAA regional appearances and built his women’s program into a model of student-athlete success, has been hired as Montana’s new women’s golf coach.  Higgins was offered and accepted the job earlier this week. He replaces Joni Stephens, who stepped down from her position in June after two years on the job. Read more about UM’s newest coach on

UM senior Derek Crittenden

Scholar Athlete Derek Crittenden Aims for Big Leagues

Griz senior Derek Crittenden is in fall camp, getting ready to finish his fifth full year at the University of Montana as a member of the football program. This season, Crittenden not only gets the opportunity to make his mark on the field, he also gets the opportunity to make his mark on the world's biggest stage in the academic arena as this year's UM nominee for the Rhodes Scholarship. Read more about Crittenden's big goals for his senior year on

Google employee photographs the UM campus

Google Trekker Photographs UM Campus for Street View

Google Trekkers have hiked the Grand Canyon, climbed El Capitan in Yosemite National Park and walked the narrow streets of Venice to bring interactive views of hard-to-reach places online. Soon UM will be available through Google’s Street View as well. A Google employee walked around campus for two days, July 29 and 30, wearing the Trekker backpack. Read more about Google’s visit to UM in the Missoulian.

Missoula Valley

High-Tech Companies Increasing Footprint in State, Hiring UM Grads

Montana has quietly increased its footprint in high-tech businesses, growing at a pace that exceeds statewide growth and providing high-paying jobs for UM students and graduates, according to a recent article in Montana Business Quarterly. From rural areas of Montana, companies are doing business with Fortune 500 firms around the world, according to the article “High Growth for High Tech: Fast-Growing, High-Paying Industry Cluster is Outpacing Other Sectors of Montana’s Economy.” Read more about Montana’s growing industry.

UM campus

UM to Launch New System for Students with Disabilities

Disability Services for Students at the University of Montana will fully implement and launch a new web-based database and communication system for students with disabilities at the beginning of spring semester 2016. The program, Accommodate, will allow UM students who are registered with DSS to view the real-time availability of their coordinators, make appointments online using their Net IDs and much more. Read more about the new system.

UM Professor Rebecca Bendick

UM Scientist Studies Earthquakes from Montana to the Himalayas

Soon after the earthquake struck Nepal this spring, Rebecca Bendick got an alert from nearly every device she owned. Bendick, an earthquake scientist and professor at UM, is part of a rapid response team that deploys instruments to study temblors from the Tendoy Mountains at home to the Himalayas abroad. When a massive earthquake hits, Bendick is on the horn. Now she’s earned a National Science Foundation grant to further her research. Read more about Bendick's research in the Missoulian.

UM Professor and inventor Michael DeGrandpre

Chemistry Professor, Inventor Talks About Path to the XPRIZE

When Sunburst Sensors won $1.5 million in prize money last month, the work of Michael DeGrandpre went from the trash bin to the international stage. DeGrandpre is a chemistry professor at UM whose research led to the creation of Sunburst Sensors, a company that develops chemical sensors for marine and freshwater applications. The company from landlocked Montana recently took home both grand prizes of $750,000 each. Read more about DeGrandpre and Sunburst Sensors in the Missoulian.

Undergraduate students in the SURP program and their mentors

Five Undergrads Complete Environmental Health Research Program

It was presentation day earlier this week for five students from across the country who completed UM’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program, hosted by the school’s Center for Environmental Health Sciences. Each of the five students accepted to the summer program received a stipend for their work, use of the center’s laboratories, access to the department’s staff and free on-campus housing for the duration of the 10-week stay. Read more in the Missoulian about the research the students conducted this summer.

UM alumna Miranda Fox

Student Leader Wins Executive Director of the Year Award

UM alumna Miranda Fox, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, recently was awarded the St. Jude Up ‘til Dawn Executive Director of the Year Award. Fox was awarded the distinguished honor in Memphis, Tennessee, earlier this month.  St. Jude Up 'til Dawn is a student-led, student-run philanthropic program that focuses on raising funds and awareness across college campuses for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Read more about how Fox’s leadership skills earned her this honor.

Doctors at work at UM's Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana

Family Medicine Residency Program Receives $1.7M Grant

UM’s Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana was one of 32 awardees nationally to receive a $1.7 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The purpose of the grant is to strengthen the primary health care workforce while improving health care delivery and outcomes in rural and underserved areas of Montana. Read more about how this grant will improve rural health care.

carrots at the Grizzly Green Market

UM Dining Hosts Tiny, Homegrown Farmers Market

The tomatoes are plump and sweet at the booths that might be the tiniest farmers market in Missoula. This summer, UM’s Dining Services opened the Grizzly Green Market on the mall outside the Mansfield Library. The market is open Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and on a busy day, as many as 100 shoppers will grab cucumbers, carrots and other goods there. Read more about the weekly market in the Missoulian.

UM campus

UM to Honor Four Distinguished Alumni at Homecoming

Four outstanding University of Montana graduates will receive 2015 Distinguished Alumni Awards during Homecoming weekend festivities on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 25-26. The awards are the highest honor presented by UM’s Alumni Association. This year’s distinguished alumni are John Grotzinger, M.S. ’81, of San Marino, Calif.; Jennifer F. Isern ’89 of New Delhi, India; Sheila M. Stearns ’68, M.A. ’69, Ed.D. ’83, of Missoula; and Sidney R. Thomas, J.D. ’78, of Billings. Read more about this year’s recipients.

Dr. Celine Beamer and UM student Shelby Cole

UM Student Researches Inflammatory Lung Disease Treatments

UM pharmacy student Shelby Cole is participating in UM’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program in the Center for Environmental Health Sciences. She is conducting research concerning interactions between cells and lymphocytes in the lung, working toward her pursuit of a career in health care and pharmaceutical science. Working with mentor Dr. Celine Beamer, Cole is exploring possible treatments for inflammatory lung diseases. Read more about Cole’s research and the SURP program.

The Himalaya mountain range in Nepal

UM Researcher Earns NSF Grant to Study Tectonics in Nepal

The Himalayas mark one of Earth's youngest mountain ranges. They also signal the location of an active seismic region, as the people of Nepal witnessed on April 25 when a magnitude 7.8 quake struck. What led to the quake, and when and where is Nepal's next one likely to occur? To help find answers, the National Science Foundation has funded RAPID awards for scientists and engineers, including UM researcher Rebecca Bendick. Read more about Bendick’s research and her NSF award.

UM's Student Athlete Advisory Committee

UM Student-Athletes Claim Big Sky’s SAAC Cup

UM student-athletes recently claimed  Big Sky Conference’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee Cup. The conference-wide competition was held over the past year and involved two separate contests: a toiletry drive and a battle to accumulate the most volunteer hours between Oct. 1 and June 1. Montana collected a league-high 13,729 toiletry items, averaging 42.3245 items per athlete. The Grizzlies also logged 3,101 total volunteer hours. Read more about their big win.

The surface of Mars

NASA Comes to Arlee: UM Grad Bestows Montana Names on Mars

The Mars rover Curiosity was rolling through Arlee on Friday. Not that Arlee. The one on Mars. “Because western Montana is interesting geologically, it ranked up there to get on the names list,” said Missoula native and UM alumnus Brian Nixon, who operates the Rover’s cameras for Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego. “Those are the formal names we use among team members to reference certain features.” Read more about how Nixon puts his geology degree to work.

Washington-Grizzly Stadium at UM

Musburger to Call Montana Football Opener Aug. 29

Brent Musburger's ties to athletics in the state of Montana come with a lengthy list, but one thing the longtime broadcasters has never done is call a Montana Grizzlies football game. That'll change later this month. Musburger, a 40-plus-year veteran of sports television who grew up in Billings, will team with Jesse Palmer as game commentators when the college football season opens in Missoula on Aug. 29. Read more about the home opener in the Missoulian.

Jessica Ray and mentor Gini Porter

Visiting Student Explores Nanoparticles as Environmental Contaminants

Meet Jessica Ray, an animal science major from Michigan State University who is participating in UM’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program through the Center for Environmental Health Sciences. She’s working toward her goal of conducting environmental toxicology research by studying the emerging concern of nanoparticles as an environmental contaminant. Working with UM mentors Yoon Hee Cho and Gini Porter, Ray is developing expertise in topics including epigenetics and nanomaterials. Read more about Ray’s summer at UM.

Jack Stanford, outgoing FLBS director, and incoming Director James Elser stand next to the station’s research vessel, the Jessie B.

Flathead Lake Biological Station Hires New Director

James “Jim” Elser, an internationally renowned freshwater ecologist, will become the next director of the University of Montana’s century-old Flathead Lake Biological Station. UM President Royce Engstrom announced July 29 that Elser had accepted the position. Elser, a lake ecologist who serves as a Regents’ Professor at Arizona State University, was selected for the position after an extensive international search. He will succeed Jack Stanford, who will remain director until Elser arrives. Read more about the new director.

Mark LoParco

UM Dining Director Earns Prestigious National Award

UM Dining Director Mark LoParco recently received an award for his leadership and contributions to the National Association of College and University Food Services and the collegiate foodservice industry at large. The Richard Lichtenfelt Award – named for NACUFS’ first president – recognizes outstanding service to the association on a national level. NACUFS named LoParco the 2015 recipient during the association’s annual conference held July 22-25 in Indianapolis. Read more about LoParco’s latest award.

UM defensive tackle Caleb Kidder

Defensive Tackle Kidder Chosen to Wear #37 Legacy Jersey

When NFL-bound former Grizzly defensive end Zack Wagenmann texted current Griz Caleb Kidder and asked him to join the recent grad for a workout recently, Kidder wasn't surprised. It was what happened next that stunned him. “I met him on the field, and we were warming up, and he just started talking to me about how things are, and asked me if I would wear it for him.” “It” is Montana’s famed #37 legacy jersey

Jessie B., the Flathead Lake Biological Station’s research boat

Refurbished Boat Returns to Flathead Lake Biological Station

The Flathead Lake Biological Station’s research boat, the Jessie B., returned to its dock recently after a six-month absence. The welded-aluminum hull on the station’s refurbished boat now houses two new diesel engines, high-performance outdrives and 540 horsepower. The refurbishment added 140 horsepower and gave the Jessie B. the ability to carry 13,500 pounds in fuel, people and equipment for research missions on Flathead Lake. Read more about the refurbished Jesse B. in the Bigfork Eagle.

A 2015 NASA image of a blue marble earth

UM Ranked in Top 2.4 Percent of Universities Worldwide

The Center for World University Rankings recently ranked UM No. 585 out of universities worldwide, placing the University in the top 2.4 percent of more than 25,000 degree-granting institutions of higher education. UM jumped 21 spots from its No. 604 ranking in 2014. CWUR uses eight indicators to identify the world’s top 1,000 universities: quality of education, alumni employment, quality of faculty, publications, influence, citations, broad impact and patents. Read the news release.

UM researchers Sarj Patel, left, and Tom Rau, right, study blood-based biomarkers that indicate how the brain reacts following a traumatic brain injury.

NFL, GE Award UM Brain Researchers $500,000

UM researchers Sarj Patel and Tom Rau are among six final winners nationally to receive $500,000 from the Head Health Challenge I, a program sponsored by General Electric Co. and the National Football League. Their work aims to speed diagnosis and improve treatment for mild traumatic brain injury. Winners were selected from an initial group of 16 challenge winners who were chosen from more than 400 entries from 27 countries. Read the news release.

Some images from the podcast webpage

New Podcast Highlights Montana-centric Topics

Just one week after launching a new podcast, and UM J-school assistant professor Jule Banville’s already tackled an eclectic array of subject matter, including a segment about the weird things people touch. “The idea of this is to be a mix,” Banville says. Banville aims to use her Montana-centric podcast, called Last Best Stories, to offer a venue for the best student work and also, as she says, “independent producers who are slugging it out.” Read more in the Missoula Independent.

The UM Grizzly Bear on the Oval

Private Support for UM Tops $50 Million Two Years in a Row

UM had another remarkable fundraising year. Private support for the University in fiscal year 2015 totaled $52.6 million, just shy of last year’s record-breaking total of $53.7 million. The University received cash gifts, pledges, estate gifts and private grants from 14,272 individuals, corporations and private foundations nationwide. “We are incredibly fortunate to have so many alumni and friends who care about the University of Montana and recognize the value of higher education,” said UM President Royce Engstrom. Read the news release.

Two Asian exchange participants play a game of stick ball at the Flathead Indian Reservation.

Center Arranges Exchange Between Asia, Flathead Reservation

UM’s Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center organized an environmental exchange that allowed 20 students and young professionals from Asia to visit Montana’s Flathead Indian Reservation. In its sixth year, the program is part of the Mansfield Center’s mission to support relations between the United States and places such as Vietnam and Cambodia. The visitors are part of the Youth Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative. Read more in the Missoulian

UM School of Journalism building

Assistant Journalism Professor Named NAJA President

A UM School of Journalism assistant professor has been elected as president of the Native American Journalists Association. Jason Begay, a Navajo from Gallup, New Mexico, and a UM alumnus, joined the UM faculty in 2010. He serves as Native American projects director at the School of Journalism and co-teaches UM’s award-winning Native News Honors Project. Read more about his new role as NAJA president.

Researcher Joel Harper studies Greenland ice sheet movement

UM Researcher Studies Greenland Ice Sheet Movement

The annual "State of the Climate" report released Thursday said 2014 was the warmest year on record going back 135 years. Temperatures continued to rise, and glaciers kept shrinking. The impact has been dramatic in Greenland, the huge ice-covered island between the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans. University of Montana glaciologist Joel Harper has been camping each summer on Greenland's ice sheet, studying how glaciers and ice move. CBS News reports on the changes Harper and others are seeing.

The Tiger by John Vaillant

‘The Tiger’ Named UM’s 2015 First-Year Reading Experience Book

UM has selected “The Tiger” by award-winning author John Vaillant as the 2015 First-Year Reading Experience book, a program provides incoming freshmen with a shared intellectual experience to encourage discussion, advance critical thinking and develop a sense of community. “The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival” details the hunt for a man-eating Amur tiger in the remote Primorye region of Russia’s eastern border in the 1990s. Read more about this year’s title.

Students and teachers from UM's LAB Preschool

Online Master’s in Early Childhood Education Earns Accolades

The new Master of Education in Early Childhood Education, offered by the Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences at UM, recently ranked 10th in SuperScholar’s “50 Best Online Master’s in Early Childhood Education Programs.” SuperScholar based its Smart Choice rankings on national accreditation, affordability of the program, college and university reputation, and flexibility in course scheduling and offerings. Learn more about the SuperScholar ranking.

UM's Davidson Honors College

Outstanding Students Receive Presidential Leadership Scholarships

UM's Presidential Leadership Scholarships have been awarded to 26 exceptional incoming UM freshmen. The scholarships recognize outstanding talent, academic performance, leadership and contribution to the community. This year’s scholarship winners were chosen from a field of more than 200 qualified applicants. Recipients enroll in UM’s Davidson Honors College and receive a four‑year tuition waiver plus an additional $5,000 to $7,500 per year. Read more about the incoming class of Presidential Leadership Scholars.

Chad Bishop, the new director of UM's Wildlife Biology Program

UM Hires New Director of Wildlife Biology Program

UM’s Wildlife Biology Program has named Chad Bishop as its new director. Bishop, who previously served as assistant director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife, takes over on Aug. 1. He has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Montana State University, a master’s degree in wildlife resources from the University of Idaho and a doctorate in wildlife biology from Colorado State University. Read more about Bishop.

Workers on the job at Missoula College

UM, Missoula College Construction Projects Making Progress

On Monday, a crew of 26 workers buzzed around the future site of Missoula College, a $32 million project that Project Manager Jake Berger said is full of interesting and unique twists – and part of nearly $60 million in construction that’s underway in some form at the University of Montana. Read more in the Missoulian about how the construction projects at Missoula College and UM are progressing.

UM accounting Professor Teresa Beed

Accounting Professor Awarded State Association’s Highest Honor

A professor who has taught accounting in UM’s School of Business Administration for more than 35 years was recently awarded the Montana Society of Certified Public Accountants’ highest honor. The association presented the 2015 George D. Anderson Distinguished Service Award to Teresa Beed in June. The award is given annually to a member of MSCPA whose contribution to the accounting profession and involvement in community, charitable and civic activities merit outstanding recognition. Read more about Beed’s recent award.

Chris Migliaccio, Samantha Couture, Kevin Trout

Visiting Student Researcher Studies Cell Biology, Nanomaterials

Meet Samantha Couture, an environmental health major from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, who is participating in UM’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program through the Center for Environmental Health Sciences. Working with mentors Chris Migliaccio and Kevin Trout, she is studying macrophage biology in relation to medical devices and nanomaterials. Read more about her research and the SURP Program.

Attendees listen to emcee John Engen at spectrUM's Big Night event

SpectrUM Discovery Area’s Big Night Gala Raises $67,317

UM’s spectrUM Discovery Area will host one free Random Act of Community day each month, providing open access to its museum for all children and their families. The program, underwritten by Community Medical Center, is just one of several initiatives that will be funded thanks to money raised during spectrUM’s Big Night gala on June 12. In total, the Big Night gala raised $67,317 for spectrUM’s Science for All Fund. Read more about spectrUM here.

<image_alt />

Journalism Grad Students Report from Crown of the Continent

The Crown Reporting Project at UM pairs students from the graduate program in Environmental Science and Natural Resource Journalism with seasoned editors as they pursue stories in the Crown of the Continent region. While the students report stories in the field, their mentors recommend sources, edit drafts and help publish the final product. Learn more about the Crown Reporting Project here and read one student’s latest dispatch from the field here.

Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana

UM Ranks No. 3 on ‘Underrated Law Schools’ List

The Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana recently was listed as the third-most “underrated” law school in the country, based on its students’ employment outcomes, their median score on the Law School Admission Test and the number of citations that the school’s law review has received. University of North Carolina law professor Alfred Brophy completed the study, which was highlighted in a June 30 article by Bloomberg Business. Read more about the ranking.

UM students and instructors in the Cycle the Rockies course

Students Tackle Energy Issues During Cycle the Rockies Course

Four UM students and two instructors are closing in on the final day of their 700-mile, 28-day bicycle trip around Montana while studying ecological, social and economic issues associated with energy production and use. The group traversed rolling plains and beautiful mountains, enjoying the changing landscapes and meeting people deeply involved in energy and climate issues. Read more about their journey on Wild Rockies Field Institute blog.

UM Associate Provost for Global Century Education Paulo Zagalo-Melo

Associate Provost for Global Century Education Named Fellow

The Association of International Education Administrators recently selected UM Associate Provost for Global Century Education Paulo Zagalo-Melo as one of its Presidential Fellows, a highly prestigious program for new senior international officers. The program pairs Fellows with a mentor, offering a unique opportunity to immerse participants in the day-to-day activities of the host institution, establish a relationship with a mentor and maximize learning opportunities. Read more about Zagalo-Melo’s Presidential Fellowship.

Mark Perhouse and student Maggie Honig

Visiting Student Researcher Studies Asbestos, Cancer at UM

Maggie Honig is excited to be exploring her interest in environmental chemistry and toxicology this summer as she participates in UM’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program through the Center for Environmental Health Sciences. Honig is majoring in environmental studies at Binghamton University in New York but this summer she’s in Missoula working with UM mentor Mark Pershouse to research the PTEN tumor suppressor gene as it applies to mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Read more about Honig’s summer research at UM.

submersible autonomous moored instruments that can measure pH or carbon dioxide in the ocean

Sunburst Sensors Succeeds in Hawaii, Awaits Decision on XPRIZE

The SAMI proved its mettle. The instrument, created out of research at the University of Montana, dropped 3,000 meters into the Pacific Ocean, measured pH and surfaced all in one piece. The journey marked the final phase of an international competition that puts Sunburst Sensors of Missoula in line for a couple of $750,000 prizes, according to the XPRIZE. Read more about Sunburst Sensors in the Missoulian.

Executive Chef Patrick Browne, Executive Sous Chef Tony Martinez, Chef de Cuisine Nate Jerrell and Pastry Chef Lindsay Marshall

UM Chefs Place Second at National Culinary Conference

Four UM chefs proved they can out-cook the competition at the 21st Annual Tastes of the World Chef Culinary Conference hosted by the University of Massachusetts Amherst June 7-12. UM Dining’s culinary team won a silver medal after facing off against 22 other culinary teams from across North America. Representing UM were Executive Chef Patrick Browne, Executive Sous Chef Tony Martinez, Chef de Cuisine Nate Jerrell and Pastry Chef Lindsay Marshall. Read more about their win.

UM Associate Research Professor Carl Seielstad

To Build a Fire: Professor Devotes Career to Changing Fire Policy

The science of wildfires often pits academics against forestry professionals. Carl Seielstad, an associate research professor at the University of Montana, has built a career bridging the divide through his work in the trenches as well as in the lab. Now the former smokejumper is helping change fire policy forever. For starters, Seielstad says, you’ve got to fight fire with fire. Read more about Seielstad's career path in Dartmouth’s alumni magazine

Natalie Bond, adjunct political papers archivist, looks at the Max Baucus Collection

Mansfield Library Organizes New Max Baucus Collection

Last year, a semi-trailer deposited nearly 1,000 boxes of material for the Archives and Special Collections at UM’s Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library from Max Baucus’ career as a politician, a tenure that began in the U.S. House in 1978. Natalie Bond, who has been organizing the new Max Baucus Collection since December, said it will be among the largest archival collections at the library. Read more about the task of archiving Baucus’ papers in the Missoulian.

Curator Shannon Kimball watches over 129,000 plant specimens in the University of Montana Herbarium.

UM’s Large Plant Collection Serves State and Beyond

Upstairs in a corner of the Natural Sciences building on campus, curator Shannon Kimball watches over some 129,000 pressed plant specimens in the University of Montana Herbarium, an organized collection that's little known and growing by the day. The oldest specimen, a plant from Mexico, is from 1834. Read more in the Missoulian.

Dan McCarthy, a medical resident in Missoula, shows high schoolers the insides of a pig's heart

High Schoolers Learn about Health Careers at Summer Camp

While some Missoulians were still eating their breakfast on Monday, two dozen Montana high-school students taking part in a health career summer camp were wrist-deep dissecting the heart of a pig. The summer camp, called MedStart, is designed to give high-school juniors and seniors a chance to explore health careers and the various programs offered at colleges in Montana. The MedStart camp in Missoula is sponsored by the Western Montana Area Health Education Center at UM. Read more about MedStart.

UM researcher Jerry Bromenshenk studies bee colonies

Researcher to Study Exposure of Bee Colonies to Corn Dust

Honey bee exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides has been a growing concern. Now Jerry Bromenshenk will lead a team at UM examining the long-term health consequences of exposure of honey bee colonies to dust emitted during planting of neonicotinoid treated corn seeds. This is the first study that plans to follow the health and survival of honey bees long after interaction with corn dust to better understand how honey bee health throughout the year relates to early season corn planting. Read more about Bromenshenk’s latest study.

Professor Anya Jabour

Professor Anya Jabour Jumps from Academia to Show Business

Anya Jabour is a professor in academia who recently jumped into show business. Jabour, who teaches history at UM and serves as co-director of its program in women's gender and sexuality, got an unexpected phone call recently when a representative for a new historical PBS drama asked her to be on set in Virginia while the crew shot the first season's six episodes. Read more in the Missoulian about Jabour’s new role as historic consultant.

Laura Fisch with SURP mentors Andrij Holian, left, and Don Anderson

Undergraduates Converge for Summer Research Program at UM

Biochemistry major Laura Fisch is excited to spend the summer exploring her interest in environmental toxicology through UM’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program at the Center for Environmental Health Sciences. Fisch is working with UM mentors Andrij Holian and Don Anderson to research methods for studying the effects of nanomaterial exposure in relation to cell health and inflammation. Read more about Fisch’s summer at UM.

Team works on computer together

Report: Montana is Top State for Entrepreneurial Activity

For the third year in a row, Montana has been named the top state in the country for entrepreneurial activity by the Kauffman Foundation’s Index of Startup Activity. Scott Whittenburg, the vice president for research and creative scholarship at UM, said the Missoula area in particular has a variety of factors that make it conducive to fostering new businesses. The Missoulian newspaper reports.

UM's 2015 graduates make their way toward Commencement

UM Reports 2,459 Graduates, 2,261 Students on Dean’s List

UM has 2,459 students who were degree candidates for spring semester 2015. The total includes 229 certificates, 278 associate degrees, four education specialists, 1,295 bachelor’s degrees, 358 master’s degrees, 74 juris doctor degrees and 108 doctoral degrees. There were 215 candidates for double degrees. Additionally, 2,261 UM students made the spring semester 2015 Dean’s List. See the complete lists of graduates and students who made the Dean’s list here

MontanaPBS Broadcaster William Marcus

Montana Bids Farewell to Broadcast Giant William Marcus

William Marcus is the quiet giant of Montana media, and it is ironic that he will begin his long planned retirement this month. When the career of Marcus began 40 years ago, public television didn’t exist in Montana. Soon after he took the reins at UM’s Broadcast Media Center 20 years ago, public television was well on the way to becoming a statewide reality. Former Montana Secretary of State Bob Brown looks back on Marcus’ remarkable career

Kerr Dam

Podcast Features an Interview with Energy Keepers CEO

The Mansfield Global Leadership Podcast is a series produced by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center at UM that captures the wisdom of international thought leaders and industry experts. In this latest podcast, recorded just before the Asia-Montana Energy Summit at UM in April, Allen Sangster interviews Brian Lipscomb, CEO of Energy Keepers, Inc. of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, to discuss the future of Kerr Dam and the significance of the project to tribes. Listen to the podcast here.

UM Bioclimatologist Ashley Ballantyne

Bioclimatologist Tracks Carbon to Improve Climate Change Models

When not teaching and free from meetings, Ashley Ballantyne can be found on his computer, scrolling through carbon readings from around the globe. He searches for patterns, ones that will illuminate the carbon dioxide cycle between Earth’s surface and atmosphere. This cycle is complex, evolving and difficult to grasp. The closer bioclimatologists like Ballantyne can get, however, the more precisely they can make predictions for a warming world. Read more about Ballantyne’s work in Research View.

Griz Javelin Thrower Stephanie Wells

Griz Javelin Thrower Heads to Her First NCAA Championships

For better or worse, Stephanie Wells is an expert at minimizing expectations. "I absolutely have zero chance," the junior Montana thrower said to her coach two weeks ago in Austin, Texas. Not so.  Wells is headed to the NCAA outdoor track and field championships in Eugene, Oregon this week. The NCAA championships begin Wednesday with javelin on the schedule Thursday evening. Read more in the Missoulian about the Grizzlies' first national javelin qualifier since 2005.

UM exercise specialist Molly Blair and client Mark Cash use the ropes course at McCormick Park

UM Teams with Camp Organizers to Make Activities Inclusive

A recent training at McCormick Park’s ropes course focused on adapting activities so they are inclusive to people of all abilities. The training was attended by around 50 representatives from organizations like the Flagship Program, Splash Montana, Sylvan Learning Center, UM and the Montana Natural History Center that have child-focused events or activities. Molly Blair, of the UM physical therapy school’s New Directions Wellness Center, also spoke to attendees. Read more about the training in the Missoulian.

UM researchers Sarj Patel and Tom Rau

Researchers Studying Concussions in the Running for Funding

Two UM researchers who in 2014 won a $300,000 award from the National Football League and General Electric are in the running for an additional half-million dollars in research funding in 2015. Sarj Patel and Tom Rau, of UM's Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, are trying to identify blood-based biomarkers indicating how the brain reacts following a brain injury. The Missoula Independent reports on the latest grant Patel and Rau are seeking.

Assistant Professor Rosalyn LaPier

Assistant Professor Named Smithsonian Research Associate

Rosalyn LaPier, assistant professor of environmental studies at UM, recently was appointed a research associate at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. In exchange, LaPier will bring her own outside expertise and knowledge to the Smithsonian, which includes more than 25 years of experience working with Blackfeet elders researching ethobotany and traditional ecological knowledge. Read more about LaPier’s work with the Smithsonian.

Track star Lindsey Hall  runs on a high-speed force treadmill inside UM’s Biomechanics Lab.

Department Works to Make People Healthier, Happier

From HIV prevention to a runner’s gait to elementary school physical education, UM’s Health and Human Performance Department makes a significant impact on the well-being of the people of Montana and beyond. The department centers on three distinct programs: community health, exercise science and health enhancement. HHP has become so popular it ranks second in students enrolled. Read more in the Montanan magazine.

Artist Jonathan Marquis at work up high in Glacier National Park

Art Graduate Student Chases Montana’s Melting Glaciers

Jonathan Marquis, a fine arts graduate student at UM, is working on a project to draw all 60 or so of Montana’s remaining glaciers, including those in Glacier Park. Marquis photographs and draws the glaciers he visits. He has completed eight pieces so far and has been to nine glaciers. He suspects it will take five or six years to complete his work. Read more in the Hungry Horse News.

UM researcher Sarah Certel holds up a tiny vial of fruit flies.

Fruit Fly Research May Lead to Improved Drugs

UM researcher Sarah Certel says that tiny fruit flies could provide keys to understanding how brains are capable of producing aggression. Members of her lab study videos of daily boxing matches held in a tiny arena. She hopes this fruit fly fight club may lead to improved therapeutic drugs for conditions in which aggression is manifested, such as schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s or attention-deficit disorder. Read more in Research View.

Brock Stoddard of Dillon, left, and Joe Stone of Missoula hit the trail with hand-driven bikes at Spring Meadow Resources in Helena.

UM Initiative Helps People With Disabilities Get Outside

Seeing Montana’s intellectually disabled population lead healthier lives is the focus of an upcoming initiative launched by UM’s Rural Institute. The institute held a training meeting for facilitators of a pilot project titled “14 Weeks to a Healthier You” earlier this month in Helena. The program focuses on personalized diet and exercise programs for those with intellectual development disorder. Read more in the Independent Record.

Raenelle Hinrichs watches as her daughter, scholarship recipient Madison Hinrichs, hugs her grandmother, Helen Ruff, after the announcement.

UM Student Lands $30K Scholarship From Businesses

A UM student who, over the years, has worked to support herself and her family financially and emotionally was awarded a scholarship June 2 that will help her become the first college graduate in her family. Madison Hinrichs, who just completed her freshman year at UM, received a new scholarship sponsored by the Missoulian and 20 area businesses that is worth up to $30,000. Read more in the Missoulian

The Davidson Honors College building

New Dean Hired for UM’s Davidson Honors College

Brock Tessman will become the next dean of UM’s Davidson Honors College. Tessman, a political scientist who most recently served the University of Georgia as associate director of the Center for the Study of Global Issues and director of graduate programs in the UGA Department of International Affairs, was selected for the position after an extensive national search. He will begin his new duties mid-July. Read the full news release.

UM student Adam McCaw poses at UM's Fallen Soldier Memorial.

UM Offers Top-Level Intensive Language Program

Right here at UM, one of the best intensive language programs in the United States teaches the military the languages of war – and of peace. The Defense Critical Language and Culture Program was created in 2008 to train U.S. soldiers and Marines in the languages of conflict areas and America’s allies. The program is rooted in UM’s Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center. Read more in the Montanan magazine

UM education college Dean Roberta Evans

UM Education Dean Wins Administrator of the Year Award

The Montana Association of Students recently awarded Roberta Evans, dean of the UM Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences, the 2014-15 Administrator of the Year award. Each year this distinguished award is bestowed upon an administrator within the Montana University System who has exhibited a history of excellence in leadership and demonstrated a quality, long-term impact on students. Read the full new release.

UM researcher Rich Bridges and a molecule image

UM Partners With Company to Create New Therapies

The University is one step closer to turning a discovery into a drug. Promentis Pharmaceuticals Inc. has announced it will enter an exclusive agreement with UM to commercialize a discovery made by a team of UM faculty scientists that has the potential to treat brain cancer and possibly other disorders of the central nervous system. It took almost two decades of experimentation to arrive at two related breakthroughs. Read more in the Research View newsletter.


J.K. Simmons holds his Oscar

UM Oscar Winner Describes How Family Launched His Career

On the biggest stage in Hollywood, Oscar-winner J.K. Simmons ’78 delivered a simple get potent message: Call your mom and dad, because he can’t call his. Simmons won the Academy Award for best supporting actor for his performance as the intimidating Terence Fletcher in “Whiplash.” Simmons’ parents, Don and Pat, were integral parts of the UM and Missoula communities for decades. Read more in the Montanan magazine
Fred Allendorf in a UM lab

Regents Professor Emeritus Receives Molecular Ecology Prize

The journal Molecular Ecology has chosen UM Regents Professor Emeritus Fred Allendorf as the recipient of its 2015 Molecular Ecology Prize. Allendorf is one of a handful of people who founded the field of conservation genetics. He was one of the first to apply genetics to real-world conservation problems, and he has continued to advance the application of genetics, and now genomics, to pressing conservation problems. Read more about Allendorf’s prize.
Young students studying in a reservation classroom

Students Release Latest Edition of Native News Honors Project

UM School of Journalism Students recently released the 24th annual edition of the Native News Honors Project. This issue is titled “Intertwined: Stories of Detachment and Connection from Montana’s Reservations.” Every spring, journalism school professors come up with a theme for their class to investigate. Students then spend their spring break on the reservations reporting and photographing stories and creating multimedia pieces. Read the latest edition on the J-school website.
UM student records the sound of a bee colony using an app he helped develop

Students Create App to Test Bee Colony Health

A team of UM students has built a mobile-phone app that allows beekeepers to record the sound of their colony to determine whether it’s healthy or not. The Android app was developed by computer science students Seth Welch, Quinton Greenhagen, Kyler Commers, Andreas Freiburg, Seth Hovenkotter and Matthew Detrick as part of their senior capstone project under the direction of UM software engineering professor Joel Henry. Read more about the bee app in the Missoulian.

A UM student works in a lab

Legislature Creates $1,000 Scholarships for STEM Majors

The state of Montana is offering new $1,000 scholarships to in-state high school graduates who major in science, technology, engineering, math or health care at a Montana college. Graduating seniors who are interested should act fast. The Legislature set aside $400,000 to kick off the scholarships this year, and already 200 high school students have started the application process, Sheila Newlun, Montana University System scholarship coordinator, said Tuesday. Read more in the Bozeman Chronicle.

a young student colors a picture of Monte providing athletic training to a patient

Athletic Training Students Win Public Relations Contest

Custom-designed coloring books featuring University of Montana’s mascot, Monte, as an athletic trainer were part of the project that recently earned UM athletic training students the top spot in a national contest. The UM team won the “Best Student Effort” category of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Public Relations competition for the eighth consecutive year. Read more about the athletic training students’ latest success.

Blake Morant, president of the Association of American Law Schools, speaks at UM's law school hooding ceremony

'Leading Light' of Law Offers UM Graduates Advice

“I know all of you will do well, you're graduating from an excellent law school,” Blake Morant said Saturday as 82 students received their degrees during the graduation ceremony of UM’s School of Law. Morant stressed that the problem-solving and creative skills law school graduates have attained are more important now than ever before. Read more about the 2015 law school graduation in the Missoulian.

UM researcher John McCutcheon

The Slow-Motion Symbiotic Train Wreck of the 13-Year Cicada

A vast swarm of cicadas are starting to crawl out of the ground after 13 or 17 years spent underground. When they greet daylight for the first time, they devote themselves to weeks of frenzied sex and cacophonous song, before dying en masse. But the cicada’s weird lifestyles have also left them with a different legacy. It’s so weird that when UM researcher John McCutcheon first discovered it, he thought he had made a technical error. The National Geographic blog Phenomena reports.

UM Dining staff members perform karaoke during Beatlemania event

UM Dining Wins National Bronze for ‘Beatlemania’ Event

The National Association of College & University Food Services recently announced that UM Dining received a bronze medal at its annual Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards. UM Dining received the accolade in the 2015 Residential Dining Special Event category for “Beatlemania,” held in December 2014. The UM Dining staff at the Food Zoo paid homage to The Beatles in an event that featured a British-inspired menu, a dining room decorations and Beatles karaoke. Read more about UM Dining’s latest award.

Alexander and Andy Blewett

$10 Million Gift from Blewett Family to Transform UM School of Law

Following Board of Regents approval that was granted May 22, the University of Montana School of Law will officially become the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana as a result of a $10 million donation from Alexander “Zander” and Andrea “Andy” Blewett of Great Falls. The gift, announced May 21 during the Montana Board of Regents meeting in Kalispell, is among the largest individual gifts in UM history. Read more about this generous gift from the Blewetts.

UM students of the WWAMI class of 2016

Pre-Med Program Sees Increase in Medical School Acceptance

With 18 students accepted into medical schools this year, the Pre-Medical Sciences Program at UM reached an acceptance rate of 64 percent – 20 points higher than the national average of 44 percent. The pre-med program has seen a steady increase in the number of students admitted into medical programs the past several years. Mark Pershouse, Pre-Medical Sciences Program director, credits the steady increase to a task force formed in 2008 to improve pre-medical advising. Read more about UM’s pre-med program.

a young art enthusiast views a painting at the MMAC

More Than 1,500 Students Tour Montana Museum of Art & Culture

Since the opening of the Montana Museum of Art & Culture’s “The Art of the State: Celebrating 120 Years of the MMAC Permanent Collection,” more than 1,500 school-aged children have toured the show. Groups of second- and seventh-grade classes visited the museum at the University of Montana with the help of SPARK! Any Given Child Missoula and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Read more about student visits to the MMAC.

A robotic pygmy owl built by UM Professor Erick Greene

Researcher: When Birds Squawk, Other Species Seem to Listen

“In the backyard of a woodsy home, small birds flitted to and from the yard’s feeder. They were oblivious to a curious stand nearby, topped by a curtain that was painted to resemble bark. Erick Greene, a professor of biology at UM, stepped away from the stand and stood by the home’s backdoor. He pressed the fob of a modified garage-door opener. The curtain dropped, unveiling a taxidermied northern pygmy owl.” The New York Times reports on Greene’s latest research.

Chad Miller won the top prize at UM's John Ruffatto Business Startup Challenge

Business School Announces Winners of Startup Challenge

UM’s School of Business Administration, along with the Montana Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs and the Blackstone LaunchPad at UM, have announced the winners of the 26th annual John Ruffatto Business Startup Challenge. UM MBA student Chad Miller of Florence took home the top prize of $15,000 for his startup plan, Purus. Purus is a Montana-based company dedicated to engineering a sustainable wastewater treatment solution for the oil and gas industry. Read more about Miller and the other top competitors.

UM graduate Ryan Bell

Recent UM Graduates Earn Fulbright Scholarships

UM graduates Ryan Bell, Brinna Boettger and Dylan Gomes recently received Fulbright Scholarship award notifications for the coming year. Bell was awarded a coveted Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship. Boettger earned a prestigious English Teaching Assistant Fulbright Scholarship. Gomes earned a Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant to study bats at the Max Planck Institutes in Germany. Read more about UM’s latest Fulbright awardees.

The Grizzly Bear Statue at UM

Three Educators Receive Teaching Excellence Awards

UM’s College of Humanities and Sciences recently honored three of its faculty members with awards for teaching excellence. Stephen Yoshimura, associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies, is the recipient of this year’s Excellence Award for Teaching Across the Curriculum. Lauren Fern, Department of Mathematical Sciences lecturer, and Diane Friend, Department of Physics and Astronomy lecturer, each received the inaugural Humanities and Sciences Excellence Award for Teaching at the Introductory Level. Read more about these deserving educators.

Missoula College graduate Erin Ojala

Missoula College Grad Rewarded for Efforts

Erin Ojala has had a varied career, but no one ever expected her to go to college. She was a truant in high school, neither of her parents went to college, and Ojala had no role model leading her to higher education. But the Stevensville woman has her own determination, and it has taken her far. This week, Ojala completes her second degree from Missoula College, and she adds a strand of gold cords to the silver set already hanging in her bedroom. Read more about Ojala journey to graduation.

UM grad Jason Hanlon

After Losing His Way, Wildlife Biology Grad Finds His Calling

When Jason Hanlon looks at the wolf skeleton, he sees a little bit of himself. Hanlon, 38, graduates this week from UM with a science degree from the College of Forestry and Conservation. Like the wolf, whose skeleton he spent 300 hours putting back together with help from his peers, Hanlon fell apart and came together again, too. "In all of my wildest dreams, I never imagined I would get a degree in wildlife biology. Never," he said. Read more about Hanlon’s road to graduation.

<image_alt />

Accreditation Review Lauds UM Business, Accounting Programs

The School of Business Administration at UM has maintained both its business and accounting accreditations by AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. UM’s SoBA is the only program in Montana to hold both accreditations.  AACSB Accreditation is the hallmark of excellence in business and accounting education and has been earned by less than five percent of the world’s business programs. Read more about SoBA’s recent accreditation review.

a Bornean stubtail incubates its eggs

Study Uncovers Why Songbirds Vary in Time Devoted to Warming Eggs

The amount of care parents provide their young varies greatly across the animal kingdom, particularly among songbird species, who spend anywhere from 20 percent to nearly 100 percent of daylight hours warming eggs in their nests. A team of researchers led by Thomas Martin, senior scientist and professor at UM’s Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit, set out to discover why. Read more about the results of the study, which will appear in an upcoming issue of The American Naturalist.

sunset in Missoula

Missoula Ranked No. 9 on List of Top College Towns

The American Institute for Economic Research College Destinations Index recently ranked Missoula, home to the University of Montana, among the top College Towns in the U.S. The index lists the top 75 destinations for 2014-15. Missoula was named No. 9 in the College Towns category. Other towns that made the list include Ithaca, New York; Corvallis, Oregon; and College Station, Texas. Missoula is the only town in Montana to make the list. Read more about the AIER ranking.

Commencement at UM

Commencement Ceremonies at UM Saturday, May 16

UM’s 118th Commencement ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 16, in Washington-Grizzly Stadium. Max Baucus, Montana’s longest-serving U.S. senator and now ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, will be the featured speaker. UM will honor Salish tribal elder Louis “Louie” Adams with an honorary doctorate of humane letters for his lifetime spent teaching others the stories, culture and language of his people. Read more about Commencement at UM.

UM Professor Ron Wakimoto

Ron Wakimoto Rearranged How We Think About Fire

Some fire scientists burn down hillsides. Some burn up whole fire policies. Ron Wakimoto has done both, developing research that helps save the lives of firefighters and helps return fire to the woods after a half-century of fighting to keep it out. Last week, he wound up more than three decades of teaching fire science at the University of Montana’s School of Forestry. Read more about Wakimoto in the Missoulian.

rendering of upgraded classroom in the LA Building

Gift Supports Renovation in UM’s Liberal Arts Building

Thanks to gifts from UM alum, businessman and philanthropist Dennis Eck from Wolf Point and his wife, Gretchen, from Butte, the University of Montana’s College of Humanities and Sciences will soon have some of the most advanced technology on campus. The Ecks’ contributions will create a vertical technology corridor of “smart classrooms” in the college’s Liberal Arts Building. Read more about this generous gift from the Ecks and the plans for UM’s LA Building

athletic training students wrap an ankle

Athletic Training Students Earn 100 Percent Pass Rate on Exam

Twelve University of Montana athletic training students recently took the Board of Certification exam, a high-stakes evaluation that enables students graduating from accredited athletic training programs to enter the work force as certified athletic trainers. All 12 students graduating from the UM program this spring took the exam in April, and all of them passed on their first try. Read more about UM’s athletic training students.

students and staff from UM's DSS pose for a photo on the Oval

Students with Disabilities Test Olympus Products, Offer Feedback

UM’s Disability Services for Students recently assisted Olympus Corporation in evaluating its digital-voice recorders in order to improve the quality and usability of their products. Nineteen UM students with disabilities participated in the evaluation and gave feedback to company representatives who visited UM April 21-22. Olympus provided UM’s DSS several models of their digital-voice recorders to be used and evaluated. Read more about how the feedback from UM students will be used.

Monte poses with a training vehicle at Missoula College

Trucking Companies Seek Missoula College Grads

Every week, trucking companies in western Montana call Mickey Lyngholm, the workforce navigator at Missoula College, and ask her to share their job openings with students and recent graduates. They're desperate for drivers. Missoula College got a RevUp Montana grant from the Department of Labor two years ago which allowed it to create a CDL program. It offered the first course last October. Read more about the demand for CDL drivers in the Missoulian

Shannon O’Brien, new dean of Missoula College

UM Names Shannon O’Brien New Dean of Missoula College

Shannon O’Brien, the education policy adviser for Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, will become the next dean of Missoula College University of Montana on July 1. O’Brien replaces Interim Dean Jane Baker, who has led MC since October 2014, and Barry Good, who was dean from 2006 to 2014. O’Brien was selected after a national search by a committee led by Chris Comer, dean of UM’s College of Humanities and Sciences. Read more about MC’s new dean.

UM Professor Mark Grimes, center, researches the behavior of cell proteins in childhood cancer

Biologist Advances Cancer Research with Data Analysis Techniques

Patience and persistence are beginning to pay off for UM Professor Mark Grimes, whose research about the behavior of cell proteins in childhood cancer recently was published by the Public Library of Science Computational Biology. In his quest to understand the childhood cancer called neuroblastoma, Grimes started at the subcellular level. As a cell biologist, he wanted to understand why cancer cells behave differently than other cells. Read more about Grimes’ research.

UM senior Eamon Ormseth

Student Awarded Scholarship to Study Arabic in Morocco

After he graduates this month, UM senior Eamon Ormseth will spend his summer studying Arabic language and culture in Morocco. The U.S. State Department awarded Ormseth a Critical Language Scholarship, which will fund his participation in an all-expenses-paid intensive Arabic program in northern Morocco. Following the program, Ormseth plans to extend his stay to work with a nongovernmental organization on education issues and continue studying Arabic and Middle Eastern history. Read more about Ormseth’s upcoming adventure.

Art students' work on display at UM exhibit

Art Students Show Off BFA Theses, Final Hurdle Before Graduation

While they might be about to graduate and leave UM, 22 of the school’s art students had one more hurdle in front of them, display their work as part of the annual bachelor of fine arts senior thesis exhibition. All of the graduating bachelor of fine arts students were required to participate in the exhibition. The art is on display through May 15. Read more about the exhibitions in the Missoulian.

UM Professor John Kimball

Researcher Contributes Data to National Climate Assessment

UM Professor John Kimball is among a group of researchers nationwide who are contributing data to the National Climate Assessment. Prominent researchers nationwide are tasked to provide scientific data that ultimately can help decision makers understand and respond to climate change. Each technical team will take on a specific indicator of climate change. Based out of Missoula, Kimball is on the technical team that is working on data related to phenology. Read more about Kimball’s work.

students pet a therapy dog in the UC

'Stress Less' Makes Week Before Finals a Favorite for Students

Abby wagged her little tail as Nick LeTang kneeled to give the pup a scratch. The law student at the University of Montana swings through the University Center almost every day, and as a result, he doesn't miss out on "Stress Less," a student wellness event put on by the Curry Health Center. There on Tuesday, students drank calming tea, sat for chair massages, ate tiny bran and berry muffins, and yes, they patted friendly dogs. Read more about "Stress Less" in the Missoulian.

students pitch their business idea at startup challenge

Entrepreneurial Students to Pitch Startup Ideas at Challenge

UM’s School of Business Administration, along with the Montana Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs and Blackstone LaunchPad at UM, will showcase the entrepreneurial aspirations of students from across the state at the 26th Annual John Ruffatto Business Startup Challenge. The event will take place Thursday, May 14, in the Gallagher Business Building on the UM campus. Read more about the annual event and the students who participate.

late UM Griz football player Kole Swartz

Roommate Receives Scholarship Created in Memory of Kole Swartz

The community support was a savior for Sean Swartz over the past month and a half. For Sean and his wife Jennifer, it felt like time to return the favor. The Clinton family and the University of Montana Foundation on Tuesday announced the Kole Swartz Legacy Scholarship, named in honor of Sean and Jennifer's 19-year-old son and UM student-athlete who lost his life in March. Read more about the new scholarship and its first recipient in the Missoulian.

UM student works with preschoolers

UM Now Offering Master’s in Early Childhood Education

The Department of Curriculum and Instruction at UM now offers a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education. This is the only degree of its kind in Montana and will serve to benefit the state’s youngest populations and those who work with them. The coursework will be delivered in an online format to create a readily accessible master’s degree option for current teachers and other human-service professionals. Read more about the new program.

University of Montana student Ellen Ipsen

UM Student to Study in UK on Fulbright Scholarship

University of Montana student Ellen Ipsen will hop across the pond this summer to attend the Fulbright UK Summer Institute for Undergraduates, a program that fosters relations between the United States and United Kingdom and teaches American students more about the UK. Ipsen, a sophomore from Missoula majoring in history, will examine the topic of slavery and the Atlantic heritage while studying at the University of Bristol’s Fulbright Institute in southwest England. Read more about Ipsen’s Fulbright.

Video: Graduate Level Research at UM's Center for Environmental Health Sciences

Two graduate students talk about the state-of-the-art toxicology research they are conducting at UM’s Center for Environmental Health Sciences. For more information, visit

Chemistry Professor G. Whiz

Popular Chemistry Professor Prepares to Hang Up his Cloak

In 24 years at UM, chemistry Professor Garon Smith has instructed some 20,000 students in introductory chemistry, and has entertained and educated more than 100,000 young students with his wizardly alter-ego, G. Wiz.  Now as he prepares to hang up his cloak in retirement this spring, Smith will present one of his renowned chemistry shows for the benefit of the campus community. Read more about Smith’s remarkable teaching career and his upcoming public lecture

UM graduate Thomas Nybo in Nepal after earthquake

Journalism Alumnus Brings Horrors of Quake to the World

Thomas Nybo said he has been at the scene of many natural disasters soon after they have struck: tsunamis, earthquakes and typhoons, chronicling them either as a journalist or on behalf of UNICEF. April 25 was the first time the UM graduate had ever experienced one firsthand. Nybo, 44, was in a coffee shop in Kathmandu when the magnitude-7.8 quake struck. Since then, the world has seen the devastation of quake through Nybo’s lens. The Great Falls Tribune reports.

Cody Meixner and Betsy Story

ASUM Elections: Meixner, Story Win; Majority of Referenda Pass

The results from this week’s Associated Students of UM elections are in and Cody Meixner and Betsy Story will be the next student government president and vice president. Sarah Smith won the business manager position. The majority of the referendums on this year’s ballot passed. The Montana Kaimin reports on the ASUM election results

UM student Jeni Comstock

UM Student Accepted into Seven Medical Schools

Incoming medical students have reached a deadline to make a decision on what medical school they want to attend in the fall. NBC Montana met up with one UM student who exceeded expectations with a number of interviews and acceptance letters. Jeni Comstock graduated from UM in 2014. This past year has been filled with visiting medical schools and interviewing. Comstock landed interviews at 10 schools, and she was accepted into seven medical schools and waitlisted at two. NBC Montana reports.

UM historian David Emmons, and UM alumni Julie and Sam Baldridge

Alumni Donors Boost UM Irish Studies Program

Eminent UM historian David Emmons conducted groundbreaking research on the history of the Irish experience in Montana. Now thanks to a private gift, his work will be honored and continued far into the future. UM alumni Sam and Julie Baldridge of Whitefish have established a visiting professorship in Emmons’ name. Each year, a Dr. David Emmons Visiting Scholar in Irish Studies will come to campus to teach various courses on Irish and Irish-American history. Read more about the donation from the Baldridges.

UM successfully reduced total emissions 10 percent below 2007 levels

UM Meets 2015 Target for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Continuing its commitment as a leader in higher education sustainability, UM recently announced it has met its 2015 target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. According to UM’s sustainability report card, released by its Office of Sustainability on Earth Day, the University has successfully reduced total emissions to 10 percent below 2007 levels. This benchmark is part of the University’s plan to become a carbon-neutral campus by 2020. Read more about UM’s emissions reduction.

UM Professor Kyle Volk

Professor Examines Alcohol's Role in Early Democracy

This Saturday, thousands will gather in Caras Park to celebrate the 23rd annual Garden City BrewFest. But alcohol wasn't always such a widely embraced social driver. Last year, University of Montana history professor Kyle Volk published “Moral Minorities and the Making of American Democracy,” which examines the long history of America's temperance movement and the birth of minority rights language among early anti-prohibitionists. The Missoula Independent sits down with Volk to discuss his new book.

oil and gas development as seen from the air

Study: Oil and Gas Development Transforms Landscapes

What are the ecological consequences of this accelerated drilling activity? Researchers at UM have conducted the first-ever broad-scale scientific assessment of how oil and gas development transforms landscapes across the U.S. and Canada. Their work was published April 24 in an article titled “Ecosystem services lost to oil and gas in North America” in Science. The article concludes that oil and gas development creates significant vegetation loss of rangelands and croplands across broad swaths of central North America. Read more about the study.

speakers at the Asia-Montana Energy Summit

Global Energy Leaders Gather for Mansfield Conference at UM

Leaders in global energy issues from five different countries are converging at the University of Montana Wednesday through Friday, April 29-May 1, for the Asia-Montana Energy Summit. Hosted by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center, the summit will highlight trends that are shaping the world’s energy future, and Montana’s role in it. Mansfield Center Director Abraham Kim talks with Montana Public Radio about the conference.

Ambassador Max Baucus

Ambassador Baucus to Speak at UM Commencement

Max Baucus, Montana’s longest-serving U.S. senator and now ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, will be the featured speaker during the University of Montana’s 118th Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 16. The ambassador will speak about the importance of Montana values. Read more about Baucus here. Learn more about UM’s 2015 Commencement here.

Shyam Pokhrel, left, and Tek Chhetri, Nepalese students studying at UM

UM Students from Nepal, Montanans Rally to Aid Quake Victims

Although Nepal is almost exactly on the opposite side of the globe from Montana, many locals and visitors are helping send aid to the earthquake-stricken country. Nepalese graduate students Tek Chhetri and Shyam Pokhrel have rounded up volunteers to collect donations at the University of Montana this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Any funds raised will be delivered through the Red Cross International’s Nepalese accounts. Read more about the effort to help earthquake victims.

actors rehearse the play Welcome Home Jenny Sutter

UM Play, Theater Project Gives Voice to Returning Veterans

As part of an effort to give a voice to veterans issues, a UM play will include stories from former military members currently on campus. Veterans who have returned to UM following their service were paired with applied theater students, who interviewed them. Short audio monologues pulled from the interviews will be at listening stations outside the performances of “Welcome Home Jenny Sutter,” a UM production that opens April 28. Read more about the project and the play.

UM student Hope Radford

UM Student Wins Udall Scholarship for Second Time

UM student Hope Radford won a second $5,000 Udall Scholarship, which will support her studies for the 2015-16 academic year. Her award marks the 38th time a UM student has earned this prestigious scholarship. Radford, a junior from Colorado Springs, Colorado, is majoring in resource conservation with minors in climate change studies and international development studies. She spent spring term studying sustainable agriculture in Chile and Argentina and plans a career in sustainable international agriculture. Read more about Radford.

UM Professor Joel Henry

Tech Startup Co-Founded by UM Professor Ready to Expand

An upstart technology firm founded in Missoula plans to create 10 new jobs over the next two years to handle the growing demand for its data-mining software. Joel Henry, a law and computer science professor at UM, co-founded Agile Data Solutions in 2013 to help sift through mountains of legal data. Agile currently employees 12 people, all of them UM graduates and interns. The firm is looking to grow its workforce to 22 people. Read more about Agile’s growth.

UM researcher Erica Woodahl works in her UM lab

UM Researcher Brings Pharmacogenetics to Reservation

One of the biggest buzzwords in health care right now is pharmacogenetics, also known as personalized or precision medicine. As interest and investment in personalized medicine increases, UM Associate Professor Erica Woodahl stands in a prominent position. She's currently the only person in the continental United States doing pharmacogenetic research on an indigenous population. The Missoula Independent reports on Woodahl’s groundbreaking work.

UM President Royce Engstrom

Engen and Engstrom: Efforts to Combat Sexual Assault Make Up Next Chapter

“This week, Missoula residents are reading about our community in Jon Krakauer’s book, ‘Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town.’ Whatever your opinion of the book, it graphically demonstrates that sexual assault is a pervasive problem that ruins lives, and that it happens in even the most desirable of communities.” Read an opinion column from UM President Royce Engstrom and Missoula Mayor John Engen

Students exit the Gallagher Business Building

UM Now Offering Business Minor for Students

Now university of Montana students graduating after the fall of 2015 can earn a minor in business administration. Students can enroll in the qualifying courses immediately. Students will be required to take five SoBA courses before applying for the business minor. In order to be eligible students must have earned 60 credits, earned a C or better in all primary lower core courses and have a 2.0 overall GPA. Learn more about UM’s new business minor.

the Earth as seen from space

Study: Soil Nutrients May Limit Ability of Plants to Slow Climate Change

Many scientists assume that the growing level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will accelerate plant growth. However, a new study co-written by UM researchers suggests much of this growth will be curtailed by limited soil nutrients. The end result: By the end of the century, there may be more than an additional 10 percent of CO2 in the atmosphere, which would accelerate climate change. The study recently was published in the journal Nature Geoscience. Read more about the study.

UM Payne Family Native American Center

Payne Family Native American Center Honored by Green Building Council

The Payne Family Native American Center at UM recently received the highest award for sustainable building from the Montana Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. The building received an Honor Award in the Montana Sustainable Building Award Commercial Category. Judges of the competition said the building is an “exciting expression of Native American cultures” in Montana. Read more about the Payne Center’s latest award.

Two-year-old Kiki Louie prior to the grand entry at the Kyi-Yo Powwow

Drums and Dancers: Hundreds Attend Annual Kyi-Yo Powwow

As the floor filled for the grand entrance, Native American dancers began to transition from a walk, spinning and hopping until the ground beneath them disappeared into a swirl of beadwork, feathers, staves, antlers, bone and face paint – the annual Kyi-Yo Powwow had begun with the beat of a drum. Read more about Saturday's event at the University of Montana's Adams Center.

Conference attendee tour a restoration site in Montana

Professor: Restoration Ecology Industry Creating Job Growth

Restoration work in Montana is creating job growth. Statistics show an eight percent rise in such employment in Montana in 2013. That's according to Cara Nelson, associate professor of restoration ecology at UM, who talked about the growth of restoration work during her presentation at the three-day restoration conference called the "Symposium on Riparian Restoration in a Contaminated Environment: Lessons Learned and Challenges in Moving Forward." Read more about the restoration industry in the Montana Standard.

MMAC art gallery

Montana Museum of Art & Culture Makes List of Great Museums

 TripAdvisor’s travel blog Travel Pod has named the Montana Museum of Art & Culture at the UM an Editor’s Choice pick in its list of best museums in the United States. MMAC is the only museum or cultural entity in Montana to make the list. With a collection of nearly 11,000 pieces of art and antiquity, 2015 marks the organization’s 120th anniversary.  Read the full Editor’s Choice list here.

Yaks in the Himalayas

Researcher Joel Berger Visits Himalayas to Study Yaks

Wild yaks live on the roof of the world, a frosty high-elevation plateau north of the Himalayas. Conservation biologist Joel Berger, UM professor and researcher, wanted to find out how climate change might affect yaks, so he paid them a visit. Listen to Berger’s latest adventure in a new podcast from The Adaptors titled “Yak Life.” 

UM student in Media Arts works on the computer

Online Students Find Community in Media Arts Program

At first, Alli Bargelski worried the sound design class she is taking online at UM would leave her feeling adrift. The BFA student in Media Arts doesn't feel that way anymore. The sophomore with a focus in filmmaking is inspired by the contemporary content the faculty present, and she is pleased to be virtually immersed with other students. Bargelski isn't alone in her review of the program. Read more about the online media arts degree in the Missoulian.

UM Associate Athletic Director for Communications Dave Guffey with Grizzly football player

UM’s Dave Guffey Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

The College Sports Information Directors of America recently announced they will honor longtime UM Associate Athletic Director for Communications Dave Guffey with a Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is given to individuals who have served at least 25 years in the sports information profession, and who are retiring or leaving the profession. Guffey plans to retire from UM in June after serving Grizzly Athletics for nearly 37 years. Read more about Guffey’s award.

Video: Filmmaker Makes a Case for Old-School Technology

Two-time UM graduate Andy Smetanka has been making Super 8 movies and music videos since 2001. In his recent TEDxUMontana talk, Smetanka tells us “Why I Still Shoot in Super 8 Film.”
UM President Royce Engstrom congratulates Rachel DIckson on her Goldwater Scholarship

UM Student Wins Prestigious Goldwater Scholarship

UM sophomore Rachel Dickson recently learned she earned a prestigious Goldwater Scholarship, the top national award for undergraduate research in science, math and engineering. Dickson is UM’s 16th Goldwater Scholar. The Barry Goldwater Excellence in Education Foundation trustees awarded 260 scholars this year. Dickson is a sophomore from Missoula majoring in biology and environmental studies. Read more about Dickson’s latest accomplishment.

McKenzie Capka smiles with her father, Mike Capka.

UM Student Recovering from Massive, but not Uncommon Stroke

UM freshman McKenzie Capka is recovering in her hometown of Spokane after suffering a stroke in her dorm room in February. Capka was active and healthy, but had not been feeling well for several days when the stroke hit. Even after the surgery, doctors warned that McKenzie might not recover well. Last week, though, she was set to be released from the hospital. Read more of Capka’s story in the Missoulian.
UM football coach Bob Stitt

NFL’s Vikings are Getting New Plays from Bob Stitt

The Cult of Stitt is growing. Bob Stitt, who became a go-to guru among college coaches for his innovative schemes at a high-academic D2 school, has moved on to a bigger stage – FCS powerhouse Montana – and he has continued to gain admirers. Now even NFL coaches are coming to see him. Last month, Minnesota Vikings QB coach Scott Turner paid a visit to Stitt at UM. Fox Sports reports on Turner’s visit.
osprey sit on a nest in Missoula

Osprey Watchers Await Reaction to Missoula College Construction

Missoula’s osprey soap opera is about to open its 2015 season. UM ornithologists scrambled to remove a “goose deflector” after the raptors arrived at the Missoula Osprey baseball stadium nest last week. And the city’s most famous osprey couple, Iris and Stanley, will find their whole neighborhood disrupted as former parking lot next door is now the construction site for the future Missoula College campus. Read more about the osprey in the Missoulian.

Video: The Language of Conducting

Darko Butorac is establishing himself as one of the world’s most exciting young conductors. He currently serves as the music director of both the Tallahassee and Missoula Symphony Orchestras. In his recent TEDxUMontana talk, Butorac explores “The Language of Conducting.”

a test subject rides a stationary bicycle in Brent Ruby's lab

Exercise Physiologist Finds Fast Food as Effective as Recovery Food

If McDonald’s is looking for a new image, Brent Ruby might have a suggestion: The Happy Sports Recovery Meal. Take a plain burger and medium Coke. Yes, you can have fries with that. Then advertise that the meal works just as well for recovery as fancy fitness food. As an added benefit, the marketing would actually be backed by science. Ruby, a UM exercise physiologist, is the brains behind a new study. Outside magazine reports on Ruby’s latest findings.

The UM airplane at the Missoula International Airport

Airport, UM Students Team Up to Collect Passenger Data

With passenger counts and airline service on the rise, Missoula International Airport is looking to learn more about its customers and why they’re choosing to fly to the Garden City. To accomplish that, the airport is working with UM’s School of Business Administration to create a passenger survey. The information would be mapped and presented in a big-data effort driven by graduate students in computer science. Read more about the collaboration in the Missoulian.

UM law students tour wind farm

Law Students Make Their Way Across Montana on Energy Tour

“Waking up in Lewistown, Montana, might not be the typical spring break destination, but staring out at the beauty of the geographic center of our state with the sun shining will never disappoint.” Join 20 UM law students as travel 1,400 miles to see firsthand the various forms of energy development in the state as part of the Energy Facilities Field Trip course. Read the students’ blog about the trip here.

Video: Missoula Mayor John Engen Speaks at TEDxUMontana

UM alumnus John Engen is in his third term as the 50th mayor of his hometown of Missoula, Montana. Watch his recent TEDxUMontana talk titled "If a Politician Gave a Speech in the Woods, What Would a Bear Do?"
UM police officers stand with their new canine partners

UM Police Welcome Canine Bomb Sniffers to Force

The objective of Bob and Hooch's mission is a matter of perspective. The two black Labs bounded across the Sky Club in the University of Montana's Adams Center on Wednesday morning, intent on finding an explosive device and subsequently getting a toy – a ratty tennis ball tucked away in their trainers' pockets. The two dogs, both military veterans, are the newest additions to the UM Police Department. Read more about the dogs in the Missoulian.

UM big data students and Professor Lee Tangedahl

UM’s Big Data Certificate Has Recruiters Lining Up

Trenton Starkey, a 25-year-old senior pursuing a degree in management information systems at UM’s School of Business Administration, isn’t stressed about finding a job after he graduates like most of his peers. He’s already had recruiters emailing him and making him offers, and he’s accepted a "cloud engineering" position with Microsoft. Starkey is one of seven UM students who will be the first to graduate with a certificate in data analytics in May. Read more about UM’s big data certificate.

UM student Hope Radford

UM Junior Earns Newman Civic Fellows Award

University of Montana junior Hope Radford recently became a Newman Civic Fellow for her work as a change-agent, focusing on issues related to climate change, social justice and sustainable food production. The Newman Civic Fellows Award is given to college student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities across the country. Read more about Radford’s award.

Video: ClimateTalk: Science and Solutions at TEDxUMontana

We’re stymied in solving the climate change problem because of an underlying challenge – a communication failure – rooted in language and ideology, says climate change communicator and analyst Susan Joy Hassol. Watch her TEDxUMontana talk here.
oil field on the Bakken

Law Students Tour State’s Energy Facilities for Spring Break

Twenty students from the University of Montana’s School of Law are currently taking a 1,400-mile, five-day bus tour across Montana to see firsthand the various forms of energy development in the state. The Energy Facilities Field Trip is a course designed to provide law students an on-the-ground experience of the energy developments about which they study. They are accompanied by law school Interim Dean Greg Munro. Read more about the facilities they’ll be touring this week. 
Bark beetle illustration by Bill Mayer

Bark Beetles Are Decimating Our Forests; Is That a Good Thing?

Bark beetles have long been culling sickly trees in North American forests. But in recent years, they've been working overtime. Prolonged droughts and shorter winters have spurred bark beetles to kill billions of trees in what's likely the largest forest insect outbreak ever recorded, about 10 times the size of past eruptions. "A doubling would have been remarkable," says UM entomologist Diana Six. "Ten times screams that something is really going wrong." Mother Jones magazine joins Six in the field to learn more.

UM marketing students at national conference

Marketing Students Compete, Succeed in National Competition

Ten members of the UM chapter of the American Marketing Association traveled to New Orleans to participate in the 37th annual International Collegiate Conference, which was held March 19-22. A team of six UM marketing students earned an honorable mention in the Sabre Business Simulation Competition, placing fourth just behind Johns Hopkins University. Two students competed in the Marketing Strategy Competition, placing in the top 15 percent of 98 teams nationwide. Read more about their successful trip.

UM campus

Three UM Employees Earn Missoula Cultural Council Awards

The Missoula Cultural Council handed out its annual awards this week and three of the honors went to UM employees. William Marcus, director of UM’s Broadcast Media Center and Montana Public Radio/Montana PBS, received the council’s cultural achievement award; dance artist and instructor Karen Kaufmann was named arts educator; UM arts dean and opera singer Stephen Kalm earned the individual artist award.  Read more about this year’s winners and their contributions to Missoula’s vibrant arts and culture community.

UM computer lab

7 Students to Graduate with Big Data Analytics Certificate

Electronic data is created everywhere, from credit card transactions to satellite sensors. As its volume and velocity continue to increase, businesses and scientists have recognized the need for new techniques to analyze this “big data.” Several departments at UM responded to this trend by building an interdisciplinary curriculum to educate UM students on cutting-edge approaches. This May, seven UM students will be the first to graduate with a certificate in data analytics. Read more about UM’s data analytics certificate.

UM campus

Teams Develop New Ideas to Improve Rural Health Care

Medical professionals from across the country met at UM over the weekend to try to solve the health care problems of rural communities by innovating fresh ideas. The event, called Hacking Rural Medicine, included a competition called a “rural medicine hackathon” where teams developed ideas for a new tool or product to help solve a problem experienced by the rural medical community. Read more about the event in the Missoulian.

Assistant Professor Daisy Rooks

Rooks Earns Spot on 'Professors Who Inspire' List

UM sociology Assistant Professor Daisy Rooks recently was named one of “40 Under 40: Professors Who Inspire” by Rooks and the other professors honored were chosen based on their ability to captivate and engage students in the classroom, their outstanding involvement on campus and in the community, and their overwhelming passion for their subject matter. Nominations were collected through student, alumni and faculty recommendations. Read more about Rooks here.

Team of University of Montana geosciences students

Geosciences Team Wins Regional Competition, Advances

A team of University of Montana geosciences graduate and undergraduate students won the regional American Association of Petroleum Geologists’ Imperial Barrel Award on Saturday, March 14. The students will advance to the international competition in Denver. Students Anna Phelps, Brianna Berg, Cody Bomberger, Clayton Schultz and John Zupanic presented their analysis to a panel of industry experts who selected a winner based on technical findings and presentation quality. Read more about their geosciences win here.

A rainbow spans a forest infected with mountain pine beetle

Pine Beetle Epidemic: The Bug That’s Eating the Woods

Diana Six parked at the edge of a pine forest in southwestern Montana’s Big Hole Valley. Beneath snow-tipped peaks, lodgepole pines in four different colors draped the hillside—a time line of carnage. The gray ones had died in 2009. Light red trees, still holding needles, had succumbed in 2011. Darker, auburn trees had perished in 2012. Even the seemingly healthy green trees, said Six, a ponytailed, bodybuilding, beer-brewing entomologist at UM, were not what they seemed. National Geographic reports.

Garden manager Natasha Hegmann works in the aquaponic garden

UM Dining Makes First Harvest from Aquaponic Garden

In this garden, fish help grow vegetables like chard, kale and basil, and soil isn't in sight. This week, UM Dining will harvest the first plants it grew in a new aquaponic garden set up in The Corner Store. It will sell them to students Friday at its farmers market. UM Dining started the aquaponic garden in December as one more way to provide local produce to students and chefs. Read more about the garden in the Missoulian.

Professor Simona Stan

Marketing Professor Pushes Students to Look Past the Profit Line

In Romania, career choices were limited. Students chose what high school to attend based on their interest in math and physics, biology and humanities or medicine. But after pursuing a male-dominated field of math and physics in her home country, University of Montana professor Simona Stan found her passion for marketing. Today Stan is professor and director of UM’s masters of business administration program. Read more about Stan in the Montana Kaimin.

close-up of snow in pine tree

NASA’s SMAP Almost Ready to Map Frozen Soil

One ecosystem where scientists would most like to understand the effects of changing freeze/thaw cycles is boreal forests. But we know very little about how these forests are changing. That’s about to change. By the end of April, NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive mission, or SMAP, will begin monitoring the frozen or thawed state of the landscape north of 45 degrees north latitude every two days. UM Professor John Kimball is a member of the team that developed SMAP. Read more about his work. 

Crews work at the site of the new Missoula College building

Work Begins at Missoula College Site on East Broadway

It’s been years in the planning, but ground is finally being broken at the East Broadway site of Missoula College's new $32 million home, on the banks of the Clark Fork River. About 30 workers, including truck drivers, crane operators and backhoe operators, are digging up tons of earth as phase 1 of construction begins. Read more the construction of the new Missoula College building in the Missoulian.

UM students gather for a vigil on the Oval Sunday night

Montana Kaimin Editorial: Take Care of One Another

“One death of a member of the campus community, is tragic. Two is disorienting. But three, three is gut-wrenching. Sunday night on the Oval, people stood together to remember two students from UM. While the candles from that memorial still flickered Monday afternoon, it was announced a third student had died over the weekend.” The editorial board of UM’s student newspaper reflects on the recent loss of three UM students. 

The Lady Griz celebrate winning the Big Sky Championship

Lady Griz Draw Notre Dame in NCAA Tournament

The Montana women's basketball team received a No. 16 seed and will face No. 1 Notre Dame Friday, March 20, at South Bend, Indiana, in the opening round of the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship. The Lady Griz (24-8), tournament champions of the Big Sky Conference, and Fighting Irish (31-2), tournament champions of the ACC, will tip off at 5:30 p.m. (MT) at UND's Purcell Pavilion. The game will be aired regionally on ESPN2. Read more on

the cast of Pippin rehearses

'Pippin' Offers Fresh Look at Classic Musical

The UM production of “Pippin,” should feel fresh to audience members enchanted by the original 1972 Broadway musical or the recent revival, both of which won a shelf of Tony Awards. Director Hillary Sea Bard deliberately avoided looking at video or images of the production, in either the first incarnation shaped by Bob Fosse, the legendary director and choreographer, or the new Cirque du Soleil-inspired one. Read more about the musical, which opens March 17.

Main Hall with Mount Sentinel in the background

A Message from the President

Dear Campus Community, It is with a heavy heart that I write to report a sad and tragic weekend for the UM family. Three students passed away this weekend in unrelated incidents. Two have been reported in the local media, and the third involves the untimely death of a UM law student. In all cases, the families have been appropriately notified and we have extended sympathies on behalf of the entire University community. Read more from President Engstrom.

Professor Erick Greene in his office at UM

Professor Continues to Uncover Mysteries of Wildlife Biology

A ratty osprey soared over the Clark Fork River, a giant fish caught between its talons. A few feet away, another osprey watched from her nest. Her partner hadn’t returned home for the summer and she was ready to mate. The raptor, named Iris, called the male over. Erick Greene, a UM wildlife biology professor, watched the scene from below. He knew he was witnessing something rare, something great. The Montana Kaimin reports on Greene’s osprey project.

Casting director Rene Haynes

Scouting Talent: Odyssey of Stars Honoree Casts Hollywood Films

Rene Haynes has lived in Los Angeles for decades now, and she still makes it back to Montana to visit. Sometimes she heads to Great Falls, where the C.M. Russell High School graduate still has family. Sometimes she travels the state's seven Indian reservations to seek out talent for Hollywood film projects. The former UM student has become renowned as a casting director specializing in Native American and First Nations roles. Read more about Haynes in the Missoulian.

Griz player drives with basketball

Griz, Lady Griz Advance to Semifinals in Big Sky Tourneys

The Griz and Lady Griz basketball teams both advanced to the semifinals of the men’s and women’s Big Sky Conference tournaments at UM’s Dahlberg Arena. The Lady Griz will face Eastern Washington at 1:30 p.m. Friday, March 13. The Griz will play the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks in the tourney semifinal game at 8 p.m. And Lady Griz Coach Robin Selvig was named Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year on Thursday. Read more basketball news at

Hank Green

Hank Green Loves Science, and Wants Others to Love it, Too

Hank Green, Internet Guy. Even if you don’t know who he is, there’s a good chance he has helped teach your kids or the kids of someone you know how photosynthesis, mitosis and biological molecules work, among a great many things. Truth be told, he’s an online video master. And Green, who holds a master's degree in environmental studies from University of Montana, loves science. U.S. News and World Report talks with Green about his success. 

UM alumni Craig Holtet and Ron Ramsbacher

Two Alumni Transform Missoula Grocery Stores Under Local Ownership

Congratulations to UM alumni Craig Holtet and Ron Ramsbacher, who this week converted Missoula’s two massive former Safeway grocery stores to local ownership and reopened them as Missoula Fresh Markets. Holtet and Ramsbacher bought Orange Street Food Farm in 2013 and acquired Missoula’s two Safeway stores after Albertsons bought Safeway in 2014. The duo says they are excited to be able to increase the local ownership of Missoula businesses. Read more about the new stores in the Missoulian.

Video: The Best of Benny the Bull

Benny the Bull, mascot of the Chicago Bulls, was named the top sports mascot in America by Forbes magazine in 2013. Inside the suit is Barry Anderson, who earned the position after embodying Monte at the University of Montana. Check out Benny’s moves in this 2013-14 highlight reel.

students walk across UM's Oval in winter

Provost Seeks Comments on Shortening Winter Break

UM currently has one of the longest winter breaks in the nation at six weeks. Some students, parents, faculty and administrators have raised issues regarding the length of the break. The Office of the Provost has proposed adjusting the dates of winter break in the future. Provost Perry Brown welcomes comments on this proposal from the campus community through March 27. Learn more about the proposal and find out how to comment here. 

Tropical forest

Researcher Helps Predict Future Climate Change Impacts on Tropics

Researchers at the University of Montana, Princeton University, Stanford University and Rutgers University, among others, are collecting new measurements of tropical forests to gain a better understanding of how they respond to seasonal climate variations. The new information helps predict how the global tropics may react to future climate change. These findings are detailed in a paper titled “Photosynthetic seasonality of global tropical forests constrained by hydroclimate,” which was published in Nature Geoscience this month. Read more about the research.

Doctor Tim Ceremore, right, with St. Patrick Hospital, talks with resident Mick Blake

UM's Family Medicine Residency Earns High Marks

In June 2013, western Montana had no resident physicians. This July, 30 doctors will be at work in the Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana, along with nine core faculty, more than 100 community faculty, and five staff. The doctors work at St. Patrick Hospital, Community Medical Center, Partnership Health Center, Flathead Community Health Center, and Kalispell Regional Medical Center. Read more about the UM’s medical residency program.

Salish tribal elder Louis “Louie” Adams speaks during Missoula College groundbreaking

UM to Award Honorary Doctorate to Native American Educator

Salish tribal elder Louis “Louie” Adams has spent a lifetime teaching others the stories, culture and language of his people. Now the University of Montana will honor this tireless educator with an honorary doctorate of humane letters. His nomination was approved by the state Board of Regents on March 6. He will be awarded the honorary doctorate during UM’s 118th Commencement Ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 16, in Washington-Grizzly Stadium. Read more about Adams.

Lab technicians work at the U.S. Forest Service National Genomics Center for Wildlife and Fish Conservation

New Missoula Lab Uses DNA to Expose Hidden Wildlife

Technicians in the U.S. Forest Service’s new lab building can spot the presence (or absence) of specific fish in a whole river drainage from a cup of water. They can trace the family tree of a sage grouse from a tail feather. Don’t get them started on what they can tell when a grizzly bear poops in the woods. The new lab at UM can produce those answers at a scale that’s cost-effective, reliable and defensible. Read more about the new lab.

Blackstone Manager Jennifer Stephens talks with entrepreneurs

Blackstone LaunchPad Helps Entrepreneurs Start Businesses

The Blackstone LaunchPad is a program at the University of Montana. It helps students, faculty, staff and alumni turn their ideas into businesses and nonprofit organizations. The LaunchPad has been at the University of Montana for about a year. Over 300 students, alumni and faculty have registered with the LaunchPad, and around 170 ideas have been pitched. All are in various stages of development. KECI-TV reports on UM’s Blackstone LaunchPad.

Tommy Livoti works at a dig site at Fort Missoula

Doctoral Student Envisions Way to Protect Antiquities During Wartime

Walking the ancient streets of Babylon allowed Tommy Livoti to find his path in life. In 2003, the Missoula native and UM grad was a Marine Corps platoon commander in Iraq. Livoti saw a water-treatment system and military headquarters built upon archeological treasure troves. It all felt so wrong.  It was then that Livoti became powerfully interested in protecting cultural properties during warfare. Read more how Livoti is combining his military and archeology background into one. 

ruth Swaney

Forestry School Hires New Native American Program Coordinator

The College of Forestry and Conservation announces the appointment of Ruth Ann Swaney as coordinator of the Native American Natural Resource Program. Swaney is an enrolled tribal member of the Three Affiliated Tribes on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota. Swaney also has family from the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in Montana. She holds a master’s degree in organismal biology and ecology from UM and is working on a doctorate in society and conservation. Read more about Swaney.

William Shakespeare

UM to Host Shakespeare’s First Folio Exhibition in 2016

UM has been selected as Montana’s host site for “First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare,” a national traveling exhibition of one of the world’s most treasured books – the Shakespeare First Folio. The Folger Shakespeare Library, in partnership with Cincinnati Museum Center and the American Library Association, is touring the exhibition in 2016. Final touring dates will be announced in April. Read more about UM’s chance to host the First Folio.

UM alum leads Peace Corps class

UM Ranks No. 6 for Producing Peace Corps Volunteers

UM has been named the No. 6 medium-sized university for producing Peace Corps volunteers, making a big jump up from its 2014 ranking at No. 12. Currently, 27 UM alumni serve with the Peace Corps worldwide. 2015 also marks the 11th year the University has placed in the top 25 on the medium-sized volunteer-producing colleges and universities list. Read more about UM's latest Peace Corps ranking.

UM basketball coach Travis DeCuire

UM Adds Another Branch to Mighty Basketball Coaching Tree

Montana is home to 10 National Forests. The University of Montana has a coaching tree worthy of that. Travis DeCuire is its latest branch. "We are Montana," say the maroon banners around campus, and DeCuire qualifies doubly — as the school's first-year men's basketball coach and as a UM graduate, Class of 1994. USA Today reports on UM’s basketball coaching legacy and it’s future under DeCuire. 

rescuers pull a victim from the Mount Jumbo avalanche in 2014

Mount Jumbo Avalanche: One Year Later

To get out of his head, Fred Allendorf walks. He walks in the Bitterroot or the Rattlesnake, where he often gets the urge to visit the place he once lived – a two-story home at the base of Mount Jumbo. Feb. 28, 2015 marks the one-year anniversary of the Mount Jumbo avalanche that jolted the Missoula community and buried three people. The Montana Kaimin student newspaper looks back on the tragedy. 

Author Smith Henderson

Debut Novel by UM Alumnus Wins 2014 Montana Book Award

"Fourth of July Creek," a novel written by Hellgate High School and UM graduate Smith Henderson, has won the 2014 Montana Book Award. The annual award "recognizes literary and/or artistic excellence in a book written or illustrated by someone who lives in Montana, is set in Montana, or deals with Montana themes or issues," according to organizers. "Fourth of July Creek" is the debut novel from Henderson. Read more about the 2014 Montana Book Award.

Broccoli sprouts grow in the Lomasson Center outside of the Food Zoo.

UM Dining Garden May Triple in Size with Help from $10,000 Grant

UM received a $10,000 grant from Gov. Steve Bullock and the Growth Through Agriculture program this week, which will be used to improve the school's garden the farm to college program. UM Dining garden manager Natasha Hegmann said part of the money will be used to expand the garden located behind the Lommasson Center. The Montana Kaimin reports on the grant and UM’s garden plans.

Students work on medical dummies at Missoula College

Health Care Students at Missoula College Find Jobs Aplenty

It’s no secret that job growth within the health care industry is booming as the American population ages. A national emphasis on preventative care, growing rates of chronic conditions and “baby boomers” have all led to an increased demand for health care professionals. In Missoula County, that trend has far-reaching implications, as the local economy is dependent on the health care industry and hundreds of college students are receiving the training necessary to enter the field. Read more about the health care field in the Missoulian.

Andrea Stierle, a chemistry professor at UM, looks at a beaker

Crusade Against Cancer: Scientists Search Berkeley Pit for Answers

Professors researching at UM have turned to the Berkeley Pit's fungi as a potential building block in the cure for cancer. In their lab, Andrea Stierle tracks data on her computer while her husband, Don Stierle, writes the couple’s findings in a lab notebook. They sit together, surrounded chemical hoods, scattered petri dishes and graduated cylinders. Read more about the Stierles’ research in the Montana Kaimin.

UM alumna Shelli Johnson

Alumna Looks Back: ‘My Most Spectacular Failure was a Gift’

“The years tell us what the days cannot.” UM alumna Shelli Johnson reflects on what she considered her greatest failure at the time: losing her basketball scholarship and quitting the team. “During my recent look back at all of this, I realized the things I did in the months following my aforementioned failure not only made a significant difference in my life during that time, but continue to inform my life, and my work.” Read more on the Make it Missoula blog. 

UM Ph.D. candidate Jenny Lind works on a computer

STEM Education Seeing Rapid Growth in Montana

Children with a passion for science, technology, engineering and math – often referred to as STEM – can be found around Western Montana. Based on Chamber of Commerce data, Montana is tenth in the nation in STEM growth. But that doesn't mean there's no room for improvement. The University of Montana makes an effort engage young students in STEM fields while also drawing top-notch college students in the same areas of study. KPAX-TV reports on the future of STEM in Montana.

UM law students Hannah Cail, Katelyn Hepburn and Lindsey West

Environmental Moot Court Team Advances to Final Round

Three UM School of Law students advanced to the final round of the 2015 National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition held Feb. 19-21 in White Plains, New York. Third-year law student Katelyn Hepburn and second-year students Lindsey West and Hannah Cail faced off against Vermont Law School and the University of Mississippi, marking the first time UM made the final round since 2005. Additionally, Hepburn won the award for best oralist. Read more about UM’s showing at the competition.

Globetrotter Shane Scooter Christensen interacts with a young fan

Alumnus Scooter Christensen Finds Stardom with Globetrotters

Although he didn’t know it at the time, Shane “Scooter” Christensen spent most of his life practicing to be a Harlem Globetrotter. As a youngster, he was inseparable from his basketball and when the former Griz point guard graduated in 2002, he relentlessly pursued his dream of playing professionally until one day he caught the eye of a Globetrotters scout. Read Christensen’s inspiring story in the Montanan magazine.

Comics writer Tim Daniel shows some of his work

UM Staff Member’s Comic to be Adapted for Television Series

UM staff member Tim Daniel, who turned a hobby into a second career as a comics writer, will soon see his creation adapted into a live-action television show. The Missoula writer's title, “Enormous,” will be developed by Fox Television Studios and New Regency Television, and producer Adrian Askarieh's Prime Universe Films. The story is set in Arizona shortly after an apocalyptic environmental disaster. Read more about Daniel’s success.

Purple Heart veterans are recognized during UM basketball game

UM Recognized as Purple Heart University for Service to Veterans

During halftime of Saturday night's basketball game at Dahlberg Arena, UM officially became a Purple Heart university. Capt. Char Gatlin, chief of staff for the Department of Montana Military Order of the Purple Heart, said the recognition will place UM among a handful of select universities to have received the honor. “It’s a huge recognition for the school and it recognizes UM as being veteran friendly,” Gatlin said. Read more in the Missoulian.

UM Entertainment Management students and program director at Pollstar Live conference

Entertainment Management Students Attend Industry Conference

Several UM students recently traveled to Nashville to attend Pollstar Live! 2015, the premier conference and trade show for the concert industry. The students from UM’s Entertainment Management program were right in the middle of the action, meeting with industry professionals, hearing from UM alumni who work in the business, and attending expert panels and, of course, visiting some of Nashville’s renowned music venues. Read more on UM’s Entertainment Management blog. 

Zack Wagenmann participates in media interview during the NFL Combine

Wagenmann Impresses in Explosion Drills at NFL Combine

Former Montana Grizzly Zack Wagenmann continued his push toward a career playing football with an appearance at the NFL Scouting Combine on Sunday. And oh what a showing it was. Wagenmann scored high marks and times in four of the speed and explosion workouts to help offset a tough showing on the strength side on the third day of the Combine. Read more about Wagenmann’s showing in the Missoulian.

Blakely Brown, a researcher in UM’s Department of Health and Human Performance

UM Researchers Work to Find Solutions with Native Communities

A pair of UM researchers has become a regular sight in some of the most remote communities in the U.S., both in the Lower 48 and the far north. Blakely Brown, a professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance, and Desirae Ware, a program manager with the Center for Environmental Health Sciences, have spent years traveling to rural Native American communities in Montana and Alaska to pursue unique research opportunities. Read more in Vision, UM’s research magazine.

doctors work at the Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana

UM Family Medicine Residency Program Earns High Marks

UM’s family medicine residency program recently was awarded the highest level of accreditation available from its oversight organization. The Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana earned the high marks from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. UM launched the residency program in 2013, and it will train 30 medical residents at a time after the third class is added this year. Read more about the recent accreditation. 

students walk across UM's Oval

Students Named Gates Millennium Scholars, Earn Scholarships

Five UM students recently were named Gates Millennium Scholars, earning more than $43,000 in scholarships. Since the inception of the program in 1999, it has produced more than 18,000 Gates Millennium Scholars at more than 1,800 institutions of higher education, awarding over $800 million in scholarships to date. UM students have received a total of $1,193,285 from the program. Read more about UM’s latest Gates Millennium Scholars.

a demonstration in UM's new planetarium

UM’s State-of-the-Art Planetarium Up and Running

It's understandable if you're unaware of the hidden planetarium beneath the Native American Center. The project has been in the works since 2013, but the astronomy department has kept it pretty quiet, preferring to introduce it to the public gradually. The lack of fanfare has nothing to do with its quality, however. Though the domed room housing it is not enormous, the equipment's capabilities are stellar. The Montana Kaimin reports on UM’s planetarium. 

 UM competitors Stephen Jenkins and Jena Trejo with U.S. Forest Service Assistant Chief Leslie Weldon, National Forest Foundation board member Craig Barrett and president Bill Possiel

UM Students Win Prize for Business Idea with Wood Waste

UM College of Forestry and Conservation student Stephen Jenkins fromBigfork and recent forestry graduate Jena Trejo from Marcola, Oregon, were first runners-up in the Barrett Foundation Business Concept Challenge. The challenge recognizes business ideas that solve natural resource challenges in America’s national forests. Jenkins and Trejo developed a business plan to convert logging slash and other wood waste into methanol and liquid carbon dioxide through a mobile gasification unit. Read more about their business plan.

an illustration of UM's new golf facility at the Ranch Club

Griz Break Ground on Indoor Practice Facility for Golfers

When the recruiting trail Montana golf coach Joni Stephens follows takes her south, she is often met with a very specific question: What do we do in the winter? For years Montana's golf coaches were forced to tell prospective golfers they would have to rely on nets, simulators and mirrors to keep their swings grooved when the temperatures dropped - until now. Montana broke ground Monday at the Ranch Club on a new indoor practice facility. Read more about the new space.

Video: TEDxUMontana Returns Feb. 20 with Language Theme

TEDxUMontana returns for a second year, and the theme of this year’s event is language. Tickets are now on sale. The event will take place from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 20, in the Dennison Theater. Learn more and purchase tickets at

A rainbow arches over Mount Sentinel

UM Seeks Comment on Natural Areas Management Plan

UM is seeking public comment on a draft management plan for the land UM owns on Mount Sentinel and at Fort Missoula. It is the first management plan for UM’s natural areas, which total more than 650 acres. The plan covers grassland and forest stewardship, invasive plant management, trail maintenance and social/safety issues. Read the plan and learn how to submit comments at Public comment will be accepted through April 1. 

Professor David Shepherd and researcher Fanny Diaz examine a cell culture

Researchers Advance Novel Therapy for Immune System-Related Diseases

When the body turns against itself, it can strike with debilitating and deadly accuracy. The war raging inside people with autoimmune disorders can be devastating, and the current gold standard of care involves complete demilitarization of the body’s defenses by highly immunosuppressive drugs. But now UM researchers are developing a more targeted response. Read more about the advancements taking place in Professor David Shepherd’s lab in Vision, UM's research magazine.

Lady Griz player Shanae Gilham dribbles down the court during a game

Gilham's Trial: After Third ACL Surgery, Gilham Back with Lady Griz

As soon as Shanae Gilham hit the floor in Dahlberg Arena, she knew exactly what happened. She had torn her ACL for the third time. Although two years have passed, by the start of the 2014-2015 season, Gilham still wasn't cleared for contact practices. She didn't know if she would play basketball this season, or if she even wanted to play. Now, almost a year in the making, No. 42 is finally back on the court. Read more about Gilham’s return.

UM Professor Doug Emlen holds a replica of a saber-toothed cat skull

UM Professor Explains Animal Weaponry in New Book

It’s not easy being a male Onthophagus nigriventris dung beetle. When they’re not jostling for space around a pile of excrement, they’re trying to mate with females while ensuring no other male does the same. It’s a relentless endeavor for which they’ve developed a helpful tool: weapons. It’s the evolutionary consequence of these weapons that interests Doug Emlen, a biologist at UM. Read more about Emlen’s research on animal weaponry in the Montanan.

Kian Bertin atop Ch-paa-qn Peak

Ch-paa-qn Peak: Shuffling from Anguish to Enlightenment

“The phone rings and rings, each chime pounding in my head. I groan, stretching my arm out, reaching for the source of my annoyance. I flip it open, sit up, and blearily rub my eyes. An annoyed voice calls out. It’s my brother. I’m late. We were supposed to meet to climb Ch-paa-qn Peak at 9.” UM freshman Kian Bertin climbed out of bed to climb Ch-paa-qn Peak for his Adventure Writing class. Read about his hike on the Make it Missoula blog.

Professor Dr. Lilian Calderón-Garcidueñas in her UM lab

Study: Air Pollution Affects Short-Term Memory, IQ, Brain Metabolic Ratios

City smog lowers children’s IQ. This is among findings from a recent UM study that found children living in cities with significant air pollution are at an increased risk for detrimental impacts to the brain. Findings by UM Professor Dr. Lilian Calderón-Garcidueñas, MA, MD, Ph.D., and her team of researchers are detailed in a paper titled “Decreases in Short-Term Memory, IQ and Altered Brain Metabolic Rations in Urban Apolipoprotein ε4 Children Exposed to Air Pollution.” Read more about the research.

Schoolchildren dance on stage with adults

Missoula Schoolchildren Learn Fire Science Through Interactive Dance

Missoula schoolchildren became flames and trees Tuesday during “Fire Speaks the Land,” an interactive dance performance at UM that taught students about fire science. CoMotion Dance Project used the presentation to launch its fourth season performing for and with students all across western Montana. Through the production, students learned how fire burns in different types of forests and how it impacts the landscape. Learn more about the CoMotion Dance Project in the Missoulian.

UM researchers work with a young client

Researchers Develop Programs to Help Montanans Cope with Autism

Less than a decade ago, autism wasn’t on many people’s radar. Back then it was diagnosed at about 1 in 10,000 children. Now it’s 1 in 68. With the growing need for services, three educators at UM have spearheaded and implemented programs and projects that aim for autism intervention. The educators hope to make real-world impacts on Montana communities, as well as provide practical experience for UM students in the field. Read more in Vision, UM’s annual research publication.

UM Regents Professor Rich Bridges sits in his lab

UM Brain Disorder Research Moves Toward Clinical Testing

UM is one step closer to turning a discovery into a drug. Promentis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. recently announced it will enter an exclusive agreement with UM to commercialize a discovery made by a team of UM faculty scientists that has the potential to treat brain cancer and possibly other disorders of the central nervous system. The team includes professors Richard Bridges, Sarjubhai Patel, Nicholas Natale, Philippe Diaz and Charles Thompson. Read more about UM’s agreement with the pharmaceutical company.

Jace Laakso, UM staff member and artist, stands in front of his exhibit in the UC Gallery

Missoula Artist Sketches Self-Portrait a Day for a Year

In the University Center Gallery, 365 small self-portraits are arranged in rows on the north wall. They start on May 6, 2013, when Jace Laakso, an artist who works in information technology at UM, thought of a simple solution to a common problem. He got a "great haircut." But every time he gets a haircut, he says he wants the same one as last time. So he took a picture. Then he decided to take one every day. Read more about Laakso’s exhibit. 

UM Production concert posters

For Those About To Rock: UM Concert Posters Spark Memories

“What was your first concert? It’s a great question—a surefire conversation starter in pretty much any setting. Mine happened to be Pearl Jam, who played an intimate show for about 1,200 lucky fans at the University Theatre here at UM on June 16, 1993,” writes Montanan magazine editor John Heaney. As one of only a handful of student-run concert production organizations in the country, UM Productions is responsible for providing many of those moments. Read more and view concert posters here. 

The view from Mount Sentinel looking over town

Adventure Writing Assignment: Rising Above the Homesick Blues

“A 360-degree view of Missoula and the surrounding mountains greeted me at the summit. I found myself smiling inside, discovering something I’d been doubting since I’d been in Missoula. I can be happy here. I can find ways to experience many of the same feelings I do back home.” UM freshman Lione Clare reckons with feelings of homesickness as she hikes Missoula’s Crazy Canyon and writes about it for her Adventure Writing class. Read her post on the Make It Missoula blog.

Three of Missoula's young filmmakers pose in front of the Wilma Theatre

Hip Flicks: Meet Missoula's Up-and-Coming Filmmakers

Every year, filmmakers from across the world apply to have their films screened at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. This year, four filmmakers under 30 from the festival’s home city made the cut. Three of them are current or future UM students. Local magazine Corridor talked with each of them about their movies, how they got started in documentary filmmaking, and the direction of their careers.

vertical growing towers hang in the Corner Store

Corner Store Experiment Uses Fish as Local, Sustainable Farmers

A new UM Dining experiment is using vertical growing towers, LED lights and fish to grow food. The aquaponic system is set up in the Corner Store, growing leafy greens like lettuce, kale, basil and bok choy. UM Dining’s garden manager, Natasha Hegman, said she is hoping to have a first harvest at the end of February. The Montana Kaimin reports on this unique experiment at UM.

football coach Bob Stitt

Griz Load Up on Local Talent, Receivers on Signing Day

Like everything else Bob Stitt does, his recruiting class of 2015 came together quickly and with plenty of excitement on the offensive end. The first-year Montana head coach announced his debut class of recruits Wednesday on national signing day less than two months after his hire as the 36th coach of the Grizzly football program. Montana officially added 21 players, including a pair of transfers. Read more about who the Griz acquired on signing day in the Missoulian.

UM student Rebecca Collins reaches Santiago

Reaching Santiago: UM Student Reflects on Pilgrimage

Last fall, UM student Rebecca Collins completed 12 credits of independent study on the Camino de Santiago, a medieval pilgrimage in southern France and northern Spain. Equipped with knowledge from her interdisciplinary studies on pilgrimage history, European pilgrimage literature and nature writing, she walked the Camino de Santiago herself and do nature writing of her own. In this Global Leadership Initiative blog post, Collins reflects on her journey.

Kelsey Lucostic bats during Montana softball practice

Montana Softball: Griz Ready for Historic Program Opener

Very early on the morning of Jan. 31 the upstart Montana softball program released pictures through its Twitter account of its under-construction stadium. Beyond Montana's stadium, however, there is another key element of the program establishment: At 4 p.m. Thursday in Las Cruces, New Mexico, the Griz will play the first Division I softball game in the school's 122-year history. Read more about the newest Grizzly sport in the Missoulian.

UM alumna Ashley Heers

Evolutionary Biologists Ask: Which Came First, the Dinosaur or the Bird?

The consensus is in: Birds are living dinosaurs. But how that epic evolutionary leap took place remains one of science’s greatest mysteries. Evolutionary biologists like Ashley Heers represent the next generation of researchers. She is using the latest video and computer modeling technology to study this evolutionary mystery. Heers recently completed her Ph.D. with Kenneth Dial at the UM’s Flight Laboratory, probably the world’s leading research center on bird aeronautics. Aubodon Magazine reports in this month’s cover story.

M. Sanjayan parachutes next to a bird

Montana Scientist Travels to 29 Countries to Film New PBS Series

M. Sanjayan once held a 9-foot shark in the Caribbean as it gave birth. It was all in a day’s work for the world-renowned scientist and UM research faculty member who just completed a five-year project with PBS and National Geographic that took him to 29 countries. The series, “Earth – A New Wild,” airs Wednesday nights on PBS in February, beginning with a double episode this week. Read more about Sanjayan in the Missoulian and watch the PBS series trailer here.

UM student Tanner Saul in South Africa

Wild Cats in the City: Research Takes Student to South Africa

The sun hadn’t risen yet, but Tanner Saul was up. He unzipped his tent and stepped out into the chilly morning, still unable to see the African landscape surrounding him. Saul, a sophomore wildlife biology major at the University of Montana, spent the entire six-week winter break studying a medium-sized wild cat, the caracal, in Cape Town, South Africa. The Montana Kaimin reports on Saul’s adventure.

Author and UM graduate S.M. Hulse

UM Alumna Draws on Western Landscape for Debut Novel

S.M. Hulse never set out to write a “Western novel.” “I’ve spent my whole life living in the West, I kind of just felt like I’m writing a novel about the people and places I know,” she said. Hulse, a Spokane native who earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Montana, returned to Missoula recently for a reading of her debut novel, “Black River," out now on Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Read more about Hulse’s acclaimed first novel in the Missoulian.

Video: Global Leadership Initiative: The GLI Student Experience

The University of Montana’s Global Leadership Initiative is a four-year fellowship that provides students unique experiences through a community. GLI enriches academic learning by combining practical experiences with classroom education. Learn more about UM's unique GLI program in this video.

GMOtional documentary film

Student-Alumni Documentary Earns Honors in Filmmaking Contest

A documentary created by UM students and recent alumni recently won an award at the International Fusion Doc Challenge, a five-day filmmaking competition. Director Tom Stagg, a recent UM alumnus, and co-director Brent Bluehouse, UM graduate student, worked with students Anne Bergman, Brian Rapaport, Tessla Hastings, Channing Nun and UM staff member Christian Gold Stagg created “GMOtional,” which won “Best use of Genres: Nature/Environmental.” Learn more about the competition here and watch the “GMOtional” trailer here.

Montana Rep artistic director Greg Johnson

Montana Rep's Artistic Director Marks 25 Years at Helm

When Greg Johnson decamped for Missoula from New York City in 1990, the Montana Repertory Theatre's national tour reached only three states. A quarter-century later, Johnson still leads the Rep, which has grown under his tenure into a professional troupe recognized across the U.S. "It's the largest national tour of straight plays in the country," he said. Read more about how Johnson has shaped the Rep in the Missoulian.

The view from Mount Sentinel looking over town

Tackling Pengelly: Class Assignment Takes Student Straight Up

“I love hiking, but as I spun in circles running from class to class this semester, I just couldn’t find time for this hike. I found time for other hikes, but never the Pengelly Ridge Trail.” UM freshman Carly Stinson makes time to climb Mount Sentinel’s steep Pengelly Trail while on assignment for her Adventure Writing class. Read about her climb on the Make It Missoula blog.

UM volleyball players block during a game last season

UM Hires Doyon as New Volleyball Coach

The Montana Grizzlies have hired Brian Doyon as the newest head coach of the volleyball team, the athletic department announced Wednesday. Doyon will replace Jerry Wagner, who stepped down in November. Wagner coached the Griz to a 102-147 record over his seven years at the helm. Doyon spent the past six years as an assistant coach at the University of Utah, where he coached blocking. Read more about UM’s newest coach in the Montana Kaimin.

Video: Researchers Conduct Marathon Cape Research Study

Researchers in UM’s Center for Work Physiology & Exercise Metabolism recently teamed up with Heatsheets to study the effectiveness of the capes marathon runners receive after crossing the finish line. Learn how their research is improving the post-race experience in this video.   

UM Naturalist Marilyn Marler in her office

UM Naturalist Awarded Fulbright to Vietnam

Marilyn Marler soon will trade the grasslands and wildflowers of Mount Sentinel for the wetlands and crocodiles of Vietnam. In late February, Marler, the Missoula City Council president, heads to Cat Tien National Park on a prestigious Fulbright award. The UM naturalist will spend the month of March as a Fulbright specialist in a U.S. Department of State program that promotes relationships "between U.S. scholars and professionals and their counterparts" overseas. Read more about Marler’s assignment. 

Mike and Maureen Mansfield statue at UM

Mansfield Global Leadership Podcast: An Interview with Frank Jannuzi

In the latest episode of the Mansfield Global Leadership Podcast, features an interview with Frank Jannuzi, CEO and president of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation. Jannuzi shares his insights into working with all three branches of government. Additionally, along with a few stories of his days at Amnesty International, the State Department, and advising Joseph Biden and John Kerry. Listen to the full episode titled “Leadership Insights with Frank Jannuzi.”

Members of UM's Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society

Students Take Wildlife Science and Conservation to the Community

The fall semester of 2014 was an exciting one for the University of Montana’s Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society. The 40-plus members maintain an active schedule with weekly meetings and frequent weekend events. This year the Student Chapter is taking a special interest in community involvement. The students work with local wildlife agencies, present in schools, and promote community awareness of conservation issues. Read more about what UM chapter achieved this past fall.

UM Associate Professor Benedicte Boisseron

Professor Earns Outstanding Book Award for ‘Creole Renegades’

A UM’s professor’s cross-cultural analysis received one of the top book awards from the Caribbean Philosophical Association. Benedicte Boisseron, an associate professor of French and Francophone language and literature at UM, received the Nicolás Guillén Outstanding Book Award for “Creole Renegades: Rhetoric of Betrayal and Guilt in the Caribbean Diaspora.” “This book was important for me to write because it carries an autobiographical resonance,” Boisseron said. Read more about Boisseron’s book.

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

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.

Video: Do You Hear What I Hear? Remembering Dale Sherrard

UM lost a member of the family last week when School of Media Arts Assistant Professor Dale Sherrard passed away. Dale is an immensely talented experimental composer, sonic sculptor and sound designer. In his memory, we share Dale’s talk on technology and sonic culture from last year’s TEDxUMontana event. 

Video: UM Alum to Interview President Obama on YouTube

On Jan. 22, three YouTube creators including UM alumnus Hank Green will interview President Obama about the top concerns facing them and their audiences. Share the questions you have for the president using #YouTubeAsksObama on social media to suggest issues.

<image_alt />

J.K. Simmons Nominated for Supporting Actor Oscar

J.K. Simmons, a UM graduate, has been nominated for an Oscar for best supporting actor for his performance in "Whiplash." In "Whiplash” Simmons plays a sadistic but brilliant jazz band instructor who pushes an ambitious student drummer to the edge of his talents and sanity. Simmons, who turned 60 this month, is the son of the late Pat and Don Simmons, longtime Missoula residents and important figures in the campus and city arts communities. Read more about Simmons’ nomination.

NASA's SMAP satellite

UM Researcher Helps NASA Get the Dirt on Soil Moisture

During the early-morning hours on Tuesday, Jan. 29, NASA will launch a satellite that will peer into the topmost layer of Earth's soils to measure the hidden waters that influence our ecosystems weather and climate. UM Professor John Kimball is among the team of researchers involved in the project. He developed algorithms that will digest the vast amount of data collected by the satellite. Read more about Kimball’s work with NASA.

MMAC Curator Brandon Reintjes lays out the 120th anniversary exhibition

Montana Museum Marks 120th Anniversary with 120 Artworks

It's telling what they had to leave out. When the staff of the Montana Museum of Art and Culture was narrowing the Permanent Collection of more than 11,000-some objects down to 120 for a 120th anniversary exhibition, many masters from across centuries didn't make the cut. They wanted to represent the breadth and depth of the state museum's collection, as well as some of its idiosyncrasies. So some famous names didn't make it. Read more about the exhibition in the Missoulian.

UM students volunteer on Earth Day

UM Earns National Recognition for Student Engagement, Service

UM recently earned recognition from two prominent civic engagement organizations. The Corporation for National and Community Service honored UM with a place on the 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching awarded UM a 2015 Community Engagement Classification. During the 2013-14 academic year, 2,991 students volunteered 221,832 hours. Read more about student engagement at UM.

UM alumnus Zach Brown holds trout

Alumnus Named One of 10 ‘Young Leaders Changing the West’

Zach Brown, an avid outdoorsman and recent UM graduate, wants to make sure that Montana stays exceptional. And now he’s taking that mission to the state Legislature: This November, Brown leaned on a platform of environmental protection to win House District 63.  Brown, former student body president at UM, was recently named one of 10 “Young Leaders Changing the West” by High Country News.  Read more about Brown and the nine other 20-somethings who received this honor.

Crowd gathers for journalism ceremony at State Capitol

Capitol Ceremony Marks Journalism School’s 100th Anniversary

From its founding days housed in Army tents on the University of Montana’s Oval in 1914, the School of Journalism has taught its students how to improvise in tough situations. This was just one of the take-home messages at a recent ceremony at the Montana State Capitol honoring the UM Journalism School’s centennial year. Read more about the history of UM’s journalism school and the ceremony in Helena in the Independent Record.  

Livingston Mountain range in Glacier National Park

Researcher: High Elevation Temperature Increases Artificially Inflated

In a recent study, UM and Montana Climate Office researcher Jared Oyler found that while the western U.S. has warmed, recently observed warming in the mountains of the western U.S. likely is not as large as previously supposed. His results, published online Jan. 13 in Geophysical Research Letters, show that sensor changes have significantly biased temperature observations from the Snowpack Telemetry (SNOTEL) station network. Read more about Oyler’s findings.

UM student Derek Crittenden

Defensive End Crittenden Named to Academic All-Star Team

UM’s Derek Crittenden is one of 50 players who was recently named to the 17th annual Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association Academic All-Star Team. A 6-3, 240-pound junior from Whitefish, Crittenden is a chemistry major who maintains a perfect 4.0 GPA. He played in all 14 games for the 9-5 Grizzlies this past season. He is also a 2015 Rhodes Scholar candidate. Read more about Crittenden’s impressive accomplishments.

screen shot from UM grads' Doritos commercial

UM Grads in Running to Score Super Bowl Commercial

Two alumni of UM’s School of Media Arts are part of a team hoping to win a contest to get a television commercial they made to air during the Super Bowl. Alex Pollini and Sean Clark’s group’s entry in the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl contest, called “Baby’s First Word,” is among the 10 finalists being put up for a fan vote. The winning team will also win $1 million. Read more about the team here and vote for the ad here.

Washington-Grizzly Stadium

Washington-Grizzly Stadium Ranked Among Best in Nation

UM’s Washington-Grizzly Stadium was recently ranked No. 7 among best college football stadiums by Stadium Journey. “The official capacity now stands at 25,217, but crowds in excess of 26,000 are not out of the ordinary, giving the Griz one of the best home field advantages in all of college football,” writes reviewer Jason Karp. View the full list of top 100 stadium experiences here, and read the complete write-up on Washington-Grizzly Stadium here

Actor and UM alumnus JK Simmons poses with his Golden Globe

Alumnus J.K. Simmons Wins Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor

Former Missoula resident and University of Montana alum J.K. Simmons has won the Golden Globe for best supporting actor for "Whiplash." In the film, Simmons plays a jazz band instructor who uses humiliation, fear and cruelty to motivate his students. Simmons is a UM graduate and native of Missoula. His parents are the late Don and Pat Simmons, longtime Missoula civic and arts leaders. Read more in the Missoulian.

UM student Alec Underwood with bull elk his shot in archery season

Students’ Do-it-Yourself Montana Elk Hunt a Success

 “Last September, seven days into the 2014 Montana archery season, my good friend Alec Underwood and I were headed for one of the many mountain ranges that define the western Montana landscape. Both of us were — and still are — students at the University of Montana in Missoula, where I am a senior studying business and Alec is a senior in wildlife biology.” Trevor Anderson recounts his recent elk hunt in the Star Tribune. 

Irish street

Study Abroad Blog: 'Nothing Will Ever be the Same Again'

“One of my favorite English professors at UM likes to tell us often, ‘the best stories take place during the moments from which the main character realizes that, nothing will ever be the same again.’ I think it’s exactly this wisdom, when applied to real life, which makes a semester abroad so profoundly meaningful. Every moment since I left Missoula has been part of the constant realization that, indeed, nothing will ever be the same again.” Read student Joel Gabriel Kempff’s blog post.

UM students visit with Vietnamese students

UM Students Travel to Vietnam to Study Climate Change

Thirteen UM students and one professor are in Vietnam from through Jan. 19 for the fifth annual study abroad field course focused on climate change impacts and adaptation in the Mekong Delta. The students are studying the intertwined relationships of society, environment and economy while looking at the potential impacts of climate change and how the people of Vietnam will adapt. Follow their adventures through photos and posts on the students’ blog. 

illustration of a saber-toothed tiger and a porcupine

Professor Explores Animal Weapons and the Evolution Of Battle

From horns to claws, teeth and talons, the animal kingdom features many natural weapons. But UM evolutionary biologist Doug Emlen wanted to know why, in some rare cases, animals develop weapons that are dramatically outsized for their bodies. His research found the same story—an evolutionary arms race pushes animal weapons to the extreme. North Carolina Public Radio host Frank Stasio talks with Emlen about his new book “Animal Weapons: The Evolution of Battle.” 

The Mansfield Library at UM

Mansfield Library Recognized for Serving as Regional Depository

The U.S. Government Publishing Office recently spotlighted UM’s Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library for serving as a regional depository library. The library was designated as a depository in 1909 and a regional depository library in 1965. UM’s large academic library has a wide variety of information available to its patrons through well-developed online guides. Read more about the Mansfield Library’s role as a depository.

HP executive George Milliken speaks with UM students

Hewlett-Packard to Return in February to Recruit UM Students

Career Services at UM strives to provide students with ample opportunities to explore careers with the world’s most renowned and reputable companies. Career Services recently teamed up with Hewlett-Packard, one of the world’s leading technology companies. An HP executive visited with UM students in December and company representatives will return again in February for the Big Sky Employment and Academic Enrichment Fair. Read more about UM’s relationship with HP and the upcoming employment fair.

UM researcher Frank Rosenzweig

UM Researcher Studies Origins of Life with NASA Award

When astrobiologists contemplate life on nearby planets or moons, they often suggest such life would be simple. From such simple life, more complex life forms could eventually come to be. How did the chemistry evolve to get life to where we are today? What transitions took place? Frank Rosenzweig, evolutionary geneticist at UM, is looking into such questions over the next five years with funding from the NASA Astrobiology Institute. Read more about Rosenzweig’s research.

Looking east from downtown Missoula

Author Rick Bass: Missoula is Perfect Mix of Town and Country

Many towns in the West consider themselves “outdoor” towns—suggesting a citizenry eager to bike, run, ski, paddle, hunt, fish, hike, backpack, float and camp. Missoula, Montana, is one of these towns, but it possesses some indefinable spirit that keeps it from being confused with any other. Author Rick Bass writes about Missoula’s unique spirit in this Smithsonian Magazine article.

Video: Grizstagram: 2014 in Review

As we ring in the new year, enjoy this video featuring student photos from Instagram that were tagged #Grizstagram in 2014. Thanks for sharing your photos, students. We look forward to seeing what you are up to in 2015.  

UM telescope on Mount Hopkins in Arizona

UM Team Searching for Earth-like Planets Using New Telescope

From his lab in Missoula, Nate McCrady watches the stars. The UM associate professor of astronomy and his team of research students received a $1.125 million grant from NASA last year. The grant funded a telescope purchase and three years of research work, allowing them to participate in Project MINERVA, a collaborative effort between four universities that will be examining the planets surrounding nearby stars to look for ones that are similar to Earth. Read more about McCrady’s exciting research.

UM's new data center

UM’s New Data Center Solves Problems, Opens Doors

After four years of investigating, planning, politicking and decision-making, UM has a new data center. It doesn’t look like much from the outside—a big white box sitting beneath a slanted metal roof near UM’s heating plant. It’s what will happen inside the box that will be remarkable. “We’re going from arguably the worst data center in higher education to perhaps the best,” says Tony Jablonski, Associate CIO for IT’s central computing services. Read more about UM’s new data center.

Video: UM's 2014 Year in Review

As 2014 draws to a close, the University of Montana looks back at the moments and milestones of the past year in this Year in Review video

UM Professor Emeritus Don Kiely

UM Spinoff Rivertop Renewables to Build Manufacturing Plant

A big year for Rivertop Renewables has gotten even bigger. The Missoula producer of biodegradable chemicals received a $26 million cash infusion from outside investors in the spring. Then, the company announced recently that its first commercial manufacturing plant is under construction. "What's really cool about this is that it's technology that was developed by Dr. Don Kiely at the University of Montana," says CEO Mike Knauf. Read more about Rivertop's success in the Missoula Independent. 

Jazz legend Buddy DeFranco

Buddy DeFranco, Jazz Legend with UM Ties, Passes Away

The world-famous clarinet player who lent his name to the University of Montana’s premier jazz festival and transformed the international genre through his unique bebop style passed away Wednesday. Buddy DeFranco died at his home in Panama City, Florida. “He was one of the monumental figures in the history of jazz,” said Lance Boyd, the former UM music professor and band director who created the Buddy DeFranco Jazz Festival. Read more about DeFranco’s legacy.

A map shows where Riverside's Christmas mail has arrived from.

Osprey Cam Fans Send Christmas Cheer to Nest Neighbors

The residents of Riverside Health Care Center in Missoula are receiving Christmas cards from across the country thanking the staff and residents for hosting an online streaming camera placed next to an osprey nest in the care center’s parking lot. UM wildlife biology Professor Erick Greene heads the Montana Osprey Project, which includes the osprey nest webcam at Riverside. Thousands of webcam viewers keep tabs on the popular birds. Read more about the osprey project community.

UM basketball coach Travis DeCuire

New Griz Hoops Coach Travis DeCuire Leads by Example

New University of Montana head basketball coach Travis DeCuire wears a whistle around his neck during practice, but he doesn’t have to use it. Whether he’s demonstrating how to disrupt a ball screen, explaining the finer points of trapping in the post or taking a jump hook to set off an offensive drill, DeCuire commands his team’s attention. The Missoula Independent reports.

Peace Corps volunteer Sally Kintner of Kalispell works with young child in Ethiopia

Missoula Second Per-Capita in Producing Peace Corps Volunteers

An annual report produced by the Peace Corps recently found that Montana and Missoula ranked among the top 10 overall per-capita volunteer-producing states and metropolitan areas in the country. The per-capita rankings measure the rate of volunteers per 100,000 of the population. Montana's per-capita ranking climbed from 10th spot to seventh and its metro area, Missoula, moved from sixth to second. USA Today reports.

Griz defensive end Zack Wagenmann plays in a 2014 game

Defensive End Wagenmann Named to AFCA All-America Team

UM’s record-setting defensive standout Zack Wagenmann has been named to the prestigious 2014 AFCA's Football Championship Subdivision Coaches' All-America Team. A 6-3 ½, 255-pound senior defensive end, Wagenmann had a stellar senior season, and finished third in the balloting for the 2014 Buck Buchanan Award, given annually to the defensive player of the year in the FCS. Read more about Wagenmann’s latest honor.

Missoula College students welded a large Menorah for local Synagogue

Welding Students Craft Steel Menorah for Missoula Synagogue

It's a good thing Har Shalom's menorah used light bulbs instead of candles; no one could have reached up to light the wicks. The Missoula synagogue celebrated Hanukkah by flicking the switches to light up a special menorah called a hanukkiyah, commissioned and built by three students from the welding program at Missoula College. Read more about the students’ unique community project.

LeAnn Montes playing for the Lady Griz

Former Lady Griz Inducted Into Montana Indian Athletic Hall of Fame

UM Alumna LeAnn Montes was inducted into the Montana Indian Athletic Hall of Fame in December.  She was selected based upon her performance as a star high-school athlete, a four-year member of the Lady Griz basketball team and her current role as head coach of the Stone Child College women's basketball team. Montes graduated from UM with degrees in business administration, management and marketing. Learn more about Montes' accomplishments. 

Video: UM Graduate Students Excel at University, State and National Levels

Toxicology graduate students at the Center for Environmental Health Sciences are involved in extracurricular activities at the University of Montana and with regional and national organizations. Three current students share their experiences in this video.

Bob Stitt speaks at the podium during a press conference at UM

Montana Introduces Stitt as New Griz Football Coach

The best job in America. That's what Bob Stitt had to say about the Montana Grizzly football head coaching gig Friday morning when the university introduced the offensive innovator as its 36th head coach. Stitt, a 50-year-old coach who comes to Missoula from the Colorado School of Mines, spoke to media members and fans for an hour at Washington-Grizzly Stadium's Canyon Club. Read more about Stitt’s decision to move north.

An illustration by David Tuss from the book Animal Weapons

UM Alumnus Teams up with Professor to Illustrate Science

A saber-toothed cat snarls, ready to pounce from the front cover of “Animal Weapons,” a new book that’s getting a lot of notice from both the media and the science world. The artist and UM alumnus Helenan David Tuss teamed up with writer and UM Professor Doug Emlen to illustrate the animal kingdom’s amazing array of extreme weaponry. Read more about  how Tuss met Emlen while earning his bachelor’s degree in science and a minor in art from UM.

UM student researcher Chantanelle Nava uses UM’s 0.7-meter telescope at Mount Hopkins, Ariz., during testing.

UM Telescope One Step Closer to Discovering New Worlds

“First light” marked a new dawn for UM astronomy on Dec. 16.  UM astrophysics Associate Professor Nate McCrady, along with a team of researchers, achieved “first light” on Tuesday – a term used to describe successfully taking first observations from a telescope. McCrady traveled from Missoula to Mount Hopkins, Ariz., to oversee the installation of UM’s new 0.7-meter telescope by crane at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory. Read more about UM’s new telescope.

Cover of the 2015 edition of Montana Journalism Review

Students Produce 2015 Edition of Montana Journalism Review

The Montana Journalism Review, an award-winning magazine produced by UM School of Journalism students, has released its 2015 edition. For the 44th issue, the nation’s oldest journalism review explores the theme of “Shift.” Staff and contributors focused on the shifting landscape of the media industry and how journalists, news sources and audiences are adapting to change. Read more about this issue of Montana Journalism Review.

Skiers test Saga outerwear in the backcountry

Students Turn Class Assignment into Successful Ski Outerwear Business

Saga Outerwear has always been grounded, an independently owned company since it first launched in 2005. The brand got its start when Andrew Mallett and Austin Stevens, both longtime skiers and then students at the University of Montana, were tasked with developing a theoretical business plan for a college course. Saga has come a long way since then, growing rapidly in sales and now selling to retailers around the world. Freeskier magazine reports on Saga’s rise.

Osprey with fish

UM-Banded Osprey Sighted in Texas

A Missoula-born osprey has become a celebrity among birdwatchers on the Gulf Coast of Texas. As a chick, the bird was tagged with a blue leg band bearing the designation “M8” by UM wildlife biology Professor Erick Greene and his team of researchers. In September, Sally Mitchel of Rockport, Texas, photographed the bird, saw its band and reached out to Greene and his team. Read more about the rare sighting of a banded bird.

Cattle on IX Ranch

Startup Launched through Blackstone Saves Ranchers Time, Money

Walker Milhoan recently took his ranching background and his business acuity to the Blackstone LaunchPad’s annual Demo Day in New York City, where he pitched a new venture he believes can lower ranching costs, increase stock weight and drive up the return on cattle. In partnership with the IX Ranch in Big Sandy and with support of UM’s Blackstone LaunchPad, Milhoan aims to make Ranchlogs available for purchase next summer. Read more about Milhoan’s idea.

Coach Bob Stitt roams the sidelines at the Colorado School of Mines.

Griz Hire Bob Stitt as Head Football Coach

Bob Stitt has been selected to serve as UM’s 36th head football coach. Stitt has been the head coach at the Colorado School of Mines the past 15 seasons, where he has compiled an overall record of 108-62 and has a conference mark of 83-44. His 2014 Orediggers team went 10-2 and qualified for the NCAA Division II football playoffs. Read more about UM’s new head football coach.

PBS Newshour anchor

Journalism Student’s Report Airs on PBS NewsHour

In Montana, illegal fish dumping of non-native species is threatening the state’s native trout. In a segment for Student Reporting Labs, UM journalism freshman Meri DeMarois and her mentor Anna Rau of MontanaPBS report on how conservation organizations are working to protect the indigenous fish population. DeMarois interviews local anglers, activists and scientists in this piece that aired on PBS NewsHour on Nov. 27.

Jane Baker

MC Hires Interim Dean to Lead College into Construction

Jane Baker came of out retirement in October to serve as interim dean of Missoula College UM. The transition comes as the college races to meet state workforce demands and expands its programming to give students an affordable jump on a four-year degree. Baker will hold the position on a temporary basis as a new search committee begins the hunt for Dean Barry Good’s long-term replacement. Read more about Baker’s leadership experience.

<image_alt />

ASUM Vice President Pinpoints What Makes UM, Missoula Special

Missoula is a special place with people who are living life to its fullest. The University of Montana has what many universities are missing: the human element. With the human element, the University is offering the highest quality of education by believing in the people that call this campus home above all else. ASUM Vice President and Phi Delta Theta fraternity Sean McQuillan talks about what makes Missoula and UM such a special place in a recent blog post.

Montana high school students who participated in UM's Model United Nations Conference

High School Students Win Scholarships at Model U.N.

Five high school seniors recently were awarded $1,000 scholarships to attend UM for their exemplary performance at the 49th Annual Montana Model United Nations Conference. Each winner wrote an outstanding position paper and actively and accurately represented his or her country during two days of debate on world issues. At the conference, 380 students represented 111 of the United Nations’ 193 member states, debating and writing resolutions addressing important international issues. Read more about this year’s winners.

Students in UM's philanthropy class

Philanthropy Class Awards $12,500 in Grants to Local Nonprofits

A UM class titled Can Giving Change the World? granted $12,500 to local nonprofits and held a ceremony to distribute the funds Dec. 11. The class, which is part of UM’s Global Leadership Initiative, awards grants to nonprofits that operate within Missoula County and combat hunger or address mental health issues. Organizations submitted grant proposals to the class earlier this semester. Read more about the philanthropy class and the grant recipients.

PEAS Farm Director Josh Slotnik speaks

Community Celebrates Renewed PEAS Farm Lease

Raising carrot sticks in a toast, community leaders on Wednesday lauded the new lease that protects the PEAS Farm. Representatives from Garden City Harvest, Missoula County Public Schools and the city of Missoula toasted to the lease of 40 years approved the previous evening. The farm is part of the UM’s environmental studies program, and each year, UM students help raise crops. Read more about the new lease on the PEAS Farm.

Video: Investing in Student Success at UM

Education changes lives and those lives change the world. At the University of Montana, we see it daily. Our students come from every conceivable background and embrace challenge, grow as individuals and, ultimately, thrive.

Rivertop Renewable employee assesses cleanliness of glasses

UM Spin-Off Rivertop Renewables to Build Production Plant

On Dec. 9, Rivertop Renewables announced its first commercial production plant that will be located in Virginia. They work with glucaric acid, which is a naturally occurring sugar acid that's never been produced on a commercial scale. That will soon change when Missoula’s Rivertop Renewables opens up a new factory in Virginia. Rivertop is based on the work of work of UM Professor Emeritus Don Kiely. NBC Montana reports on the company’s recent growth.

Students study in library for finals

Foggy Finals Before Freedom for UM Students

If the winter fog hid supernatural creatures in Stephen King’s novella “The Mist” or the 1980 zombie movie “The Fog,” then Missoula’s soupy weather may hold something equally sinister for UM students: final exams. Last week wrapped up the end of the 2014 fall semester and students are spending this week writing essays, taking tests and completing other tasks to show they’ve paid attention over these past four months. Read more about how students are closing out the semester. 

book cover of The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

Two Students Selected Winners of UM’s First-Year Essay Contest

The First-Year Reading Experience Committee at UM recently selected freshmen Libbey Barsness and Nathaniel Smith as the winners of the First-Year Essay Contest. As part of the First-Year Reading Experience at UM, students read “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien, a collection of short stories about a platoon of American soldiers in the Vietnam War. Students were invited to write and submit essays in two categories: Personal Reflection and Analytical. Read more about the winners.

A western glacier stonefly

Study: Melting Glaciers Threaten Rare Insect that Feeds Trout

The average day hiker in Glacier National Park is unlikely to notice the dwindling stonefly population. But trout are. The western glacier stonefly is one of the few flies to hatch throughout the winter. Now the rare aquatic insect is under threat, researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey say, as a result of loss of glacial ice. USGS biologists teamed up with scientists from UM to study the imperiled insect. Their findings recently were published in Freshwater Science.

SOBA director of IT Eric Tangedahl

IBM Awards UM Power Systems Server for Real-Time Data Analysis

UM students studying big data have a new tool coming their way. The IBM Power Systems Organization recently granted a scale-out POWER8 processor-based server to the University, which will allow UM students to run IBM InfoSphere Streams software on a state-of-the-art platform that will aid student learning. The grant was part of IBM’s Shared University Research Awards, a competitive, worldwide, equipment award program. Read more about new server at UM.

Sidney Thomas, chief judge of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

Law Alumnus Named Chief Judge of 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

There is now a new sheriff for the sprawling San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. And this one is an unassuming, soft-spoken judge from Big Sky country. Meet Sidney Thomas, a Montana native who took over Dec. 1 as the influential chief judge of a court that shapes federal law for California and eight other Western states. Read more about the UM School of Law alumnus and his new role.

UM graduate Dan Baca works at the console as the space shuttle docks with the International Space Station

Alumnus Reaches for Stars as Engineer on Orion Spacecraft Project

Growing up in Montana, Dan Baca had an amazing view of the stars, but he had no idea the stars were in his future. Today, the 2003 UM graduate is working with NASA on the Orion spacecraft that made its first launch Thursday. Baca is a member of the team that ran a full mission simulation in mid-November for Orion’s launch, testing pre-launch through ascent, orbit, entry and splashdown/recovery. Read more about Baca’s unique career path.

Video: School of Art Students Offer Glimpse Inside Their Processes

Three UM School of Art students take viewers inside their artistic process, offering a glimpse into some of their recent works. Hear from Jason Bohman, drawing; Gustav Hamilton, ceramic sculpture; and Joanna Nasvik, drawing, performance, and art education; about how they approach their art and what it means to them in this video.

students age 50 and over enjoy a MOLLI class

$1 Million Gift Supports Lifelong Learning at UM’s MOLLI

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UM, known as MOLLI, has received a $1 million grant from The Bernard Osher Foundation. A $950,000 endowment gift and $50,000 in operating funds will provide current and ongoing support for the continued growth of MOLLI.  The program is a resource for adults age 50 and older who enjoy learning, connecting socially with others and having a relationship with UM. Read more about the recent Osher grant. 

Video: Mansfield Center Has Impact Across Montana, Beyond

The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center at the University of Montana promotes better understanding of Asia, U.S. relations with Asia, and ethics in public affairs in the spirit of Sen. Mike Mansfield and his wife, Maureen. This video, shown to the Montana University System Board of Regents on Nov. 20, 2014, highlights the impact of the Mansfield Center across the state of Montana and beyond.

UM student Walker Milhoan speaks at podium

Student’s Business Venture Makes Final Rounds at NYC Competition

Running a ranch can be complicated, but UM student Walker Milhoan has a technology that he thinks will make ranching more sustainable and profitable. And his business venture is promising enough that he was selected as a finalist at Blackstone LaunchPad’s recent Demo Day in New York City. Paul Gladen, UM’s Blackstone LaunchPad director, nominated Milhoan to attend the competition where he progressed to the final rounds with the top six. Read more about Milhoan’s venture, Ranchlogs.

Monte poses with the new semi at Missoula College

New Training Semi Tractor-Trailer Arrives at Missoula College

UM mascot Monte was on hand recently to celebrate the arrival of a new training semi tractor-trailer rig at Missoula College UM. The unit was purchased with Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant funds from the U.S. Department of Labor and will enhance short-term training opportunities at MC.  A second semi tractor-trailer is expected to arrive soon. Read more about the trucking program at Missoula College.

UM Professor Chris Palmer

Three UM Faculty Members Named Fulbright Scholar Awardees

Two UM professors and one associate professor recently were named 2015 Fulbright Scholar Program awardees by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs. All three teach in UM’s College of Humanities and Sciences. The Fulbright Program is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Read more about UM’s Fulbright Scholar awardees.

Zack Wagenmann, BSC defensive player of the year

Wagenmann Named BSC Defensive Player of the Year

His name is Zack, as in "Sack," and Wagenmann, as in the Big Sky Conference defensive player of the year. Wagenmann, a 6-foot-3, 255-pound senior defensive end out of Missoula Sentinel, led four Montana players named first-team All-Big Sky for football Tuesday. Defensive tackle Tonga Takai also made the first team on defense, as did fellow senior Matt Hermanson at safety. The Grizzlies’ lone first-teamer on offense was running back Jordan Canada. Read more about the Grizzlies' honors here.

Professor George Stanley holds up a piece of coral

Coral Reef Research Earns UM Professor AAAS Fellow Distinction

UM geosciences Professor George Stanley, who directs the UM Paleontology Center, has been named a Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Stanley was awarded the distinction for his work in paleobiology of invertebrates, especially the evolution of reef forms. His research has clarified the evolution of reefs and of modern coral lineages. Read more about Stanley’s latest award.

students walk across the Oval in late fall

Engstrom: UM to Increase Emphasis on Research, Health Care

UM is reviewing its programs and expects to grow its emphasis on research and health care while injecting the humanities into all academic pursuits, school officials said Monday. Meeting with the Missoulian’s editorial board, UM President Royce Engstrom and other school leaders repeated their plans for the global century – steps that include a close review of existing programs and how the school can meet the state’s needs amid a shifting economy. Read more about Engstrom’s plans.

items created in UM's new FabLab

School of Art Opens New Digital ‘Fabrication Lab’

UM’s new "fabrication lab," or "FabLab," as they've dubbed it, is stocked with two 3-D printers, 3-D scanners, 3-D pens, a vinyl cutter, an oversized printer, and soon a laser engraving machine. School of Art Director Brad Allen is effusive about the potential for using the equipment, the province of industrial designers and forward-thinking hobbyists and tinkerers, in the context of fine art. Read more about the new “FabLab.”

Griz scoreboard operator Patrick Ryan

Grizzlies' Scoreboard Operator to Retire After 38 Years

He’s climbed these steps many times over the past 28 years, a stretch dating back to 1986 when Washington-Grizzly Stadium opened. But that wasn’t the beginning of Patrick Ryan’s job as the Grizzlies’ official scoreboard operator. That began at Dornblaser Field in 1976. Or maybe it was 1974, he isn’t sure which. Ryan has operated the Grizzlies’ scoreboard for all but one game over the past 38 years and will retire at the end of the season. Read Ryan’s story.

UM student and Marching Band member Noah Lopez

Still Standing: One Student’s Story of Personal and Musical Growth

He marched across the field of Washington-Grizzly Stadium with 35 pounds of silver-plated brass wrapped around his torso. Stepping with the heavy instrument was no easy feat for Noah Lopez, the UM freshman who once thought he'd never be able to stand up again after losing his leg four years ago as a result of a senseless act of violence. Today he’s marching forward. Read his story in the Montana Kaimin.

Montana Tradition: UM limited edition collection

UM Releases Retail Line with Throwback Colors

The classic copper, gold and silver colors are making a one-year comeback at the University of Montana. On Friday, Nov. 21, UM released a limited-edition retail line featuring its official school colors of copper, gold and silver. The line, called Montana Tradition, includes clothing and several select non-apparel items. A list of retailers carrying the products is available online at Read more about the Montana Tradition line here.

The Legend of Orpheus

National Opera Association Awards First Place to UM Production

UM’s School of Music Opera Theater and Symphony recently brought home a first-place prize for their production of “The Legend of Orpheus,” which was performed in February. UM submitted its opera production to the National Opera Association’s annual competition. Through the competition, the NOA seeks to encourage and reward creative, high quality opera productions in professional companies and college programs across the U.S. Read more about UM’s winning opera entry.

Professor Cara Nelson in Kuwait

Restoration Ecology Professor Puts Knowledge to Work in Kuwait

University of Montana Professor of restoration ecology Cara Nelson just returned from Kuwait where she worked with scientists at the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research to develop effective strategies for restoring arid land ecosystems. As chair of the Society of Ecological Restoration, Nelson was in Kuwait to sign a memorandum of understanding with KISR to work together on restoring Kuwait’s arid lands. Read more about Nelson’s recent work in Kuwait.

Can the Bobcats Nov. 8-22

Help UM Can the Bobcats by Donating to Canned Food Drive

The Can the Bobcats Canned Food Drive is in full swing and donation bins are available all over town. The food drive is a friendly contest between UM and MSU to see which community can collect the most food for hungry Montana families, just in time for the holidays. The drive ends Saturday, Nov. 22, with the annual Brawl of the Wild Griz-Cat football game. Bring your donation to the game or find out where you can donate by visiting the Can the Bobcats website

Instructor Garry Kerr teaches

Anthropology Students Win Awards for Opinion Essays

Twenty students in UM’s Anthropology and the Human Experience class taught by Instructor Garry Kerr were recently named Public Anthropology Award winners for opinion essays they wrote on the topic of ethics in research. More than 4,000 students from 30 schools entered the competition. Kerr’s students showcase the ability of UM students to learn effective writing skills while being active global citizens. Read the students’ opinion pieces here.

Video: UM's 20th Annual Juried Art Exhibition on Display Now

A video from the Montana Kaimin introduces two of artists whose work was selected for the 20th Annual Juried UM Student Art Exhibition. The exhibition is on display until Dec. 5 at the Gallery of Visual Arts on the first floor of the Social Science Building.

Anderson and Roe Piano Duo

Acclaimed Classical Piano Duo Visits Missoula for Concerts, Class

UM music Professor Steven Hesla knew he had to get Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe to Missoula. He saw the acclaimed classical piano duo perform at the Music Teachers National Association conference in March 2013. They gave seven encores, all greeted by standing ovations. This week Roe and Anderson come to town to teach a masterclass, play for 1,500 fifth-graders and perform for the public. Read more about the duo’s trip to Missoula. 

<image_alt />

Professor Emlen Brings Animal Weapons to ‘Science Friday’

Animals have developed horns, claws, and teeth to defend themselves, but what is the advantage of a bulky crab claw that weighs half as much as the entire animal, or 14-foot-wide antlers on the extinct Irish Elk that stood seven feet tall? UM Professor Doug Emlen, a biologist and author of the new book “Animal Weapons,” describes the evolutionary arms race that pushes these animal weapons to the extreme on “Science Friday.”

Julie Edwards talks about an exhibit at the Mansfield Library that explores book burnings in Nazi Germany.

UM Exhibit Explores Nazi Book Burning, Modern Censorship

On a cold April night in 1933, hundreds of university students worked themselves into a fervor tossing books that challenged the German spirit onto a roiling bonfire. The book burning is depicted in a new display at the UM library. On loan from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the national exhibit sheds light on the fervor that fueled the rise of Nazi Germany. Read more about the “Fighting the Fires of Hate” exhibit.

UM Gives Charitable Giving Campaign

Join the Charitable Giving Campaign at UM to Support Local Nonprofits

Each fall, hundreds of UM employees raise thousands of dollars for local nonprofit charities in our community by generously donating to UM’s Charitable Giving Campaign. The 2014-15 campaign is open now. The nonprofits selected to participate in this year’s drive provide a broad range of services to Missoula residents and those in nearby counties. Learn more about the campaign and participating agencies at and then consider pledging online at

The UM School of Law negotiation team and coach

UM Law Students Finish First in Negotiation Competition

UM School of Law students recently took first place in the American Bar Association-sponsored Law School Regional Negotiation Competition held Nov. 7-8 at Seattle University. UM team members Nick VandenBos of Bozeman and Lindsay Thane of Missoula, both second-year UM law students, advanced to the final round after earning the best score of 24 teams during the opening Friday and Saturday sessions. Read more about how the negotiation team performed.

UM Alumna Nancy O'Connor

Longtime UM Supporter, Alumna Nancy O’Connor Passes Away

UM alumna and longtime supporter Nancy O’Connor passed away Nov. 10 at her home in Malibu, Calif., at the age of 84. O’Connor was the daughter of Ralph and Hulda Miller Fields, who were also UM alums. Nancy married actor Carroll O’Connor in 1951. Over the years, Nancy served on several UM boards and the couple gave generously to UM. In 1999 the University renamed the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West to honor their contributions. Read more about Nancy’s life in the Missoulian. 

UM soccer coach Mark Plakorus

Plakorus Named Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year

Mark Plakorus, who led Montana soccer to an unbeaten 8-0-2 league record this fall and the program's first outright conference championship since 2000, was named the Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year on Nov. 12. The Grizzlies went 12-6-2 this season, and rolled through their league schedule, going 8-0-2 and outscoring their opponents 19-4. Montana posted shutouts in seven of its 10 league matches. Read more about what Plakorus and his Grizzlies accomplished this year.

Stay Up for Good:

Students Stay Up to Raise Funds for Children at St. Jude

UM students have raised more than $25,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital this year, and they plan on staying up all night this Friday to honor the kids they’re helping. The St. Jude Up ‘Til Dawn event at UM recruited 175 students who aim to raise $37,742. The $25,371 they have already raised places UM seventh nationally among the 89 schools that participate, and first among schools in the Northwest. Read more about the  Up ‘Til Dawn event.

Video: UM Students Find Community in Choirs

The choirs at the University of Montana offer sense of community and creative outlet for music and non-music majors who share a love of singing. Learn about the chorale opportunities available to all UM students in this video.

UM's Gallagher Business Building

Local Innovators Share Important Lessons with UM Students

Throughout the fall 2014 section of Regents Professor Jakki Mohr’s Marketing of High Technology Products and Innovations class (BMKT 460), students have had the opportunity to hear many of Missoula’s most innovative professionals speak. Visit UM’s student-run American Marketing Association blog to read some of the lessons shared by local innovators Michael Manhardt, Glenn Kreisel and Chris Wright.


UM, FWP Researchers Team Up to Solve the Bitterroot Elk Mystery

In 2009 the southern Bitterroot Valley’s elk herd—for years one of the state’s most productive populations and a source of pride among local hunters—was in a free fall. Ideas surfaced from all quarters on what was causing the decline. But most local hunters thought they knew the reason: wolves. Researchers from UM joined forces with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to develop a three-year study. The results surprised everyone. Learn what the study found in the Montana Outdoors magazine.

UM plant ecologist Ray Callaway

Renowned UM Plant Ecologist Nominated for Regents Professor

Biology Professor Ragan “Ray” Callaway, an internationally renowned ecologist, has been nominated to become UM’s 10th Regents Professor. Upon approval by the Montana Board of Regents during its Nov. 20-21 meeting, Callaway’s new title will be Regents Professor of Ecology. Regents Professor is the top rank awarded to faculty members in the Montana University System. They must demonstrate unusual excellence in instruction, scholarship and service, as well as distinctive impact through their work. Read more about Callaway’s nomination.

UM School of Business Administration

UM Student Team Makes Strong Showing at Investment Competition

A UM student team recently participated in D.A. Davidson & Co.’s Student Investment Program, and ended the year with a 21 percent return on its investments. The UM team was one of 20 teams representing western U.S. universities that were provided with $50,000 to invest in the stock market. With its 21 percent return, the UM team receives a check for $4,002, representing its share of earnings from the experience. Read more about investment program.

Udo Fluck teaches global competency to young students

UM’s Global Gateway Program Instills Global Competence

A self-proclaimed “man of many hats,” Udo Fluck lives up to that title both literally and metaphorically. Nestled in a corner of UM’s International Center, Fluck’s office boasts just a few of the many hats he uses to teach students about different cultures. His other “hats” come in the form of his ever-shifting role as director of UM’s Global Gateway program, which works to instill global competence in the community. Read more about Fluck’s work in the Montanan online.

Paul Kirgis

UM School of Law Names Paul Kirgis New Dean

Paul F. Kirgis, a professor at St. John’s University School of Law, has been selected to lead the University of Montana School of Law as dean. Kirgis will begin his new duties July 1, 2015. UM Provost Perry Brown made the announcement after an extensive nationwide search. While at St. John’s in New York City, Kirgis received the Faculty Outstanding Achievement Medal and was twice named the professor of the year. Read more about Dean Kirgis.

Adam Meier, with the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, right, and Deena Mansour, associate director of the Mansfield Center at UM

Mansfield Center Builds Bridges with U.S. State Department Program

In the lobby of a Missoula hotel recently, Adam Meier prepared for a trip up the Seeley-Swan Valley to observe Montana’s expertise in building bridges, not across rivers and streams, but between people and nations. Meier, with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, has measured the University of Montana’s part in hosting the agency’s Professional Fellows Program, and he likes what he’s seen. Read more about exchange program at UM. 

Former Griz point guard Will Cherry

Former Griz Will Cherry Signs Deal with NBA’s Cavaliers

Will Cherry showed up at the office a little early Sunday for his first day of work on the new job. As he was lifting weights, he heard in a booming baratone, “WILL CHERRY.” It was LeBron James, the best basketball player on the planet. Welcome to the Cleveland Cavaliers and the NBA, Will Cherry. The former Griz point guard has signed a two-year deal, the team announced Sunday. Read more about Cherry’s new job in the Missoulian.

illustration of dung beetle by Paul Sahre

NYT Magazine: The Astonishing Weaponry of Dung Beetles

“On a still-sweltering evening in Tanzania more than a decade ago, my colleagues and I crouched around a fresh pile of elephant dung to witness an epic struggle of wills,” writes UM Professor Doug Emlen in a New York Times Magazine article published Oct. 31. Emlen studies animal weaponry, and is the author of the new book, “Animal Weapons: The Evolution of Battle.” Read his full article on the animal arms race here. 

Video: Support Local Nonprofits Through UM's Charitable Giving Campaign

The Charitable Giving Campaign is a chance for UM employees to give back to the community by donating to local nonprofit charities. The 2014-15 campaign is open now and runs through Nov. 14. Learn more at and then pledge online at

locker rooms in the future Washington-Grizzly Champions Center

UM Receives $7 Million Donation for Athletic Champions Center

The Washington family, for whom Washington-Grizzly Stadium at UM is named, has once more stepped forward with a major gift to the UM Department of Athletics. The sons of Dennis and Phyllis Washington, Kyle and Kevin, are giving $7 million on behalf of the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation to be used for UM’s planned $14 million Washington-Grizzly Champions Center. Read more about the generous donation from the Washington family.

UM Journalism Dean Larry Abramson

Mansfield Center Podcast Features Interview with UM Journalism Dean

The Mansfield Global Leadership Podcast is a series by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center at UM that captures the wisdom of international thought leaders and industry experts. The latest episode features an interview with Larry Abramson, the new dean of UM’s School of Journalism. Abramson discusses transitioning to life in Montana, the fast paced world of journalism, his vision for the School of Journalism and more.  Listen to the podcast here.

Sign advertising Mansfield Library exhibition

Exhibition on Nazi Book Burnings on Display at Mansfield Library

The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library at UM is now hosting an exhibition produced by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum that explores how the German book burnings of 1933 became a potent symbol in America’s battle against Nazism and why they continue to resonate with the public to this day. The exhibition, titled “Fighting the Fires of Hate: America and the Nazi Book Burnings,” will be on display through Tuesday, Dec. 16. Learn more about the exhibition.

book jacket image on The Things They Carried

Author O'Brien Visits UM, Talks of War, Truth and Writing

Tim O’Brien was stuck writing another book when he took a break in the late 1980s and penned “The Things They Carried,” a story that explores meaning in three simple words: “This is true.” That opening line in a mid-story chapter questions everything the famed author learned in the Vietnam War about guilt, fear and loss. O’Brien met with a group of freshmen at UM on Tuesday. Read more about his visit.

UM Professor Gordon Luikart

Scientific Minds of UM: Ecologist Gordon Luikart

For Gordon Luikart, animal feces is a key reason why his research is among the most cited in the country. In the UM ecologist's Ph.D. research he tested the DNA of big horn sheep, found in feces, feathers and urine, to see if they had gone through a “genetic bottleneck,” then developed tests to identify problems like diseases and inbreeding. Luikart recently was named one of Reuters' "Most Influential Scientific Minds." Read more about Luikart’s research in the Montana Kaimin.

UM Golf Course Clubhouse

UM Dining Plans New Restaurant for Golf Course Clubhouse

What once served as a deli for famished University of Montana students will reopen early next year as a casual yet upscale restaurant offering views of the University Golf Course. A building permit was filed last week with Missoula County, and UM Dining expects renovations on the golf course clubhouse to begin in early November. Read more about what’s planned for the clubhouse in the Missoulian.

Amanda Browder's fabric art on display at UM

Fabric Artist Amanda Browder Brings Installations to Missoula

Nationally celebrated fabric artist and Missoula native Amanda Browder is displaying her large-scale fabric soft sculptures during an exhibition at the Montana Museum of Art & Culture at UM. Because of weather concerns, the outdoor works of Browder’s “End of the Infinite” exhibition will hang only at select times until January. But that’s okay—the fleetingness of the exhibitions have always been a part of Browder’s process. Read more about her art in the Missoula Independent. 

IX Ranch

UM Student Takes Business Venture to Blackstone LaunchPad Demo Day

UM student Walker Milhoan is headed to New York City to attend the Blackstone LaunchPad Demo Day. Milhoan’s business venture, RanchLogs, is one of 20 selected to take part in the event, which organizers plan to host annually. Milhoan founded RanchLogs in August. RanchLogs is an interactive, Web-based software platform that serves as a livestock inventory and range management tool. Read more about Milhoan’s venture and his trip to New York.

Student stands in front of UM's Payne Family Native American Center

UM Ranked Among Nation’s Top Degree Producers for Native Americans

UM is the 26th top degree producer for Native American students in the nation, according to the Diverse: Issues in Higher Education list, “2014 Top 100 Degree Producers.” The study names UM 40th in the nation for Natives receiving undergraduate degrees, 48th in the nation for master’s degrees, 19th for doctoral degrees and 12th for professional degrees. From summer 2013 to spring 2014, UM conferred 129 degrees upon Native American students. Read more about the ranking.

UM alumnus John Chandler to teach UM courses on marketing analytics

Former Microsoft Data Analytics Expert to Teach at UM

A former Microsoft data analytics expert will teach advanced marketing classes at UM’s School of Business Administration this winter and next fall. John Chandler is the founder of Data Insights, a Minnesota-based consulting firm that uses data science to help companies like eBay, General Mills and LinkedIn. He taught a one-credit weekend seminar to UM graduate students called "Advanced Marketing Analytics: Turning Big Data Into Knowledge." Read more about UM’s new marketing analytics classes.

Video: Montana Practices Earthquake Drill Today

Millions of people worldwide will practice how to drop, cover, and hold in the event of an earthquake during the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills. The University of Montana and other Montanans will join them by participating in the 2014 Great Montana ShakeOut, planned for 10:22 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 22. Learn more at

UM students Stephen Jenkins and Jena Trejo

Forestry Students Named Finalists in Business Challenge

UM students Stephen Jenkins and Jena Trejo are finalists in the Barrett Foundation Business Concept Challenge for their proposal to convert forest slash to methanol. The challenge encourages and rewards innovative, market-based solutions to natural resource issues. Jenkins and Trejo, both forestry majors, are working to develop a gasification unit that can convert forest products left after thinning and logging into a methanol biofuel. Read more about their idea on the College of Forestry and Conservation website.

UM Professor Ray Callaway

Scientific Minds of UM: Professor and Ecologist Ray Callaway

Ray Callaway’s research investigates the catastrophic consequences of some exotic plants in North America. The UM ecologist's original research on plant facilitation, found that over time, plants develop traits to compete with each other, which increases diversity. Callaway has taught ecology and biologoy for 22 years and was recently named one of the Most Influential Scientific Minds by Reuters. Read more about Callaway in the Montana Kaimin.

UM's Mansfield Library

Student Input Sparks Study Space for Student Veterans

The library is one of the most commonly used places on campus by student veterans and now has a designated veteran’s study room within its walls. The $10,000 to refurnish the lounge came from an Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education grant. The room has newly painted walls, a TV, new furniture, blinds and frosted glass walls for privacy. Read more about the new veterans’ study lounge in the Montana Kaimin.

UM students practice fencing at recent workshop

Fencing Club Attracts Students Who Want to Keep Mind, Body Sharp

The UM Fencing Club held a free workshop last week, and a couple of dozen novices showed up to learn the basics of the sport. There are 15 dues-paying members, but the club always welcomes – and hopes to attract – newcomers. Club members say the sport is as much about the mental workout as the physical one. Read more about one of UM’s many student groups. 

UM campus

World University Rankings Lists UM Among Top 350 Colleges Worldwide

For the third year in a row, UM is ranked among the top 350 universities worldwide in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. UM is ranked in the 301-350 level of the 2014-15 list. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings are the most comprehensive global rankings of higher education institutions, using 13 performance indicators to examine a university’s strengths against its core missions: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. View the rankings here.

Runner Makena Morley

Record-Breaking Runner Makena Morley Commits to Griz

Bigfork’s Makena Morley, perhaps the most decorated prep runner in state history, plans to keep her talents local next year. The high school senior from the Flathead Valley, Montana’s all-class state record holder in cross country and a three-time champion, verbally committed to UM on Oct. 16. Morley will run cross country in the fall for the Grizzlies as well as compete in distance events for the track and field team in the winter and spring. Read more about Morley.

Hyeok Yun, a UM undergraduate, and Research Professor Craig Ravesloot

Student, Research Professor Teach Each Other Valuable Lessons

Hyeok Yun, a UM undergraduate student from South Korea, is gaining a wider perspective on how art therapy and counseling are impacted by disability research. Under the direction of Craig Ravesloot, a research professor at UM’s Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities, Hyeok’s work is exposing her to other issues too.  Ravesloot also is learning valuable lessons to help him better connect with the South Korean culture. Read more about their cross-cultural exchange.

UM soccer player Savannah Witt

Soccer Team off to Solid Start with Help from Newcomers

The Montana soccer team’s best start in a generation has been helped by a solid core of newcomers, including true freshmen Hallie Widner, who is the team’s leading scorer, and Allie Lucas. Savannah Witt hasn’t started a game for the Grizzlies and she’s technically a sophomore, but she belongs in that group. It’s hard to imagine UM’s 5-0 start in Big Sky Conference play without her. Read more about Witt’s return to the field after an injury. 

UM Regents Professor Steven Running

Scientific Minds of UM: Regents Professor Steven Running

Every day Steven Running photographs the entire world.  Running uses NASA satellites to measure plant health around the world. One of his publications has been cited 6,666 times by other researchers in the business. The large amount of citations has earned the University of Montana ecology professor a distinction as one of the world's "Most Influential Scientific Minds" by Reuters. Read more about Running’s latest accolade in the Montana Kaimin.

UM Professor Karen Ruth Adams talks to a classroom of students

UM Professor Earns Reputation for Predicting World Events

Karen Ruth Adams stood before a Model United Nations class at UM on Tuesday, preparing students for careers in public policy, international affairs and high school teaching. While far away from Washington, D.C., this academic environment is fitting for Adams, a professor of political science and scholar who has earned a reputation for predicting world events before they happen. Read more about Adams’ recognition as a “super forecaster.”

Video: "Un-Knowing" on Display at the UC Gallery

Learn more about "Un-Knowing," an exhibition by University of Montana students Dave Tarullo and Michael Workman, is on display now in the University Center Gallery at UM.

UM equestrian team at Utah horse show

Equestrian Team Rides to Early Season Success

UM’s equestrian team may fly under the radar on campus, but they're riding circles around their competition. Earlier this month, the team traveled to Utah State University to compete in the first regular season English show of the year. It was one of the largest Intercollegiate Horse Show Association shows, with more than 100 competitors from throughout the region. Montana won all three shows over the two-day event, sweeping the competition. The Montana Kaimin reports.

International students interact at UM's annual International Culture and Food Festival

International Student Enrollment at UM Hits Record High

More international students are choosing to attend the University of Montana than ever before. UM’s Office of International Programs reports 832 international students enrolled this semester, representing about 5 percent of the entire student population, compared to about 4 percent last year. Currently, 105 students from Brazil are enrolled at UM, second only to Japan’s 109 students. Nearly 80 students from Saudia Arabia are enrolled at UM this fall. Read more about international student enrollment at UM.

UM Associate Professor Nate McCrady teaches a class

UM Research Extends its Reach into Outer Space with Recent Awards

The University of Montana is a national leader in research on wildlife biology, ecology, forestry and areas related to the planet on which we live. Recently we have extended our reach into outer space. A spate of major research awards demonstrate the expertise that many of our faculty have in space-related research. UM Vice President for Research and Creative Scholarship Scott Whittenburg details some of UM’s latest research developments on his blog. 

People attend the opening ceremony for the Elousie Cobell Land and Culture Institute at UM

Elouise Cobell’s Legacy Finds Permanent Home at UM

The Elouise Cobell Land and Culture Institute at the University of Montana officially opened its doors Oct. 10. The institute is located in The Payne Family Native American Center. The institute provides flexible classroom designs, advanced distance-learning platforms and a multiscreen theater room that will emphasize storytelling traditions in Native American culture. It occupies the entire garden level of The Payne Family Native American Center. Read more about Cobell’s legacy at UM.

Video: UM-Led Team Selected for $8.9 Million NASA Grant

A team led by University of Montana researcher Frank Rosenzweig has been selected for a five-year, $8.9 million NASA grant to study how life evolved and became more complex on Earth. Read more about the grant here.

Missoula College Professor and author Kim Zupan

'Debut' Label Masks Years of Work for Novelist Kim Zupan

“The Ploughmen,” is technically Kim Zupan’s debut novel, but the years beg to differ. The 62-year-old has spent the past quarter-century working as a carpenter to support his writing. Before he started teaching at Missoula College, which freed up his summers, he would save money to take months off to do nothing but write. Now he’s on sabbatical, ready to take his novel on the road. Read more about Zupan’s journey.

Video: Researcher Awarded National Science Foundation Fellowship

Rebecca Manners, a UM postdoctoral researcher, will receive $375,000 to explore a solution for managing limited water resources in the southwestern U.S. Learn more about her research in this video. 

UM biologist Doug Emlen discusses his new book in his office

Biologist’s 'Animal Weapons' Book Focuses on Species Development

Why do bull elk grow such big antlers? How come whitetail deer antlers have tines growing off a single main beam, while mule deer antlers fork? And why don’t either of them flatten out like moose antlers? UM biologist Douglas Emlen can tell you all about that first question, and he loses sleep at night pondering the others. His new book on this topic, “Animal Weapons,” hits bookstore shelves Nov. 11. Read more about Emlen’s work and his book.

UM sophomore Jesse Desrosier is proposing a Native Languages club

Sophomore Steps Up to Create Native Languages Club

Despite the loss of the University's Blackfoot language classes, students may still have a chance to learn Native languages. A proposed Native languages student club is working on getting recognition as a student group from ASUM. The group has 18 Native and non-Native students tentatively signed on. Jesse Desrosier, a sophomore from the Blackfeet tribe, said he always wanted to organize a Native languages club. Read more about the proposed language club.

The sun rises behind an oil rig on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation

Journalism Alumna Earns Award for Outstanding Feature Story

Kelly Conde, a 2013 graduate of the master’s program in Environmental and Natural Resource Journalism at UM, recently received a prestigious award for her story “The Damage Done.” The Society for Environmental Journalists awarded Conde second place for Outstanding Feature Story. Her in-depth article about the impact of oil drilling and the subsequent water contamination on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation was the capstone of her master’s work. Read more about her award. Read Conde’s article.

UM Assistant Professor Annie Belcourt

UM Professor Named Harvard JPB Environmental Health Fellow

Annie Belcourt, a University of Montana College of Health Professions & Biomedical Sciences assistant professor, has accepted an invitation from Harvard University to be a JPB Environmental Health Fellow for the next three years. The fellowship will allow Belcourt, a faculty member in pharmacy practice and public health, to extend her work in environmental health while developing new collaborative research projects aimed at tribal populations in Montana. Read more about Belcourt’s fellowship.

Students in a MOLLI classroom at UM

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Surpasses Record Enrollment

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UM, known as MOLLI, has surpassed its all-time enrollment high this fall. There are 930 individuals registered for courses, and MOLLI membership grew to 737 members – an all-time high for the fall semester. MOLLI offers noncredit academic short courses to individuals who are age 50 and older. The courses are academic in nature and traditionally taught by UM faculty, emeritus faculty and professionals from the community. Read more about MOLLI. 

A campus image of Main Hall

Social Work Master’s Program Named Among Most Affordable

The Social Work Degree Guide recently ranked the UM social work master’s program No. 3 among the “Top 25 Most Affordable Master’s in Social Work Degree Programs 2014.” Noting the program’s supportive learning environment and dedicated and accomplished faculty, UM’s “social work graduate degree program has a rich legacy for creating a cutting-edge learning experience that prepares social workers for 21st century challenges with a unique focus on rural social work practice.” Read the complete ranking here.

Workers install the fabric sculpture in downtown Missoula.

UM Museum Installs Fabric Art Downtown

Brandon Reintjes, curator of art for UM’s Montana Museum of Art and Culture, helped install a 45-foot-long fabric sculpture titled “Rapunzel” on the Missoula Mercantile building in the downtown area. The piece is by New York artist and Missoula native Amanda Browder. The installation was only up for a few hours on Friday, Oct. 3. Read more in the Missoulian.

Logo for the UM Police Department

Office of Public Safety Renamed UM Police Department

Sometimes, a name change can make a big difference. That's why security officers at the University of Montana decided it was time for a little re-branding. There's no confusion now - UM students should know that they're dealing with police as the Office of Public Safety is now known as the UM Police Department - a change that went into effect this semester. Local news station KPAX reports on the UM Police Department.

Kirk Hash is ASUM's first senator who is deaf.

Student Takes on Role as ASUM’s First Deaf Senator

It won’t be the first time he’s been the only deaf person in the room. Kirk Hash, a well-bearded 38-year-old post-baccalaureate Missoula College student, is used to it by now. Next week, he’s expected to be sworn in as the first deaf senator in the history of the Associated Students of UM. Hash applied for an open seat earlier this fall. Hash said he wants to represent Missoula College students in ASUM. The Montana Kaimin reports on Hash’s new role.

University of Montana campus

Three UM Employees Recognized for Exemplary Service to Victims

Three members of the UM community were recognized for demonstrating exemplary service to victims of intimate partner violence and sexual assault. Captain Ben Gladwin of the UM Police Department was named Public Servant of the Year; Kim Brown Campbell, UM campus assault prevention coordinator, was named Educator of the Year; and Officer Shannon Parsons of UM Police Department was named Volunteer of the Year. Read more about the awards.

Shawn grove of UM's VETS Office and Professor Laura Dybdal

UM Expands Mindful Resilience Training for Student Veterans

Last spring UM Professor Laura Dybdal and Shawn Grove, director of UM VETS Office, partnered with Dan Libby, executive director of the national Veterans Yoga Project, to implement a Mindful Resilience Training for student veterans. Participants reported life improvements and now Dybdal and Grove are expanding it. On Oct. 7, Libby will deliver a lecture at UM and hold training sessions for local health care works and student veterans. Read more about the program and the upcoming lecture.

artists explore use of tools in two shows at UM

Two Missoula Artists Explore Instinctive Appeal of Tools

The primal appeal of tools unites two shows at UM’s Gallery of Visual Arts. Stephen Glueckert built machines that generate the drawings themselves in his exhibit, “We Use Them to Do Things.” The Missoula Art Museum curator has been assembling mark-making machines for years. The other exhibit, “Re/Creation” features Chad Steve’s ceramic pieces, which strike a balance between hyper-realism and fancy. Steve is an artist-in-residence at the Clay Studio of Missoula. Read more about the exhibits.

UM students enjoy a UM Dining meal on the Oval

UM Dining Focuses on Student-Led Food Goal

UM Dining announced Monday it surpassed a goal to provide 20 percent real food by 2020 at a campus event called Real Food Rising. UM signed a commitment with the national organization Real Food Challenge last October. The student-led movement has challenged campuses nationwide to purchase what is called “real food,” defined by four major criteria: local, ecological, fair and humane. Read more in the Montana Kaimin.

Video: Student-Faculty Partnerships Enhance Learning

Private support at the University of Montana gives students and faculty countless opportunities to partner together. Learn about three student-faculty partnerships underway at UM, and how scholarship support has helped these students thrive.

Professor Joel Berger

Professor Earns Accolades for Research, Conservation Work

Like polar bears, muskoxen and yaks are modern metaphors for climate change. UM Professor Joel Berger faces sub-zero temperatures and travels across Arctic and alpine tundra to understand why populations of these species are changing, and what we can do about it. His work, setting in motion a new enthusiasm applying science to conservation actions, is why Berger has advanced as a finalist for the 2014 Indianapolis Prize.Watch this video to learn more. Watch this video to learn more.

Missoula College students work in the classroom

Missoula College Awarded $8M for Health Care Job Training

Missoula College has received a nearly $8 million federal grant to give more students an opportunity for educations in health care fields and ultimately fill much-needed, high-paying jobs. The U.S. Department of Labor announced Sept. 29 that 15 two-year community colleges and tribal colleges in Montana will receive a combined $15 million to improve and expand health care training opportunities, and the grant will be administered by Missoula College UM. Read more about the Montana HealthCARE grant.

UM doctoral student Wylie Carr and his daughter

UM Researcher Investigates Ethics of Climate Engineering

UM doctoral student Wylie Carr’s research takes him to places where the oceans are rising, the deserts are drying or the ice is melting. Once there, he finds people working on climate change and shows them a short video about climate engineering, then interviews them. Climate engineering, also known as geoengineering, is a controversial, futuristic way for humanity to artificially cool the planet. But it isn’t science fiction. Read more about Carr’s work. 

Mike and Maureen Mansfield statue at UM

Mansfield Center Podcast: President Engstrom Reflects on Leadership

The Mansfield Global Leadership Podcast is a new series by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center at UM that captures the wisdom of international thought leaders. In this episode, UM President Royce Engstrom talks about the process of becoming a leader, the Global Leadership Initiative and examples of leadership from his own life. Listen to the latest podcast here.

Mary Ann Cotter receives award for her father, Tom

Major Scholarship Donor Tom Cotter Honored by UM Foundation

For the first time since 2002, the University of Montana Foundation awarded the Order of the Grizzly, its highest honor. Tom Cotter, who gave millions to support student scholarships at the University of Montana, is the 2014 recipient and was honored posthumously at the Foundation’s President’s Club and Heritage Society Dinner on Sept. 25. Cotter passed away July 16. His daughter, Mary Ann Cotter, accepted the award on his behalf. Read more about Cotter’s connection to UM and his philanthropy. 

UM yearbooks

Mansfield Library Makes 72 UM Yearbooks Available Online

Just in time for Homecoming, the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library at UM has placed all 72 UM yearbooks online. The Sentinel yearbooks range from 1904 to 1972 and 1987 to 1989. They are online in ScholarWorks, UM’s open-access repository service. The text of each yearbook is fully searchable, and they include photographs and stories that document all aspects of life at UM, providing a rich source for history and culture of the University. Local news station KPAX reports.

American Indian student works with UM staff member

American Indian Web Portal Offers Gateway to Information

UM recently launched a new Web portal called the American Indian Gateway. The American Indian Gateway provides access to University websites that feature academic programs with a Native focus, research related to American Indian communities, American Indian faculty and staff members, student programs and clubs, Alumni Relations, the University’s Strategic and Diversity Plans, and current news and events across campus and within the Missoula community. Find the American Indian Gateway portal here.

UM student Mitch Everts

Sophomore Drafts Solution for Student Loan Repayment

A UM student and member of a local think tank has drafted legislation he believes will give students more options to repay their college debt, and do so in a shorter period of time. Mitch Everts, a political science and pre-law student at UM, spent his September crafting what he refers to as the People’s Bill, allowing students to repay their college loans by opting to withhold an additional percentage of their income taxes. Read more about his bill.

Michelle Grocke sits with Nepalese children

Fulbright Scholar Heads to Nepal to Study Impact of New Roads

After UM Ph.D. student Michelle Grocke received a Fulbright Scholarship and a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Award last spring, she headed to Nepal to get acquainted with her research field sites. She will spend 11 months examining the impact of new road construction on the agriculture, nutrition and overall well-being of the people who reside in the remote Humla District. Read a Q-and-A with Grocke to learn more about her experiences in Nepal.

The Source in the UC

Nine Amazing Resources All UM Students Should Know About

UM offers a wide array of resources for students, from writing coaching and tutoring to health care services, IT help and outdoor gear rental. Looking for an internship: Head to Career Services. Need to get home from downtown at night? Jump on the UDASH bus. Find out more about the services and opportunities available to all students in a recent blog post from Phi Delta Theta titled “9 Amazing Resources All UM Students Should Know About.”

UM students walk around the Oval

UM Sees 6.4 Increase in Freshmen Students for Fall Semester

UM enrollment numbers show a 6.4 percent increase in freshmen students on the Mountain Campus for fall semester 2014. New freshman students totaled 1,597 on the Mountain Campus for fall 2014 – an increase of 96 students. For incoming resident freshmen on the Mountain Campus, UM shows an increase of 4.5 percent in headcount over the previous fall. For nonresident freshmen, UM shows an increase of 9.7 percent in headcount. Read more about UM’s latest enrollment numbers.