The Wilderness Institute

The mission of the The Wilderness Institute is to further the understanding of wilderness and wild lands stewardship through education, research and service.

Housed within the University of Montana's W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation, the Wilderness Institute provides students, agencies, and the general public with information, educational programs and resources, and technical tools to understand public lands conservation, land stewardship, protected areas management, and the social and ecological values of wilderness.

Matthew Hansen

Matthew Hansen Endowment for Wilderness Studies

The Endowment funds projects promoting the protection, enhancement, and understanding of wilderness, the value of conservation and preservation of wildlands, and the protection of our wilderness resource in Montana. Awards of up to $6500 are available. Application deadline is April 19, 2024.

event invitation

Hush of the Land Book Launch

Join us for the book launch of "Hush of the Land: A Lifetime in the Bob Marshall Wilderness," celebrating the legacy of Smoke Elser. Arnold "Smoke" Elser is a key figure in the outfitting and packing community. The event will feature a special reading by Eva-Maria Maggi, as well as storytelling and Q&A with Smoke. March 11 at 6pm at the University Center Threater. 


Students sitting on a rock writing reflections

Accepting Applications: 2024 Wilderness and Civilization Program!

Now accepting applications for Fall 2024 until the program fills, usually by mid-April. Apply today to ensure a spot in this innovative educational experience! It is the only program in Montana where students can earn a Wilderness Studies Minor.

Sounds of Our Lives Podcast : In Wildness

The story of the Round River Experiment and Wilderness and Civilization program at the University of Montana. Narrated by Victor Yvellez. Click below to listen.

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Podcast Transcript Link