News Archive

Here you can find the latest news about the Institute on Ecosystems

Visit the news archive for older news items

Grasslands Collaboration 101 Grasslands Collaboration 101

The second annual field tour of the Grassland Resilience Working Group focused on community stewardship and development projects in Central Montana. We had the incredible fortune of assembling a group of 24 MSU faculty and graduate students (and friends) who took time away from classes, writing and family to travel 724 miles in 3 days.

Researchers from the Montana State University Land Resources Environmental Sciences department recently traveled to Alaska to collect data on thawing permafrost soils in boreal and arctic regions to hopefully further knowledge about permafrost's contributions to climate-change-inducing emissions of carbon dioxide and methane. Submitted photo. MSU Research Group Travels to Alaska to Examine Climate Trends

A team of researchers from Montana State University’s College of Agriculture traveled to Fairbanks, Alaska, this summer to collect data they hope will help advance understanding of how thawing permafrost contributes to boreal greenhouse gas emissions. The team included faculty Jenny Watts and IoE affiliate Scott Powell of the Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences, doctoral student Mary Farina and undergraduates Hailey Webb and Nathan Barnes. From July 27 to Aug.

Wildfires in the West are becoming inevitable, and communities that rethink what it means to live with them will fare better than those that simply rebuild after they burn, according to a new paper published this week in Nature Sustainability. Photo courtesy of Lily Clarke. Researchers from MSU, UM, and USFS publish paper on wildfire research in Nature Sustainability

Wildfires in the West are becoming inevitable, and communities that rethink what it means to live with them will fare better than those that simply rebuild after they burn. So says a new paper published in Nature Sustainability, research stemming from a collaboration among scientists from the University of Montana’s W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation, Montana State University, the U.S.

Dr. Jakki Mohr UM Professor and IoE Affiliate Jakki Mohr Contributes to Publication on Ecological Restoration

The ideas of a University of Montana management and marketing professor recently contributed to genomic research by Australian scientists trying to improve ecosystem restoration efforts.

A Montana University System project funded by the National Science Foundation will research water quality at several sites in Montana, including the Upper Clark Fork River (pictured). Photo by Robert Payn, Montana State University. Montana CREWS Project Seeks Input from Water Professionals

A statewide project supported by the National Science Foundation is seeking input from professionals working in water-related occupations on their professional development needs.

Christine Foreman, left, and Heidi Smith, right, in the McMurdo Dry Valleys region of Antarctica during a study that lead to a 2017 paper about carbon released by microbes in glacial meltwater MSU Researcher Co-Authors Paper that Raises Awareness of Microbes' Importance to Climate Change

A Montana State University researcher has joined scientific colleagues around the world in calling for greater attention to microbes when studying and addressing global climate change. 

An image of a pit membrane, the cellular structure linked to slow growth, drought resistance and longevity in ponderosa pines Cell Structure Linked to Longevity of Slow-Growing Ponderosa Pines

A new study led by Beth Roskilly, a University of Montana (UM) alumna, and Dr. Anna Sala, Professor in the Division of Biological Sciences at UM and IoE affiliate, has linked cell structure to the longevity of slow-growing ponderosa pines. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), finds that "ponderosa longevity might hinge on the shape of microscopic valve-like structures between the cells that transport water through the tree." 

MSU Photo by Kelly Gorham NSF EPSCoR Awards Montana $20 million to Advance Research and Education in Water Quality

From MSU News and UM News Services: "The National Science Foundation has funded a new $20 million research and education project on water quality in Montana.

Workshop participants and coauthors at UM in May 2017 New UM Study Highlights Fundamental Challenges of Living with Wildfire

From UM News Service: Wildfires can have dramatic impacts on Western landscapes and communities, but human values determine whether the changes caused by fire are desired or dreaded. This is the simple – but often overlooked – message from a collaborative team of 23 researchers led by University of Montana faculty in a study published in the May issue of the journal BioScience.

MSU Climate Research to be Featured on PBS Series 'NOVA'

From MSU News Service: Research conducted at Montana State University will be featured on a new episode of the popular PBS series “NOVA” this Wednesday. The episode, titled “Inside the Megafire,” will include the research of MSU ecology professor Cathy Whitlock and her laboratory group, as well as footage of the researchers’ fieldwork in Yellowstone National Park and MSU’s Paleoecology Lab.

Dr. Bruce Maxwell IoE Co-Director Bruce Maxwell Wins National Award for Weed Research

From MSU News Service: "Bruce Maxwell, professor in the Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences in MSU's College of Agriculture and co-Director of the Montana Institute on Ecosystems at MSU, received the Outstanding Research Award at the organization's annual meeting in New Orleans in February. 'It's a nice honor,' said Maxwell, who has been a member of WSSA since he was a graduate student in the '80s.

Grain by Grain Press Image "Grain by Grain" Lecture and Book Signing on April 23

Bob Quinn, an organic farmer from Big Sandy, Montana and Liz Carlisle, a Lecturer in the School of Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences at Stanford University, will deliver a lecture on their new book Grain by Grain: A Quest to Revive Ancient Wheat, Rural Jobs, and Healthy Food at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, at the Procrastinator Theater.

MSU graduate student Alex McMenamin gently coaxes new Carniolan honey bees into their new home at the MSU Honeybee Research Site and Pollinator Garden. MSU Researchers to Share Latest on Bees at April 18 Symposium

From MSU News Service: Montana State University researchers will share their latest bee science at an evening symposium that will include short films and a question and answer session with an expert panel. The annual Pollinator Symposium will take place at Inspiration Hall in MSU's new Norm Asbjornson Hall on Thursday, April 18, starting at 6 p.m. The event runs until 8 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Paris to Pittsburgh Film Poster IoE and MSU Office of Sustainability to Host Free Screening of Film "Paris to Pittsburgh"

Please join the Montana Institute on Ecosystems and the MSU Office of Sustainability on Monday, April 8 at 4 p.m. in the Procrastinator Theater for a FREE screening of Paris to Pittsburgha new film from National Geographic. From coastal cities to America’s heartland, the consequences of climate change are becoming increasingly evident across the country.

Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir forest burned in the 1994 Idaho City Complex Fire on the Boise National Forest in Idaho, and little regeneration has occurred since. (Courtesy of Kimberley Davis) New Study from University of Montana Focuses on Forest Recovery After Wildfires

A new study from researchers at the University of Montana focuses on the ability of low-elevation forests to regenerate after wildfires. The study, titled "Wildfires and Climate Change Push Low-elevation Forests Across a Critical Climate Threshold for Regeneration" and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that climate change makes it increasingly difficult for tree seedlings to regenerate following wildfires in low-elevation forests, which could contribute to abrupt forest loss.

Dr. Jean Dixon *EVENT CANCELED - IoE Fellow Jean Dixon to Discuss Soil as part of Distinguished Lecturer Series on March 11


Dr. Jean Dixon, Assistant Professor of Earth Sciences at Montana State University, will deliver a lecture at 7 p.m. Monday, March 11, as part of the Montana Institute of Ecosystems’ Distinguished Lecturer Series.

Wildfire and smoke IoE to Co-Sponsor Two-Part Seminar Series on Climate Change and Human Health in Montana

The Montana Institute on Ecosystems, in partnership with the American Lung Association and the UM School of Public and Community Health Sciences, will co-sponsor a two-part interactive seminar series exploring human health and climate change in Montana on Wednesday, February 27 and Thursday, February 28. The program is geared toward health, medical, and policy professionals and students, as well as interested members of the public.

Landscape in Antarctica MSU Ecologist Jay Rotella to Speak on Antarctic Mammal Research as part of IoE Distinguished Lecturer Series

Jay Rotella, a professor in the Department of Ecology in MSU’s College of Letters and Science, will deliver “Insights from 40 years of Study on Earth’s Southernmost Mammal: Antarctica’s Weddell Seal” at 7 p.m. Jan. 30, at the Procrastinator Theater. Light refreshments will be served prior to the talk.

Dr. Diana Six. Photo courtesy of UM News Service UM Professor Diana Six Co-Author on New "Forest Health and Biotechnology" Report

Diana Six, a University of Montana Professor of forest entomology and pathology and IoE affiliate, is a co-author on a newly released report titled "Forest Health and Biotechnology: Possibilities and Considerations." The report was released January 8 by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and

Dr. Cathy Whitlock Dr. Cathy Whitlock to Lecture at Museum of the Rockies on Jan. 15

Dr. Cathy Whitlock, Professor of Earth SciencesIoE Fellow, and Montana State University's newest Regents Professor, will give a talk titled "Looking backward, thinking forward: Perspectives of a paleoecologist" at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 15 at the Museum of the Rockies' Hager Auditorium. 

Fall 2018 Newsletter Cover Fall 2018 Newsletter from MT NSF EPSCoR Highlights Research from RII Track-1 Project (2011-2018)

Montana NSF EPSCoR has released their Fall 2018 newsletter, a special issue that highlights research and work that took place during the 2011-2018 RII Track-1 project. The newsletter includes pieces ranging from a summary of the 2017 Montana Climate Assessment to research on lichens, the impact of bison re-introduction to the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, and the success of the

Acoustic Atlas New Acoustic Atlas Project Highlights the Sounds of Montana Ecosystems

A new project from the Acoustic Atlas highlights the various sounds and noises found in four of Montana's major ecosystems. The project, titled "Sounds of the Wild West," allows users to scroll through an online Story Map and learn about different features of each ecosystem, including the flora, fauna, and humans that live there, along with a sound bite accompanying the text description.

Photo Credit: Shannon Hilty Dr. Andrea Litt To Give Lecture on Bat Conservation

Dr. Andrea Litt, an Associate Professor in the Department of Ecology at Montana State University, will deliver "Going to Bat for Bats: Informing Bat Conservation at Three Scales" at 7 p.m. Tuesday, November 27 in the Procrastinator Theater (MSU SUB). Light refreshments will be served prior to the talk. The event is free and open to the public as part of the Montana Institute on Ecosystems' Distinguished Lecturer Series.

Joshua Botti-Anderson giving research presentation IoE Undergraduate Summer Research Experience Students Give Final Presentations

Nine MSU undergraduate students presented on their summer research experiences on Thursday, October 18 as part of the IoE's Undergraduate Summer Research Experience Program. As part of the session, each student gave a 10-minute presentation and then answered audience questions about their projects.

Dr. Clayton Marlow to Give Talk on Conserving Grass and Shrublands in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

Dr. Clayton Marlow, a Professor in the Department of Animal & Range Sciences at Montana State University, will deliver "It Isn't Just Climate Change: Conserving the Grass and Shrublands of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem" at 7 p.m. Monday, October 22 in the Procrastinator Theater (MSU SUB). Light refreshments will be served prior to the talk. The event is free and open to the public as part of the Montana Institute on Ecosystems' Distinguished Lecturer Series.


MSU IoE Office

Montana State University
605 Leon Johnson Hall
Bozeman, MT 59717
(406) 994-2374
MSU Director: Bruce Maxwell

UM IoE Office

The Universityi of Montana

The University of Montana
Davidson Honors College
Missoula, MT 59812
(406) 243-6058
UM Director: Maury Valett


Montana University System

Montana University System

Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education
2500 Broadway Street
Helena, MT 59620