Outreach Projects

  • Climate in My Backyard (CLIMB) is an educational outreach program serving K-12 schools and informal educators.

    These dynamic educational modules are designed to engage and inspire students by connecting them with climate science researchers in Montana and the Rocky Mountain West. Through hands-on experiments and personal interactions with scientists and university students, young people will learn STEM skills such as collecting and sharing data; developing models and making predictions; and communicating and collaborating with other classrooms.

    Download CLiMB overview for teachers here.

    CLIMB modules for Summer 2013:

    • Exploring Ecosystems:  Exploring Ecosystems is a five-lesson series for upper elementary and middle school classrooms offers baseline information on ecosystem principles including biodiversity, wildlife ecology and climate change as well as the principles and processes that guide field researchers. Includes hands-on activities, worksheets and field journals.
    • Using GPS and GIS to Map Noxious Weeds: Join classrooms around Montana in a citizen science project to identify and map noxious weeds, while learning about the challenges of invasive species and how they affect our ecosystems." This citizen science project involves teachers located at 15 counties in Montana who are working with students to identify and map noxious weeds using GPS/GIS technologies. Teachers will share data with one another for comparison, and work with students to learn about the challenges of invasive species. When finished, the data collected can be shared with university researchers and Montana agencies. The project can also be replicated by other classrooms around Montana.
    • Using Technology to Monitor and Map Water Quality Sites Affecting Our Ecosystems: This case study helps middle school and high school educators use DEQ-sanctioned procedures to collect local water samples; test the water samples for dissolved oxygen, pH and temperature; work with the DEQ to submit properly collected samples; and then use the data collected to draw conclusions regarding water quality in regard to ecosystems and human activity. Students will also use GPS technologies to map data collection sites and build an ArcGIS Explorer map with videos and photos. Extended learning projects include student presentations of the data and other science communications projects. 

  • Multiple studies* published in peer-reviewed scientific journals show that 97% or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities.

    To help share this information, the Montana Institute on Ecosystems' Climate In My Backyard (CLIMB) outreach effort created these graphics that can be shared via social media. Feel free to download and share!



  • Explore the ecosystems of Montana alongside researchers from the Montana Institute on Ecosystems and enhance your students’ understanding of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). This unit parallels research that is being done in Montana and the Rocky Mountain region and includes five hands-on lessons. Filled with inquiry-based activities, these lessons will guide you and your students through the biodiversity of various ecosystems while applying wildlife ecology research techniques to your own local schoolyard.

  • The IoE Rough Cut Seminar Series brings together Montana University System faculty across disciplines, colleges, and campuses to enhance statewide interdisciplinary activities.  Each speaker presents his or her research in open seminar talks at both MSU Bozeman and UM Missoula.  Live screencasts of presentations are made available over the web.

  • IOE develops and participates in numerous science-for-the-public opportunities, including hosting guest scientists and being a partner in events such as International Mountain Day and Expanding Your Horizons. We work with partners ranging from National Geographic to the Montana Girls STEM Collaborative to disseminate educational resources and generate conversations about relevant IOE research projects and results.

  • Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks --both of which lie within the ecosystems monitored and studied by IOE-- receive approximately 5 million visitors a year, many of whom are interested in receiving educational information about the areas they have visited. IOE will develop a blend of print and multimedia assets: animations, video clips, quizzes, calculators, tips, maps, quick facts, and interactives --that demonstrate concepts such as modeling, predictions and uncertainties associated with climate change.

  • IOE is working with both MSU and UM to develop science communications trainings for students and faculty, as well as increase the number of opportunities to participate in public outreach activities.

    Efforts have included

  • A series of fact sheets from the Institute on Ecosystems will help explain concepts related to ecosystem science and climate change.

  • The NSF WildFIRE PIRE project is developing podcasts to showcase the project and communicate science to diverse audiences.  Go to the Vimeo link below to see all of the WildIRE PIRE podcasts.



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