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!



  • Communicating Ecosystem Science is a non-credit certificate program for MSU graduate students in environmental science-related fields

    The Spring 2017 session is Jan 19–Feb. 23
    The group meets every Thursday, 1:30–3pm, for 6 weeks

    Deadline to apply is Dec. 7, 2016

    Participants will...

    • Discuss the role of scientists and the media in public communications and outreach

    • Study the role of strategic broader impacts plans and evaluation in submitting successfully funded grant proposals

  • This is an an exploratory project to assess the viability of using visualization software to help render complex environmental phenomena. Our research focuses on advancing techniques for visualizing and simulating the flux of multiple, interactive currencies through networks with heterogeneous structures by applying modern software engineering principles to develop a software framework.

    A component of this project will utilize visualiation software and the planetarium at the Museum of the Rockies.

  • 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.

  • IoE Graduate Fellows on the MSU campus are required to develop an outreach project associated with their research.  

  • Watch live screencast here: https://zoom.us/j/283795654

  • 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.

  • The IoE Outreach team is working on an addictive information source on climate and ecosystem science!

    Cowboys, farmers, skiers, fishermen, rafters, campers, educators and all the other people who love Montana's wild places - UNITE! Soak up juicy tidbits of information about our ecosystems and get inspired by the amazing science happening in our backyard.

    Stay tuned...

  • IOE is working with Extended University's National Teachers Enhancement Network (NTEN) to develop online graduate courses and a graduate certificate in Climate Science designed for science teachers (K-12, community colleges and tribal colleges). NTEN is one of the country's oldest online professional development opportunities for teachers, having been established in 1993 with funding from the National Science Foundation. NTEN currently offers more than 60 science courses and five online graduate certificates for teachers.

  • Montana State University's Extended University and The Univerrsity of Montana are developing online courses and certificates for undergraduates that engage undergraduate students with IoE and EPSCoR science.

  • Science Montana is a statewide outreach and workforce development network that brings public and private entities together to further STEM education and to help the public learn about and engage in discussion about science in Montana and beyond. The goal is to expand the university system's science outreach efforts beyond just MSU and UM, by engaging a far-reaching network of partners and providing them with tools, materials, and resources that they need to disseminate and deliver Montana outreach and workforce development efforts to their constituents.

  • 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.

  • spectrUM Discovery Area will deploy mobile science exhibits designed by IoE and EPSCoR researchers and outreach personnel

  • 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



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