The Montana Institute on Ecosystem’s mission is to facilitate, produce, assimilate and share science-based knowledge, addressing both environmental and natural resources challenges, in partnership with stakeholders in Montana and beyond.

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Montana's Ecosystems

An ecosystem, simply defined, is a community of all the living and non-living things in a specific geographic area. An ecosystem can be small, such as the area under a pine tree or a single hot spring in Yellowstone National Park, or it can be large, such as the Rocky Mountains, the rainforest or the Antarctic Ocean. Whether alive (biotic) or not alive (abiotic), all components of an ecosystem impact each other directly or indirectly. For its research projects, the Montana Institute on Ecosystems has delineated four major Montana ecosystems: the Crown of the Continent, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the Upper Missouri, and the High Plains Ecosystem.

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Latest News


UM Research Helps Humans Becoming Amazing Crop Sensors

Jul 20, 2020

Farmers have eyeballed their crops to gauge how well they are doing since the dawn of time. Though it may not seem too trustworthy or scientific, new research from the University of Montana and the Sp...


MSU Professor's Work on Plant Chemistry Published in Global Change Biology

Jul 10, 2020

A Montana State University professor’s research on plant chemistry in the Northern Great Plains and Northern Rockies has been published in Global Change Biology, a prominent journal that promotes expl...


MSU Research Team Receives Grant to Study Invasive Grass Management

Jun 11, 2020

An interdisciplinary team of researchers from the Montana State University College of Agriculture received a grant to develop an integrated management framework for cheatgrass, an invasive species in ...


MSU Student and 2018 IoE Undergraduate Summer Research Intern Wins National Award for Weed Science

May 20, 2020

A member of Montana State University’s spring class of 2020 has been recognized for her contributions to the field of weed science during her undergraduate career. Stacey Robbins, who graduated from t...


New Research Finds Ranchers Consider Diverse Factors in Managing Their Land

Apr 09, 2020

In a new study published in Rangeland Ecology and Management, researchers explore the diverse factors that influence how ranchers manage their land. Missoula-based collaborators on the project include...


Utah Professor to Lead Climate Change Lecture and Panel Feb. 18 at MSU

Apr 09, 2020

Rob Davies, physicist and professor of professional practice at Utah State University, will present a lecture about how the climate crisis is changing our world today at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18, in...


Richard Ready to Talk Feb. 19 on the Social Cost of Carbon as part of IoE Distinguished Lecturer Series

Apr 09, 2020

A Montana State University researcher will discuss recent developments in how the federal government incorporates mortality and climate change impacts into its analysis of environmental policies. Rich...


Three MSU Research Teams Set to Improve Water Quality with New Funding

Apr 09, 2020

As part of a statewide effort to advance research and education in water quality, three Montana State University research teams have won funding for projects that could lead to more affordable water m...


Montana State Researchers Earn National Science Foundation Grant to Study Caddisflies and Stream Health

Apr 09, 2020

Funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Division of Environmental Biology, a pair of Montana State University researchers are setting out to prove caddisflies are more than fish food....


IoE Latest Research

Hydro-Economics of Agricultural Regions

Apr 09, 2020
Water for Agriculture

The Hydro-Economics of Agricultural Regions project aligns science, policy, and technology to gain insight into the linkage between the hydroclimatic and agricultural systems at unprecedented spatial ...



Apr 09, 2020

WildFIRE PIRE (Partnerships in International Research and Education) is an international partnership focused on the causes and consequences of fire in the past, present, and future....


The IoE draws on the extraordinary landscapes of Montana and beyond to better understand complex ecosystems and the interconnectedness of people and nature

Latest Events

August CSAC Meeting

Date: Thursday, August 27, 2020
Time: 2:00pm - 4:00pm

Location: WebEx Virtual Meeting

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IoE Rough Cut Science:
Designing Collaborative Research: Understanding Public Perceptions of the Warm Springs Ponds to Inform Reclamation Needs

Date: Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Time: 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Location: Virtual Seminar - Details Coming soon!

Speakers: Dr. Arica Crootof

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The IoE works with diverse partners on research projects, science outreach, and education. See the list below featuring the IoE's partners.

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