Institute on Ecosystems at Montana State University invests $1 million toward critical environmental issues

Jun 01, 2022

BOZEMAN – The Institute on Ecosystems at Montana State University will invest $1 million over the next three years to support research and knowledge exchange addressing critical issues in environmental science and management, including climate change and its impacts on the land, waters and wildlife in Montana and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

MSU’s investment in high-impact, solution-focused environmental science is made possible through a generous gift from Philip Morris USA. In October 2021, Philip Morris USA donated $500,000 to the Montana Institute on Ecosystems at MSU in a gift targeting research and education. In addition to funding opportunities for MSU undergraduates to engage with MSU environmental research, the Philip Morris USA gift creates scholarships for high school students from Park County, Montana.

“By investing in the Montana Institute on Ecosystems, we are proud to support activities that help protect the environment and which contribute to bright futures for students as they address environmental and natural resource challenges in Montana and beyond,” said Mike Brace, vice president and general manager of Philip Morris USA.

Advancing solutions for current and future environmental challenges is important and is consistent with the missions and visions in MSU’s strategic plan, “Choosing Promise,” according to Jason Carter, vice president of research, economic development and graduate education. That’s why his office will match this investment over the next three years to accelerate the impact.

“Anyone living in or visiting Montana knows that our precious ecosystems and environment are facing unprecedented pressures,” said Andrew Hansen, incoming director of the Montana Institute on Ecosystems and an MSU professor of ecology. “MSU scholars and educators are eager to roll up our sleeves and use this investment to work with key partners to help unlock a sustainable future for our state and region.”

At MSU, more than 100 faculty are affiliated with the IoE, which was approved by the Board of Regents in 2011 as a joint effort of MSU and the University of Montana, with participation from across the state. The institute facilitates, produces and shares science-based knowledge, addressing both environmental and natural resources challenges, in partnership with stakeholders in Montana and beyond.

Contact: Andrew Hansen, director of the Montana Institute on Ecosystems, at 406-994-6046 or