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The deadline for submission is April 4th, 2014

Download the application

2013 Announcement

2013 Schedule

Contact Us

Phone: 406-243-6944

32 Campus Dr.
University of Montana
Missoula, MT 59812

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Since the inception of the International Seminar on Protected Area Management, we have come to realize the importance of describing the setting you can expect to encounter when you arrive in Montana. Below are a few of the most frequently asked questions and our corresponding responses. Should you have questions that are not listed below, please feel free to e-mail one of the Seminar Co-Directors at:
  • What are my responsibilities during the Seminar?

    We would like you to be prepared to reflect on protected area management in your own country. We offer an opportunity for each participant to give a ten minute introduction to the group. Participants are invited to include the following information in their introduction: their work responsibilities, the organization or area in which they work, and a brief introduction to the major challenges in their protected area as well as a success story. We encourage participants to bring photographs (on a flash drive or CD) that illustrate the issues you would like to discuss, since images can provide valuable insight into the context in which your protected areas operate.  In addition, it would be helpful if you could bring a brief fact sheet, perhaps one or two pages, about the types of protected areas and their administration within your government. This way, you can distribute this fact sheet to the other participants, and devote most of your time to discussing issues in your country’s protected areas or other relevant topics you would like to share with us.

    The introduction is designed to offer a beginning to an ongoing conversation between participants, staff, and guest speakers about protected area management issues. Throughout the Seminar, participants are encouraged to discuss major protected area management issues, challenges, and success stories from their home countries. For informal events in the Seminar you may wish to bring some digital photographs or DVDs of some of the protected areas in your country.  We typically arrange evening shows to learn more about each of our countries.  It is not necessary for you to bring a laptop or ipad computer, however, you may certainly do so and many past participants have enjoyed having the use of their own laptop or ipad during the Seminar.

  • What type of weather can I expect and what clothing should I bring while I'm in Montana?

    You should come prepared for both warm and cool weather. Many of our field examples will have us in outdoor settings for several hours. July and August temperatures can range from 5°C to 35°C in Montana, and they can change rapidly in a single day. A good strategy is to bring clothes that you can put on in layers, and make sure you bring at least one warm sweater, a warm hat, and a few pairs of warm socks. It is also useful to have a rain jacket. Since we will be walking on some mountain trails, comfortable, sturdy footwear is a must. Many participants enjoy having hiking shoes and sandals during the Seminar. You may also like to bring a swimsuit for wading in the water. For indoor events, comfortable, casual clothes will be the norm. We plan no events where formal attire is required, but you may wish to bring one semi-formal outfit for Washington, DC, and our opening banquets. For our opening banquet, we invite you to wear traditional attire from your country

  • What countries do the participants come from?
    Last year our participants came from seventeen countries: Cameroon, Colombia, Belarus, Brazil, Zambia, Cambodia, Thailand, Israel, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Egypt, Gabon, Sierra Leone, Russia, India, Armenia, Ghana. Despite the fact that there may be political tensions between some of the countries represented by our participants, we have found that participants get along very well and form strong friendships that often extend beyond the Seminar.
  • Will I receive per diem or an allowance?
    All participants will receive a small per diem cash allowance of approximately during the Seminar. This allowance is to be used for the occasions when participants will be required to arrange their own meals and pay for small incidental expenses. The tuition cost will cover all travel, lodging, and most of the meal expenses. If you wish to purchase items not covered by the allowance, you must bring your own money with you to Montana.
  • Will there be time for shopping?
    Participants will have several opportunities to shop during the Seminar. The shopping opportunities will allow participants to purchase needed items for the field and to purchase personal items to take home.
  • Will I have access to the Internet / e-mail?

    Participants will have access to the Internet/e-mail during most of the Seminar if they bring a laptop or Ipad. Participants unable to bring a laptop or Ipad will be given several opportunities to check Internet/email at the beginning, middle, and end of the Seminar. If it is necessary that your e-mail is monitored on a daily or regular basis, please arrange to have someone in your home country do this.

  • Will I have cellular phone access?
    The primary cellular network in Montana does not use the SIM card system. As a result, cell phones brought from overseas frequently can not be used in Montana. If you have an international cell phone, contact your service provider to see if it can be used in Montana.
  • How can I make affordable long distance calls from Montana to my home country?

    Participants have also found affordable rates through online calling card retailers, which require that you provide them with a credit card number and e-mail address. Participants also have used internet-calling options like Skype, provided they have brought a laptop or ipad with them. Occasionally, international calling cards are available from retail stores in Montana.

  • What type of accommodations and food arrangements have been made?

    We will spend most nights in furnished hotels. During most of the seminar, participants will share accommodation (2 participants, 2 beds, one room). The group will spend three nights at a remote ranger station, where some of the participants will be staying in tents. While camping equipment will be provided for the ranger station visit, participants will be expected to wear clothing appropriate for outdoor terrain.

    Once you arrive in Washington, DC and Montana for the Seminar, we have made all the arrangements for your food and lodging for the duration of the program. We recognize that people have different dietary needs, so we have made sure there are menu options for each meal.

  • What type of physical activity is required?

    There will be no substantial physical activity required. There will be time allocated for optional short or day hikes in Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park. However, recognizing that we will often be more than 1,500 meters above sea-level, you may tire faster than normal. Drinking water regularly will help a great deal.

  • What are the steps and deadlines for applying to and attending the Seminar?

    STEP 1: Secure financial sponsor to attend ISPAM. Review details of the Seminar on the website.

    STEP 2: Submit seminar application to seminar coordinator. Deadline to submit application is April 2.

    STEP 3: The Seminar Coordinator will confirm financial sponsorship for participation in the Seminar. The Seminar Coordinator will review your application and if accepted, will send you a formal letter of acceptance and invitation to the Seminar. The Seminar Coordinator will send you several important documents outlining important information for the Seminar. It is your responsibility to review them carefully and be familiar with the details contained within these documents.

    STEP 4: Request J-1 visa from Seminar Coordinator or procure other type of US visa independently. Also, acquire any needed transit visas that may be required. Inform the Seminar Coordinator of your visa status, visa interview date, and results of visa interview. It is important that you check and respond to your e-mail regularly (at least once a week) so that you can be advised of important Seminar information.

    STEP 5: Purchase airline tickets and send the Seminar Coordinator a detailed flight itinerary. *If you are sponsored by the USDA Forest Service International Programs, submit Flight Booking Form to the Seminar Coordinator. Deadline to submit Flight Booking Form is June 1.

    STEP 6: Fly to Washington, DC and attend the International Seminar on Protected Area Management!