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The Wilderness Institute offers a variety of courses and programs for students and the public. From the year-long Wilderness and Civilization Program to online Wilderness management courses and short courses in Yellowstone and the Mission Mountains, our courses focus on a variety of topics and issues. Please contact the Wilderness Institute for more information on any of our course offerings.

College of Forestry and Conservation

Education: Courses and Programs

Wilderness and Civilization Program
(Wilderness Studies Minor)

Offering students a minor in Wilderness Studies, this two semester, interdisciplinary, campus- and field-based program begins each Fall Semester. Applications due April 1, apply HERE.

Summer Field Courses

4 credits, FOR 391
August 16-24
This class takes place in the wild South Fork Flathead River valley, deep in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. We will work alongside researchers studying fire ecology and fire effects in ponderosa pine and western larch forests. We backpack into our remote field sites and float out of the wilderness in inflatable rafts.

5 credits, FOR 391
May 17-June 2
Work together with professional ecologists, USGS field technicians, and students from other universities on a long-term research project in Yosemite National Park. We will study a variety of forest types, including 4000 year old bristlecone pines in the White Mountains. We camp the entire three weeks of this class.

Wilderness Lecture Series
The lecture series serves as a forum for the exploration of current wilderness issues. Each year, the series brings scholars and leaders from across the country to the University of Montana to focus on a particular theme. The 2014 lecture series this year is entitled, Room to Roam: 50 Years of Wildernes Policy, Practice, Protection and Passion.

Wilderness Management Distance Education Program
The Distance Education Program provides online and correspondence courses focusing on wilderness management and stewardship. Courses include topics ranging from philosophy and ecology to recreation and planning.

Yellowstone Field Course
The Yellowstone course introduces students to conservation issues and the natural history of Yellowstone with an emphasis on ecology, geology, geothermal activity, wildlife management, winter recreation issues, tourism, environmental politics, and ranching.

Wilderness Photography
The photography workshop provides an opportunity for participants of any skill level to learn the intricacies of wilderness photography in scenic Glacier National Park.

Winter Wilderness Field Studies
This ten-day intensive course explores natural resource management and outdoor leadership in the Swan Valley and the Mission Mountain Wilderness. The course focuses on wilderness management using the Mission Mountain Wilderness Area as a classroom and case study.

Wilderness Outfitting and Packing
The outfitting and packing course offers hands-on instruction working with packing equipment, horses, and mules. Course topics include general horse handling, packing, and minimum impact horse use and camping techniques.

Wilderness Risk Management
Wilderness Risk Management is a central component for all of the Wilderness Institute's field-based learning and service work. We hold high safety standards and follow a Risk Management Plan and an Emergency Response Plan developed through years of experience.

Wilderness Medicine Courses
In 1994, WI assisted the Aerie School for Backcountry Medicine in starting up its first courses to help prepare outdoor educators and students for safe backcountry leadership and travel. Today, Aerie offers a complete set of Wilderness Medicine courses including Wilderness First Aid (WFA), Wilderness First Responder (WFR) and Wilderness EMT (WEMT). WI and Aerie maintain a partnership to offer courses at The University of Montana. Aerie also offers courses elsewhere in western Montana.

WC Group

Hand Lense