Bob Ream Memorial Fund for Wilderness & Civilization

Bob Ream, former University of Montana professor, Montana House of Representatives member, and chair of the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission, wants to continue the legacy of creating a new generation of advocates for wilderness and wildlife by establishing the Bob Ream Memorial Fund for the Wilderness and Civilization program. Bob passed away on March 22, 2017. Read his obituary (pdf).

Bob’s passion for the outdoors as a classroom led to the creation of the Wilderness and Civilization program in 1974, and the Wilderness Institute at the University of Montana has kept the educational legacy in public lands, natural resources management, and wilderness studies alive for over 40 years. Bob taught students in the Wilderness and Civilization for almost three decades, taking students on backpacking trips in the wilderness at the start of each new school year. He was also acting dean of the W.A. Franke College of Forestry & Conservation from 1993-94. In 2016, Bob was honored as an inductee into the Montana Outdoor Hall of Fame for his life’s work in wilderness education, wildlife research, policy development, and conservation leadership. His legacy continues each year with a new class of Wilderness and Civilization program students.

How Wilderness & Civilization has impacted students:

 “I can confidently say that Wilderness and Civilization is the reason I'm doing what I am today. It exposed me to my true passions, it introduced me to many people that changed my life, and it gave me the determination to go against the rigid academic program I was in and make my own way. I can trace the majority of my accomplishments and opportunities over the last 5 years to my experience as a Civ'er and I wouldn't trade that for anything.” Dylan Lang, field supervisor with Southwest Conservation Corps, class of 2011

“The Wilderness and Civilization program led to a pursuit of place-based, experiential education as a graduate student and as an educator. It gave me a foundation for critical thinking skills. The program taught me not to think in "us vs. them" terms but rather, "we," and all the messiness this entails. It taught me about my own accountability and the need for navigating paradox with grace and an open mind. In other words, the program gave me a language that is imperative for conservation, but more so, it translates into how I engage and participate in community.” -Joanna Campbell, writer, editor and teacher, class of 2001

Photos from the Wilderness & Civilization Program's first years

Wilderness & Civilization

Please join us in continuing the conservation legacy of Bob Ream by contributing to the Bob Ream Memorial Fund for Wilderness & Civilization

Bob established this fund to continue providing support to the Wilderness and Civilization program. The program fund will support wilderness trips, student scholarships, permits, instructor costs, and more in order to ensure student access to the wilderness as a classroom. The fund will also help to maintain the interdisciplinary aspect of the program by supporting faculty in departments and colleges across the UM campus who are instructors in the Wilderness & Civ program.