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What students say:

"Engagement with folks who are living what we discuss in class—that is the backbone of the program. Interaction with people of diverse perspectives and teachers whom have solid understanding of issues in a setting outside of the structures of a school classroom have contributed to 99% of my learning this year."
~Nathan Taylor

"Field trips have enabled me to see parts of Montana I never could have seen and to meet people I never would have met. The trips help put a real place or person with the topics we discuss in classes."
~ Wilderness and Civilization Student

"The field trips were one of my favorite parts of the program. Loved hearing many different people's views of the land. The discussions are a great way to connect different field trips and a time to reflect on what you learned."
~ Wilderness and Civilization Student


College of Forestry and Conservation

Field Studies

Field Learning

field learningField trips throughout Montana and hands-on learning are integral to Wilderness and Civilization. The program begins with a ten-day backpack into the Bob Marshall Wilderness, preparing students for intensive study and personal reflection on wilderness. Through weekly field trips students learn about area ecology, conservation strategies, and local perspectives. Fieldwork puts students in contact with the people who are directly involved in local issues and provides an opportunity to learn the natural history of western Montana. Students also gain valuable skills in plant identification, ecological monitoring, and field journaling.

Past Field Trips Include

owlWildlife and Recreation in Yellowstone ~Glacial Lake Missoula Geology ~Forestry Ecology in the Rattlesnake Drainage ~Ranching in the Bitterroot Valley ~Local Organic Farming ~Mount Sentinel Weed Monitoring ~Missoula Valley Homesteading History ~Community-based Conservation in the Swan Valley ~Primitive Living Skills ~Road Removal in the Clearwater National Forest ~Native Plant Rescue ~Flathead Indian Reservation History and Culture ~Mining in the Yaak Valley ~Sustainable Forestry Practices ~Owl Ecology at Nine Pipes Wildlife Refuge ~Wildlife Survey in the Blackfoot Valley ~Milltown Dam Removal and Restoration

Wilderness & Civilization Field Studies RSCN 273 Syllabus

bettyField trips are designed to connect students with the ecology, politics, history and culture of the region. Through weekly trips we explore a series of places and complex issues related to the interface of our wildland and civilized areas. Students explore such challenges as controlling noxious weeds, managing fire on the urban interface, finding sustainable forestry practices, and restoring healthy watersheds. Field trips introduce students to a range of speakers--foresters, ecologists, tribal members, conservation activists, land managers, and others.

journal Field Trip News

Class trip to Libby provides look at mining gone wrong
Full Story


Photo Gallery

Around Missoula

Blackfoot Valley

Bob Marshall Wilderness

Ecology Studies


Field Journals

Field Studies


Mission Valley

Missouri River

People We Meet

Primitive Skills

Service Learning


Swan Valley

Trek Images

Yaak Valley

Yellowstone National Park