2018 Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer as a Citizen Scientist

The Wilderness Institute – Citizen Science Program, University of Montana, in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management and the Custer Gallatin National Forest, is seeking volunteers to work with experienced field leaders to evaluate wilderness character across our public lands.  This season WI will be covering Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs) in eastern and southwestern Montana and the Lee Metcalf Wilderness south of Bozeman.

In June expect to be exploring Eastern Montana’s rugged, colorful landscape.  As the snow melts away in July we will move to higher country.

Here's a snapshot of our 2018 summer trips:

  • 6-day trips into the wildlands of Montana, car camping with day hikes and backpacking options.

  • Learned about invasive species, monitoring methods, and the natural history of a vast wilderness and smaller wilderness study areas

  • Backcountry experience is helpful but not necessary

  • Dinners provided daily

  • Transportation available from Missoula as well as selected towns in study vicinity

Meet our amazing crew of field leaders!

Contact Us
citizenscience@cfc.umt.edu 
406-243-6916
Students in the Anaconda Pintlers

BLM Wilderness Study Areas Trips

Bridge Coulee and Musseshell Breaks WSAs | 6/14-19 | Register for this trip

Catch-All Tour of BLM WSAs | 6/27-7/2  | Register for this trip

Hidden Pasture Creek and Blacktail Mountains WSAs  |  7/12-17  |   Register for this trip

Centennial Mountains WSA |  8/9-14  Register for this trip

Lee Metcalf Wilderness Trips

Lee Metcalf Wilderness – Monument Mountain Unit  |  7/12-17  |   Register for this trip

Lee Metcalf Wilderness – Spanish Peaks |  7/26-31  |   Register for this trip

Lee Metcalf Wilderness – Taylor Hilgard Unit #1 |  8/9-14  |   Register for this trip

Lee Metcalf Wilderness – Taylor Hilgard Unit #2  |  8/23-28  |   Register for this trip

*please note due to natural events (weather conditions or fire), we may need to adjust trip locations on short notice.

SEE BELOW FOR FULL TRIP DETAILS

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Bridge Coulee and Musselshell Breaks Wilderness Study Areas | Register for this trip

June 14-19, 2018 (Thursday through Tuesday)

This trip is full; taking applications for waiting list.

Difficulty: Car camping with some rugged on-trail hiking and off trail navigation

Bridge Coulee WSA (5,900 acres) and Musselshell Breaks WSA (8,650 acres) are near the town of Mosby, in eastern Montana.  You will be exposed to ridge tops and deep coulees.  Groves of ponderosa pine and juniper grow, along with range grasses, native wildflowers, and several brushy plants within the WSAs.   



 

Catch-All BLM WSA Tours  |  Register for this trip

June 27-July 2, 2018 (Wednesday through Monday)

Difficulty: Car camping with some rugged on-trail hiking and off trail navigation

Sometimes the weather does not cooperate with us or we simply run out of time. This trip will cover the "danglies," the areas we just did not get covered on previous trips to the BLM WSAs.  This trip may include Bridge Coulee, Musselshell Breaks, and/or Woodhawk WSAs, eastern Montana


 

Lee Metcalf Wilderness – Monument Mountain Unit  |  Register for this trip

July 12 – 17, (Thursday through Tuesday)

Difficulty: Difficult- backpacking with on trail hiking; significant elevation gain and loss.

Vast grassy subalpine basins and lush meadows spread out across a more subdued landscape in the Skyline Ridge country of Cabin Creek and Monument Mountain. As the only portion of the Wilderness adjacent to Yellowstone, the southeast corner of the Madison Range is superb living space for elk, moose, bighorn sheep, and grizzly. On this trip we will focus on social encounter monitoring, mapping of social trails and campsite clean-up.

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Hidden Pasture Creek and Blacktail Mountains Wilderness Study Areas  |  Register for this trip

July 12-17, 2018 (Thursday through Tuesday)

Difficulty: Car camping with some rugged on-trail hiking and off trail navigation

The Hidden Pasture Creek WSA (15,509 acres) is located in Southwest Montana, roughly 40 miles south of Dillon, MT. The Hidden Pasture Creek is located in the lower slopes of the Tendoy Mountains.  Sagebrush habitat with some forested areas are cut by numerous seasonally dry drainages.  The area provides habitat for a bighorn sheep herd.  The Blacktail Mountains WSA (17,479 acres) is located approximately 15 miles south of Dillon, MT, and is predominantly forested.  Located near sagebrush and riparian habitats, the edge effect of the different but adjoining habitats supports a broad array and abundance of wildlife species. 

 

Lee Metcalf Wilderness – Spanish Peaks  |  Register for this trip

July 26-31, 2018 (Thursday through Tuesday)

Difficulty: Difficult- backpacking with on trail hiking; significant elevation gain and loss.

In the Spanish Peaks glaciers carved the valleys into U-shapes, with glacial lakes, knife ridges, near-vertical headwalls, and twenty-five peaks soaring above 10,000 feet. As one of the greatest elevation gains in Montana, this remarkable transition spans the full spectrum of unaltered mountain life zones. On this trip we will focus on social encounter monitoring, mapping of social trails and campsite clean-up.

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Centennial Mountains Wilderness Study Areas|  Register for this trip

August 9-14, 2018 (Thursday through Tuesday)

This trip is full; taking applications for waiting list.

Difficulty:Backcountry trip with trails and some off trail navigation.

This trip will explore some of southwest Montana’s wildest and most scenic country. Considered an important corridor for wildlife movement, it provides an east-west trending mountain range connecting the Yellowstone Ecosystem with the northern Rocky Mountains. Lower elevation slopes are dominated by stands of Douglas fir with occasional lodgepole pine, Engelmann spruce, alpine fir, and quaking aspen. Higher elevations contain broad alpine meadows with scattered stands of subalpine fir, spruce, and whitebark pine. 

 

 

Lee Metcalf Wilderness – Taylor Hilgard Unit #1 (Papoose and Sun Creek)|  Register for this trip

August 9-14, 2018 (Thursday through Tuesday)

Difficulty: Difficult- backpacking with on trail hiking a well as off trail navigation; significant elevation gain and loss.

A vertical mile of glaciated relief imprints the Taylor-Hilgard with jagged pinnacles, U-shaped valleys and alpine cirques. Some of the prominent landmarks along the crest of the Hilgards include the distinctive summits of the Sphinx, the Helmet, Koch Peak, and the chimney spires of 11,316-foot Hilgard Peak-highest point in Montana outside of the Beartooth Range. On this trip we will focus on social encounter monitoring, campsite monitoring, and mapping of social trails.

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 Lee Metcalf Wilderness – Taylor Hilgard Unit #2 (Moose Creek)|  Register for this trip

August 23-28, 2018 (Thursday through Tuesday)

Difficulty: Difficult- backpacking with on trail hiking a well as off trail navigation; significant elevation gain and loss.

A vertical mile of glaciated relief imprints the Taylor-Hilgard with jagged pinnacles, U-shaped valleys and alpine cirques. Some of the prominent landmarks along the crest of the Hilgards include the distinctive summits of the Sphinx, the Helmet, Koch Peak, and the chimney spires of 11,316-foot Hilgard Peak-highest point in Montana outside of the Beartooth Range. On this trip we will focus on social encounter monitoring, campsite monitoring, and mapping of social trails.

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