Programs & Field Courses

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Wilderness & Civilization Program (Wilderness Studies Minor)

Offering students a minor in Wilderness Studies in just one semester, this unique interdisciplinary, campus-and field-based program begins each fall semester. Early admission deadline is February 15 of each year. Fill out an application today!

Wilderness & Civilization Program (Wilderness Studies Minor)

Citizen Science

Since 2005, the Wilderness Institute has worked closely with agency and community partners to address this short-fall by recruiting citizens to help trained field staff assess on-the-ground conditions, perform basic stewardship activities, and monitor wilderness character.

Citizen Science

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. 

Wilderness Lecture Series

Freshman Wilderness Experience

A four-day backpacking trip in Montana's wilderness areas for incoming University of Montana freshman. Experience the wilds around Missoula before you start classes; courses led by trained and certified UM students.

Freshman Wilderness Experience

Wilderness Connect

The national Wilderness Connect digital library helps people visit and learn about our wilderness areas and educates wilderness practitioners on best practices in land management decision-making.

Wilderness Connect

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.

Wilderness Management Distance Education Program

The Northern Rockies Outdoor Leadership Certificate

The Northern Rockies Outdoor Leadership Certificate is a trans-disciplinary program at the University of Montana, in which students from any major can earn a NROL certificate.  Students gain and strengthen leadership skills by engaging in diverse conceptual courses and outdoor field settings. Upon completion, undergraduates will have experienced leadership training and application that can be applied to any professional, academic, and personal setting in their future.

To learn more about the program, visit the webpage: https://www.cfc.umt.edu/northern-rockies-outdoor-leadership-certificate/ 

Fill out the interest form: https://www.cfc.umt.edu/northern-rockies-outdoor-leadership-certificate/enrollment-advising/interest-form.php 

Contact Jenn Thomsen at Jennifer.thomsen@umontana.edu for questions about the program!

The Northern Rockies Outdoor Leadership Certificate

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.

Winter Wilderness Field Studies

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.

Yellowstone Field Course

Wilderness Outfitting and Packing Course

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 Outfitting and Packing Course

Wilderness Medicine Courses

The WI and Aerie School for Backcountry Medicine have collaborated since 1994 to offer a complete set of Wilderness Medicine courses including Wilderness First Aid (WFA), Wilderness First Responder (WFR) and Wilderness EMT (WEMT) at the University of Montana.

Wilderness Medicine Courses