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Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences
Montana State University
P.O. Box 173120
Bozeman, MT 59717-3120
Tel: (406) 994-3090

Application Deadlines:
Fall - June 15
Spring - November 1
Summer - March 1
*International students must submit their
application one (1) month prior to the
above deadline.

Department Head
Dr. Jon M. Wraith
330 Leon Johnson Hall
(406) 994-4605


    • J.W. Bauder; soil and water quality management.
    • W.P. Inskeep; soil chemistry.
    • B.D. Maxwell; agroecology and weed biology.
    • T.R. McDermott; soil microbiology.
    • W.L. Morrill (emeritus): field crop entomology.
    • G.A. Nielsen (emeritus): soil genesis, morphology and classification.
    • K.M. O'Neill; insect behavior and ecology.
    • D.L. Patten (research); riparian and hydroecology.
    • J.C. Priscu; microbial biogeochemistry in aquatic systems.
    • D.M. Ward; microbial ecology.
    • J.M. Wraith; soil physics.

Associate Professors

    • R.E. Engel; soil nutrient management and plant nutrition.
    • R.L. Lawrence; remote sensing, GIS, spatial analysis.
    • B.L. McGlynn; watershed hydrology
    • P.R. Miller; cropping systems.
    • C. Montagne; soil classification and land resources.
    • R.K. Peterson; agricultural and biological risk assessment.
    • D.K. Weaver; chemical ecology and behavior, insect physiology.
    • C.A. Zabinski; restoration ecology.

Assistant Professors

    • C. M. Foreman (research); microbial ecology.
    • C.A. Jones; soil fertility and nutrient management.
    • R.E. Macur (research); soil and environmental chemistry.
    • L.A. Marshall; watershed analysis.
    • F.D. Menalled; cropland weed ecology and management
    • G.C. Poole; fluvial landscape ecology
    • L.J. Rew; plant ecology.
    • S.E. Sing (research); weed ecology, biocontrol and risk assessment

Degrees Offered
M.S. in Entomology (coordinating department)
M.S. in Land Rehabilitation
M.S. in Land Resources and Environmental Sciences
Ph.D. in Ecology and Environmental Sciences ( Interdisciplinary)

M. S. Degree
in Land Resources and Environmental Sciences

The M.S. program in Land Resources and Environmental Sciences is designed to provide outstanding graduate training opportunities across a substantial breadth of disciplinary interests. Research and coursework programs are specifically adapted to each graduate student. Research projects are directed toward improving our understanding of principles and processes important to land resources and environmental sciences, with opportunities for direct ties to management in many cases. Many projects address processes at multiple scales through well-integrated, multi-disciplinary efforts. Understanding is developed through targeted advanced coursework tailored to the student and to the research project. Research projects involve topics such as hydrology, watershed analysis, integrated management of invasive plant species, soil nutrient management, bioremediation, land reclamation, restoration ecology, fluvial systems ecology and restoration, riparian ecology, microbial ecology of natural systems, chemical fate and transport, water quality, crop diversification, precision agriculture, environmental risk assessment, remote sensing applications, and climate variability.


30 credits minimum (10 thesis, 20 course work) required for master's degree. 2/3 of total credits must be 500
level. 2 Credits of LRES 500 Seminar required.


Students seeking admission to graduate status must hold a B.S. degree, have a record of high scholarship, and show significant promise for success in a graduate program. For detailed information, refer to the sections on Admission Policies and Application Requirements. All applications are evaluated by a departmental review committee and the Department Head for final recommendation to the Graduate Dean. Successful applicants are accepted into both the Department and the College of Graduate Studies.

M.S. Degree
in Land Rehabilitation

Course work in land rehabilitation is designed to serve students new to the rehabilitation field, as well as to experienced individuals or those already working in land rehabilitation or restoration ecology and who desire further education and training. Montana State University offers core courses in land rehabilitation and restoration ecology, and a very strong array of supporting courses in relevant disciplines. These courses are integrated with the core curriculum to add breadth and depth to the program and to make specialization possible in a given aspect of land rehabilitation. Site revegetation, soil remediation, restoration of riparian zones and stream channels, remediation of contaminated sites, and management of invasive plants are among the many potential areas of study. Emphasis is placed on developing a broad understanding of soil, plant and hydrologic processes as foundation to effective applications. With the exception of required core courses, course sequences will be designed to correspond with the specific needs, interests and educational goals of the individual student. This program emphasizes soil, vegetation and water sciences, and graduates are expected to be well versed in these areas in addition to the student's particular area of interest.


Students seeking admission to graduate status must hold a B.S. degree, have a record of high scholarship, and show significant promise for success in a graduate program. For further information, refer to the sections on Admission Policies and Application Requirements. Successful applicants are accepted into the department and the Division of Graduate Education.

Core Curriculum

Candidates for the M.S. degree in Land Rehabilitation must complete a ten (10) credit core curriculum. Elective credits will reflect foundational courses as well as student's special interests. A minimum of 20 credits of coursework must be taken from MSU.

Required Core Courses (4 credits) Credits:

LRES 594 Seminar 2 Credits
LRES 562 Land Rehab Field Problems 2 Credits

Plus, six (6) credits of the following courses:

ENSC 460 Soil Remediation 3 Credits
LRES 461 Restoration Ecology 3 Credits
LRES 560 Land Rehab Reg Plan 3 Credits

Candidates for the M.S. degree in Land Rehabilitation are expected to be familiar with the degree requirements of both their home department and the Division of Graduate Education. For additional degree requirements, see the For Master's Students section.

M.S. Degree
in Entomology

The graduate program in Entomology at Montana State University leads to a Master of Science degree. Students in the program are required to take formal course work and conduct independent research guided by the student's advisory committee.  Each student, during the course of her/his graduate program, will also have the opportunity to participate in activities outside their degree program that will benefit them academically and professionally.  Such activities include participating in teaching and outreach programs, taking part in the entomology seminar series, and attending and presenting research results at professional meetings.  Each student is strongly encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities. A student's individual program can be designed, with approval of the graduate advisor and graduate committee, to suit the student's individual interests and career goals.

The entomology faculty at MSU conduct research in a variety of disciplines, including behavioral ecology, biodiversity studies, biological control of insects and weeds, biosystematics, chemical ecology, ecology, integrated pest management, pollination ecology, risk assessment, stored-product entomology, thermal biology, and veterinary entomology.  Entomological research at MSU includes some of the most important pests in the western U.S., including alfalfa weevil, aphids, cutworms, grasshoppers, Hessian fly, lygus bugs, mosquito vectors of West Nile Virus, wheat-stem sawfly, wireworms, and others.  Beneficial insects under study include various biological control agents and pollinators. Most faculty conduct both applied and basic research.


An entering student is expected to have a solid background in the basic sciences and a B.S. or B.A. in biological or related sciences. The following general guidelines are used for regular admission: 1) combined verbal and quantitative scores on the GRE General Test of at least 1000, with a verbal score of at least 420; 2) minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 on 0-4 scale; 3) positive letters of recommendation; 4) mutual acceptance of a major advisor/student association.

Entomology Curriculum

A minimum of 20 semester hours of course work and at least 10 thesis credit hours are required for the degree. Students deficient in preliminary course work may be required to take additional courses for which they will not receive graduate credit (course numbers <400). A minimum of 24 credits of course work (Including not more than 10 thesis credits) must be taken from Montana State University. Courses taken outside of Entomology must constitute a unified program approved by the student's graduate committee.

Current research focuses on insect pests of agricultural importance, biological control of insects and weeds, integrated pest management, and basic studies in ecology, physiology, behavior, and evolution. Fieldwork is an integral part of most programs. Resources include a comprehensive insect collection, the regional Insect Quarantine Facility, and access to a state-of-the-art Plant Growth Center with glasshouse space, growth rooms, and growth chambers.

Required Courses (must be taken by all M.S. students):

BIOL 435 Insect Identification 4 credits
ENTO 525 Insect Morphology 2 credits
ENTO 520 Insect Physiology 3 credits
ENTO 590 Master's Thesis 10 credits
STAT 401* Applied Methods in Statistics 3 credits
STAT 412*

Methods for Data Analysis II

3 credits

Restricted Electives (fulfill option in each row):

AGSC 401 Integrated Pest Mgmt 3 credits
ENTO 510 Insect Ecology 3 credits


ENTO 514 Behavioral Ecology 3 credits
ENTO 516 Biosystematics 3 credits


ENTO 594 Seminar

1 credit each semester (3 credits total)


ENTO 594 &

ENTO 405


Pesticide Use in Agriculture

1 credit each semester (2 credits total)

2 credits

Other entomology elective courses:

BIOO 262 Insect Biology (Prequisite for upper division Entomology courses) 3 credits
ANSC 410 Veterinary Entomology 3 credits

* or approved equivalent courses in statistics

Program Participants:
Animal and Range Sciences
Land Resources and Environmental Sciences
Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology

Interested students should contact Graduate Program Coordinator, Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences, 334 Leon Johnson Hall, 994-3090,

Departmental Facilities

LRES faculty members conduct cutting-edge investigations in state-of-art laboratory facilities, the modern Plant Growth Center, and in the many outstanding and diverse natural laboratories within and beyond the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. We utilize public and private lands across the state and region, as well as the MSU Agricultural Experiment Station facilities. Our faculty are participants and collaborators in many Centers and Institutes within and outside MSU. LRES faculty advisors work with national and international scientific collaborators, and are internationally recognized for their research and instructional excellence.

Environmental Sciences Analytical Laboratory

The department boasts a modern shared analytical facility that houses many state of art instruments for soil, water, air and plant analyses. The facility supports faculty and graduate student research programs, and provides outstanding hands-on experiences and instruction with diverse analytical measurement techniques.

Spatial Sciences Center

LRES faculty and staff are key members of the MSU Spatial Sciences Center. The Global Positioning System (GPS) Laboratory provides GPS base station data for determination of accurate location coordinates for field mapping projects. The Remote Sensing Laboratory offers a state-of-the-art facility with extensive abilities to analyze both digital and analog imagery. Equipment and support for both laboratories facilitate teaching, cooperative research, and land resource inventory and management activities.

Financial Assistance

Assistantships are awarded on a competitive basis. Contact the department for more information. See the Graduate Assistantship s section for detailed information on appointment criteria.


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