Montana State University
University Communications > Points of Excellence > Spectacular Educational Setting

University Communications

Montana State University
P.O. Box 172220
Bozeman, MT 59717-2220

Tel: (406) 994-4571
Fax: (406) 994-4102
Location: 437 Culbertson Hall

Explore, spectacular educational setting

Spectacular Educational Setting

Bozeman ranked number two on list of top 10 "dreamtowns" that offer the best quality of life. The highest scoring cities were "well-rounded places with light traffic, healthy economies, moderate costs of living, impressive housing stocks, strong educational systems and easy access to big-city attractions."
MSU scientists have helped confirm that protein from dinosaur bones can be preserved for millions of years and that birds and dinosaurs are close relatives. The discovery of a bone in an 80-million-year-old hadrosaur in Malta, Mont., showed that a previous, similar find in a 68-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex wasn't a fluke. The breakthrough was published in the May 1, 2009 issue of "Science," a weekly journal that publishes scientific news, as well as the most significant breakthroughs in global research.   Related Information
Sixteen years of MSU research in Yellowstone National Park was summarized in a new book titled "The Ecology of Large Mammals in Central Yellowstone: Sixteen Years of Integrated Field Studies." Ecologist Robert Garrott edited the book to provide readers a synthesis of a diverse body of research. Wolves were reintroduced halfway through the study, so the researchers were able to document their effect on the behavior and population dynamics of elk and bison.   Related Information
Architecture students at Montana State University designed a picnic pavilion that was built in the summer of 2009 near the popular Hyalite Reservoir Dam. The pavilion, a joint project of the MSU School of Architecture, the U.S. Forest Service and the Gallatin Empire Lions Club, was built at the Hyalite Day Use Picnic Area.   Related Information
MSU has become known as Trout U because of its proximity to premier angling and diverse research and creative projects related to trout. Academic interest in trout spans from the study of whirling disease and stream restoration to creative literary works and one of the world's largest Trout and Salmonid Collections at Renne Library.   Related Information
MSU's spectacular setting affords students and faculty many opportunities for academic pursuit:
  • 2010 Discover magazine - MSU paleontologist Jack Horner was featured for his dinosaur field digs and research which is on display at the Museum of the Rockies. Related information
  • 2009 Discover magazine - MSU paleontologist Jack Horner was featured for his dinosaur field digs and research which is on display at the Museum of the Rockies. Related information
  • 2009 Entrepreneur - The Center for Entrepreneurship for the New West in MSU's College of Business was highlighted as an expemlary community/university partnership. Through the program students work for start-up or growth technology companies, gaining valuable work experience while benefiting local companies. Related information
  • 2009 - The Sustainable Food and Bioenergy systems program earned MSU a spot among the top 10 "Best College Environmental Programs in the US." Related information
  • 2008 Popular Science - MSU's Cold Science program in the College of Engineering was highlighted for its study of avalanches, winter road safety and organisms surviving in Antartic ice. Related information
  • 2005 Forbes - "Colleges that are big on research and engineering will be the stars of tomorrow" according to Forbes, and MSU was listed first on the list of college towns offering affordability and an educated workforce. Related information
Graduates of MSU's Equine Science program, which began in 2002, are now teaching, pursuing doctoral degrees, working as veterinarians, horse trainers, or employed at feed and nutrition companies or in the horse-breeding industry. The program was featured in the January 2010 issue of Western Horseman, an internationally circulated monthly magazine dedicated to stock horse culture.   Related Information
MSU is known as the University of the Yellowstone® for its numerous research and creative connections to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Many studies involve life at the microbial scale, especially in Yellowstone's hot thermal features, while others range from brown-eyed mammals and wolves to climate research. The Park's unique features also inspire numerous artistic and literary projects.
MSU's Western Transportation Institute is helping to reduce the number of wildlife vehicle collisions through its road ecology research. Wildlife-related crashes are a growing problem on rural roads around the country as more subdivisions are constructed in outlying areas. The work of the WTI is increasingly important and was recognized in a December 2007 New York Times article.
Montana State University hosted the 2008 NCAA™ men's and women's skiing championships in partnership with Bridger Bowl (alpine) and Bohart Ranch (nordic). Six Bobcat athletes qualified and competed in the event. MSU was also listed in the March 2008 edition of Transworld Snowboarding for its close proximity to world-class snowboarding.
MSU and Yellowstone National Park are lead partners in planning for an ecological observatory that will be one of 20 locations in the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON). NEON sites in diverse climate domains around the country will monitor ecological and climate conditions to understand and forecast the impacts of climate, land use and invasive species.  Related Information
MSU is gaining recognition as "The University of Yellowstone." In recent years, MSU received more than five times the number of National Science Foundation grants for Yellowstone studies than its nearest competition, Stanford and UCLA. MSU scientists across a range of disciplines study Yellowstone to provide insights into the ecosystem and the interaction of the people with the region.   Related Information
Six new projects inspired by the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem received grant funding in fall 2007 and help to bolster MSU's reputation as University of the Yellowstone. The Thermal Biology Institute and Big Sky Institute funded the grants, which will result in musical productions, art, essays, a book, exhibits, podcasts and other new media productions related to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.   Related Information
The Western Transportation Institute assisted Utah DOT in an evaluation of its Weather Operations program that resulted in an estimated $2.2 million per year savings for snow and ice removal. The Utah DOT and MSU's Western Transportation Institute were recognized for innovation by the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) for the Evaluation of its Weather Operations/RWIS (WO) Program. Out of 60 entries, Utah DOT was one of five winning programs that honor the most innovative and effective uses of advanced technologies in surface transportation.
The Big Sky Institute provides funding to students in ecology, earth and environmental sciences with active research projects in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem through the NSF funded GK-12 Science and Society Fellows Program. Graduate student fellows develop a year-long collaboration with a middle or high school teacher in schools in Paradise Valley, Gallatin Valley and Big Sky.  Related Information
A Forbes magazine Nov. 28, 2005, column about the advantages of living in a college town, lists Bozeman and MSU first when demonstrating that "Colleges that are big on research and engineering will be the stars of tomorrow."  Related Information
Located in Bozeman, Montana State University offers limitless outdoor recreation and extensive cultural offerings including the Bozeman Symphony, Bozeman Intermountain Opera, Montana Ballet Company, the Vigilante Theatre Company and numerous art galleries. This high quality of life is frequently recognized by publications including:
  • 2009 National Geographic Adventure - Bozeman was listed among the best places to raise a family because of the outdoor recreation opportunities, university and culture." Related information
  • 2008 Transworld Snowboarding - MSU was listed in the magazine for its close proximity to world-class snowboarding.
  • 2007 Outdoor Life - Nearby access to national forest land landed MSU in the top 10 hunting and fishing universities.
  • 2005 Fly Rod & Reel - MSU was dubbed "the number one college in the country for undergrads angling for an education near trout streams." Related information
  • 2004 Skiing - MSU was named a "Top Ski Town" by Skiing magazine because of skiing access and job opportunities in the area. Related information
  • 2003 Outside - MSU was named the fifth best university in the magazine's "Top 40 College Towns" poll. Bozeman and MSU are the top pick in the Northwest in the ranking of "the coolest college towns, places where the outdoors and intellectual esprit mingle blissfully." Related information
Research conducted by the Western Transportation Institute is leading efforts to protect wildlife, conserve habitat and reduce traffic accidents at wildlife crossings. Undergraduate and graduate students working on these projects obtain firsthand experience in preserving the unique animal habitats of Montana. Recently, students have studied fish passages at road crossings in the Clearwater Basin (Missoula); deer and bear crossings at Bozeman Pass (Bozeman/Livingston); deer and elk crossings near West Yellowstone; and wildlife crossing structures on U.S. 93 (Flathead Valley).  Related Information
Bozeman was selected as the best small-business market in the United States among cities with fewer than 100,000 people, according to a new study by a national publisher of metropolitan business journals. American Cities Business Journals, which publishes business newspapers in 41 major American cities, ranked Bozeman first among the nation's top 16 small-sized markets.
ASMSU Outdoor Recreation Program offers students numerous options for enjoying the great outdoors. Students have the opportunity to rent gear and participate in workshops or guided trips. The outdoor recreation center houses a bike and ski tuning workshop as well as resources such as topo maps, trail guides, magazines and other publications.
Brick Breeden Fieldhouse has hosted national headliners such as Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Keith Urban, Harry Connick and Sesame Street Live. This season the fieldhouse continued its Broadway in Bozeman series, featuring national productions of Rent, Cats, Grease and Tap Dogs.