Montana State University

College of Letters and Science

Montana State University
P.O. Box 172360
Bozeman, MT 59717-2360

Tel: (406) 994-4288
Fax: (406) 994-7580
E-mail: lands@montana.edu
Location: 2-205 Wilson Hall

Dean:

Nicol C. Rae
nicol.rae@montana.edu

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Explore: Spectacular Educational Setting

Bozeman consistently ranks high on lists of towns that offer the best quality of life. Bozeman is known as a 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. However, MSU setting in the Northern Rocky Mountains also provides the perfect outdoor classroom and research lab for a variety of learning and research opportunities.

Learning in the Last Best Plance

   
Location puts MSU on the map for teaching, research and service
MSU is increasingly on the map because of its wide-range of excellent, and often unique, learning and research opportunities, many of which are found in the College of Letters and Science. These programs include thermal biology and astrobiology in Yellowstone National Park, archaeology field work, fisheries research, paleontology in Eastern Montana and snow science in our many snowy mountains. Our Native American Studies program is also highlighted for the opportunities it provides students to work in native communities in the region. Read more...


Just for Fun

   
Bozeman named a top "dream town" by Outside
Bozeman was once again ranked among the "25 Dream Towns" and was No. 1 for best skiing in the West in Outside magazine's "Best Towns 2010." According to Outside, Bozeman has it all: "Cradled by 10,000-foot peaks, hyaline streams, and ragged wilderness, the fastest-growing town in the state has a bustling college campus and brains to match." Read more...
 
     
Born to run
You see the dramatic pictures of people running along the ridge of the Bridger Mountains near Bozeman, and you wonder why. Why would anyone want to race along the crest of a mountain range so high and craggy that its howling winds attract hundreds of thermal-seeking raptors every fall? Why do 250 people chose to run approximately 20 agonizing miles at elevations up to 9,665 feet? Read more...
 
     
Wind brings out kite skiers on MSU campus
Outdoor enthusiasts like Josh Manchester, Phillip M. Journey and Bucko Slabaugh don't need to buy ski passes to have fun. Just give them a windy day, some snow, and they're high as kites. Not literally, though. That would be dangerous and call for swift action. But the three do love kite skiing and sometimes do it at Montana State University. Read more...
 


Inspiration for Writers & Poets

   
A natural act: writer David Qaummen
David Quammen is the award-winning author of 11 books and numerous essays on science, nature, and conservation. One of a handful of contemporary writers who has elevated the art of science writing, he moved to Montana in the 1970s and Bozeman in 1984. He has written for National Geographic, Outside, Harper's, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times Book Review. Read more...
 
     
A place of the heart: writer Ivan Doig
More than 50 years ago Ivan Doig packed his bags, took a train from Dupuyer, on Montana's Front Range, and traveled to Chicago for college. He has never again lived in the Big Sky state. Yet Montana has never really left him, for the state is the source of most of Doig's writings. Montana remains the bedrock of his prose and thinking. Read more...
 


Trout U

   
Trout U: MSU has the resources and know how to help the state solve real world problems and preserve its fisheries and waterways
Back in 2003, MSU trademarked a new nickname for itself, one that captured the essence of a whole slate of courses, programs and resources that have drawn students to the university for decades. At the heart of it, though, is the ecology department’s Fisheries and Wildlife Management Program. Read more...
 
     
MSU is Trout U
About a decade ago fly fishing icon Bud Lilly began referring to his alma mater as "Trout U" because of the many programs at MSU that focused on fisheries, water and environment that sustained fish. In fact, there were so many fish-related programs at MSU, not to mention the university's proximity to some of the country's premier trout streams, that MSU trademarked the Trout U nickname. Read more...
 
     
MSU researchers search for lake trout in remote lakes of Glacier National Park
From June through September, Mike Meeuwig, a doctoral student in ecology, and two technicians hiked trails to Akokala Lake, Arrow Lake, Lake Isabel and Lincoln Lake and bushwhacked their way to Cerulean Lake to find out how far lake trout have invaded Glacier National Park. All the lakes are west of the Continental Divide. Read more...
 


Paleontology

   
Montana's landscape provides a home for dino hunters and snow scientists
Montana is about 630 miles across and 250 miles north to south. That’s more than 147,000 square miles of diverse landscape, from arid plains in the east to snow-capped mountains in the west. It’s a vast and varied place that gives two of Montana State University’s signature earth science programs, paleontology and snow science, plenty of room to run. Read more...
 
Eastern Montana dinosaur now yields protein that's 68 million years old
The Eastern Montana dinosaur known as B. rex has done it again. The Tyrannosaurus rex that became famous for yielding soft tissue, blood vessels and tissue typical of a female bird has now produced 68-million-year-old protein. Far older than anyone has ever found or expected, the protein came in the form of collagen from the back thigh bone of the oldest T. rex on record. Read more...
 
Burrowing, digging dinosaurs found in southwest Montana
A new dinosaur that dug burrows and cared for its young in dens was found in southwest Montana. The 95-million-year-old bones of an adult Oryctodromeus cubicularis and two juveniles were found jumbled together in a burrow about 15 miles from Lima, Montana. The fossils were collected in 2005, and wen to MSU's Museum of the Rockies where they were prepared and analyzed. Read more...

 
Paradise in Hell Creek, Montana
Jack Horner could have gone anywhere to find the perfect spot for reconstructing the world as it looked 65 million years ago. The paradise he was looking for, however, was a patch of Montana Badlands called Hell Creek. The location was chose because of its accessibility and because of how much stuff has already been collected there. It has been collected since the early 1900s. Read more...

 


Snow Science

   
Montana's landscape provides a home for dino hunters and snow scientists
Montana is about 630 miles across and 250 miles north to south. That’s more than 147,000 square miles of diverse landscape, from arid plains in the east to snow-capped mountains in the west. It’s a vast and varied place that gives two of Montana State University’s signature earth science programs, paleontology and snow science, plenty of room to run. Read more...
 
     
The nation's only undergraduate program in snow science
The program, in the Department of Earth Sciences, is based on a solid and broad-based foundation of course work in geography, mathematics, statistics, chemistry and physics. The snow science program prepares students for careers in a variety of snow-related areas including avalanche forecasting, water resource planning, snow-melt hydrology, land-use planning and snow engineering. Learn more...
 
     
At MSU snow, ice and cold are hot science
Cold regions research, otherwise known as cold science, began at MSU just after World War II, when men like Charles Bradley and John Montagne joined the faculty. These soldiers-turned-scientists turned the mountains into classrooms, capitalizing on the area's surplus snow and ice and establishing a tradition of internationally recognized snow science work at MSU. Read more...
 


Yellowstone Studies

   
Yellowstone National Park: A hot spot for research and learning
The thermal environments in Yellowstone National Park likely mimic those of the early Earth, and by studying the microbial life that thrives in those environments, researchers may better understand how life on Earth came to be and what other forms of life might exist in the universe. MSU’s Astrobiology Biogeocatalysis Research Center (ABRC), is a NASA-funded entity that studies the origin, evolution and distribution of life in the universe. Read more...
 
     
Some like it hot...
Part of a large interdisciplinary contingent that's responsible for MSU holding the title of "University of the Yellowstone," grad students and faculty researchers collect algae and microbes from hot pools in the south-central part of the Yellowstone National Park so they can select the best conditions for growing the microorganisms in their labs. Read more...
 
     
MSU builds name as University of the Yellowstone
The fact that MSU leads the country in the number of research projects in Yellowstone National Park is no surprise to researchers, yet the statistics are impressive. 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. Read more...
 
     
Integrated ecological science in central Yellowstone
As a high-profile destination, it is not surprising that natural-resource policies in Yellowstone National Park sometimes spark public controversy. A unique research project between MSU, California State University - Monterey Bay, and the National Park Service (NPS), 13 years in the making, is about to change that. The project takes a multidisciplinary approach to Park ecology. Read more...
 
     
Yellowstone, not just a pretty place
Yellowstone National Park has always been a scenic and recreational draw for MSU students and faculty, but increasingly the park's role as a natural laboratory and historical archive is playing a crucial role in the research and creative work of the L&S community. And more significantly, this work is receiving national and international recognition. Read more...