Montana State University

Priscu Research Group

Department of Land Resources
and Environmental Sciences

334 Leon Johnson Hall
Bozeman, MT 59717

Tel: (406) 994-3250
Fax: (406) 994-5863

Outreach Events

LWL-Industriemuseum Schiffshebewerk Henrichenburg (museum in Waltrop, Germany) Hailstone Exhibit, July 2013 - February 2014

An exhibition featuring photos and information about the microbiology of hailstones was provided by PhD student Alex Michaud and was on display from the 2nd of July 2013 through the 28th of February 2014. It was shown at the LWL-Industrimuseum Schiffshebewerk Henrichenburg. The display was featured as part of the "Rain, snow, and hail: From weather to climate change" exhibit.

Polar Science is Cool Day, November 2013

PhD students Alex Michaud and Tristy Vick-Majors gave Bozeman Cub Scout Troop members a tour of the MSU Subzero facility and did a glacier outreach activity to teach the Cub Scounts about glaciers.


Kindergarten and 3rd grade classes learn about Antarctica, October 2013

Research technician Amy Chiuchiolo visited a kindergarten and 3rd grade class at the Annie L. Sargent Elementary School, both in North Andover, MA during October 2013. She talked to students about her experiences in Antarctica.

Crow Education Partnership Monthly Classroom Visits 2012-2013

Monthly classroom visits with students and teachers were conducted by the Outreach Coordinnator and Priscu Lab graduate students. Visits have continued each month since the beginning of the project in December of 2009.  The Crow Education Partnership works with two schools on or adjacent to the Crow Reservation (Hardin Intermediate and Crow Agency School) and focuses on 11, 4th and 5th grade classrooms and teachers with a record 16 visits during the 2012-2013 school year (11 teachers; 185 students).  Topics covered included polar science, adaptations, microorganisms and batik, geology with plate tectonics and seismic waves (Slinkies); Yellowstone extremophiles, invasive species, rock identification and mineralogy, glacier dynamics, and a variety of lessons on climate change using the Environmental Literacy Framework curriculum (ELF). 

STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) Teacher Development, Summer 2012

PhD students Alex Michaud and Tristy Vick-Majors assisted with teaching in the Yellowstone Lake Ecology (LRES 557) and Crow Knowledge and Yellowstone Climate Change (LRES 570) classes, which are part of the MSU Masters in Science Education program.

Peaks and Potentials Summer Camp, Polar Science is Cool!, June 2012

PhD students Alex Michaud and Tristy Vick-Majors did Arctic and Antarctic science outreach activities with elementary school kids.

Crow Education Partnership, May 2012

For the second year, 150 students travelled to Montana State University to participate in an afternoon of science activities on the MSU campus.  Students enjoyed a lunch surrounded by scientists and graduate students in the football stadium.  MSU President Wadad Cruzado, and student athlete and American Indian Science and Engineering Society President, Steven Davis spoke to the kids from Hardin Intermediate School.  After the lunch sponsored by the Priscu Research Group, students participated in 2 of 10 different science activities offered.  Students learned about robotics, rocks and minerals, nanotechnology, avalanches and snow science, Yellowstone ecology, and astrobiology.

Student Climate Change Summit and Crow Education Partnership, March 2012

In March 2012, LTER PhD student Katherina Hell and PhD student Tristy Vick participated in a daylong Student Climate Change Summit and interacted with 60 students and teachers as part of the Crow Education Partnership. The summit consisted of students talking with scientists, presenting their science projects to the scientists and student peers, and participating in a video conference with students and teachers in Virginia and North Carolina. 

Kindergarten classes learn about Antarctica, February 2012

PhD students Tristy Vick-Majors and Alex Michaud interacted with over 250 kindergarten kids at the Ridgeview Elementary School (Belgrade, MT) during a visit to talk to students about Antarctica. Prior to their visit, the students built an igloo out of milk jugs.

Pre-school and 1st grade classes learn about Antarctica, February 2012

Research technician Amy Chiuchiolo visited a pre-school class at the Community Cooperative Preschool and a first grade class at the Annie L. Sargent Elementary School, both in North Andover, MA during February 2012. She talked to students about her experiences in Antarctica, and explained how people and animals are able to keep warm in cold environments.

The Science Olympiad at Montana State University, November 2011

The Priscu Lab sponsored an activity at the statewide Science Olympiad at Montana State University where over 1000 high school and middle school kid participated in science experiments and competitions.

Peaks and Potentials Summer Camp, Polar Science is Cool!, June 2011

PhD students Alex Michaud and Tristy Vick-Majors did Arctic and Antarctic science outreach activities with elementary school kids.

Kindergarten classes learn about Antarctica, May 2011

More than 50 Ridgeview Elementary School (Belgrade, MT) students interacted with technician Amy Chiuchiolo and undergraduate student Hayden Wilson in May of 2011 during a visit to talk to students about Antarctica and how people and animals keep warm in such a cold environment.

Crow Education Partnership, May 2011

During May 2011, the Priscu lab group sponsored a field trip for more that 100 4th grade students that are part of the Crow Education Partnership, providing an afternoon of hands on activities and a tour of the MSU Subzero facility. Activities led by Priscu lab members included the use of microscopes in microbiology, led by Priscu Lab PhD students Alex Michaud and Tristy Vick, and how animals use blubber to keep warm in polar regions, led by LTER technician Amy Chiuchiolo and Priscu Lab Post-Doctoral Researcher Heather Adams.

Montana Science Teachers Association, Montana Education Association Meeting, Polar Science is Cool!, Spring 2011

PhD students Alex Michaud and Tristy Vick-Majors did polar science activites with teachers from around the state of Montana.

The Science Olympiad at Montana State University, November 2010

McMurdo Dry Valleys science was featured during the 25th annual Science Olympiad at Montana State University where over 1000 high school and middle school kids participated in science experiments and competitions. The MSU Sub Zero laboratory was toured by 60 students and ice cores were examined. Trista Vick, MSc student in the Priscu Lab, volunteered as a coach at the Science Olympiad. She helped to organize activities for middle school students in the Montana Science Olympiad competition.

"Biology at the Extremes" talk for 8th grade students, Fall 2010

PhD student Alex Michaud gave a talk entitled "Biology at the Extremes" to 8th grade students at Hardin Middle School, Hardin, MT.  This talk incorporated many pictures and discussions of how life persists in the extreme environment of the dry valleys of Antarctica.  

"Polar Science Day" at Hardin Intermediate School, Fall 2010

Alex Michaud, a graduate (PhD) student in the Priscu Lab, helped Outreach Coordinator Susan Kelly with a "Polar Science Day" at Hardin Intermediate School where they did hands-on science experiments with 4th grad students. View coverage of this event from the Big Horn County News: http://www.bighorncountynews.com/archive/2010/week%2047/ssstory1.html or in pdf.

Teacher Resource Fair

Outreach Coordinator Susan Kelly participated in a Teacher Resource Fair at Montana State University and highlighted ice-core classroom activities. Over 50 teachers attended the Fair.

"Science is Cool! Become a Polar Explorer" camp, June 2010

Outreach Coordinator Susan Kelly and graduate students Alex Michaud and Tristy Vick participated in the "Science is Cool! Become a Polar Explorer" camp, a week-long summer camp experience for 20 5th -7th grade students at Montana State University.

Peaks and Potentials Program, June 2010

MSc student Tristy Vick volunteered for the Peaks and Potentials Program.  She led activities for 7th grade students to learn about the cryosphere, Antarctic science, and life in the Dry Valleys.

Education Partnership with Crow Indian Reservation, December 2009

Outreach Coordinator Susan Kelly and the Priscu lab group developed the Crow Education Partnership with teachers and students on the Crow Indian Reservation (8 teachers and 150 students, Hardin Intermediate School District, Hardin MT). This new outreach program was featured in the Bighorn County News and focuses on polar research.

Priscu Lab graduate students and scientists participate in this monthly program on the reservation, which serves 200 4th grade students and teachers, sharing information about Antarctic science from their experiences working as part of the limnological component of the LTER project.

Life in Ice documentary, 2002-2003

The Priscu Group, in collaboration with the Big Sky Institute and the MSU Science and Natural History Filmmaking program, produced the teaching video "Living Ice" (filmed during the 2002-2003 Antarctic field season) and synergistic classroom activity for high schools to excite students about microbiology and discovering life in Antarctica. View information about the documentary 'Life in Ice'