Research Home Page

Tom McCoy


This past year has been another productive one for research and scholarship at Montana State University. Our students continue to distinguish themselves, such as the three who received prestigious Goldwater scholarships and the two who were named to the 13th annual All-USA College Academic Teams. (Awards).

Our students eagerly seek out-of-classroom learning experiences to enhance those they receive in the classroom, and awards such as these show the value of that type of discovery in the quality of education students receive here.

My congratulations to them and to the many faculty and staff who take such care to mentor students in their independent scholarship.

In other news, I'm pleased to report that our overall grant and contract expenditures grew to $66 million for fiscal year 2002, up from $61 million in FY01. Nearly 2,000 research and scholarly projects are funded on our campus, a few of which are profiled in this report. We start with a handful of faculty who for years have been learning all they can about some infectious organisms that could be potential bioterrorist agents. Now, of course, that work has taken on greater significance (Bioterrorism).

Also of significance, especially to our region, is a look at how three phenomena-drought, fire and weeds-affect Montana (Drought). This university is rich in the number of scientists focused on rural landscape issues, from agriculture to high-elevation forests, and who want the science they do to make a difference in a region undergoing rapid demographic and ecological change.

Among others here who want to make a difference are students in the new Science and Natural History Filmmaking Program. Created with the goal of taking people with science degrees and turning them into filmmakers, this one-of-a-kind program has attracted some unique students (Filmmaking).

MSU has more than 30 collaborations with tribal colleges and reservation schools aimed at increasing the number and success of Native American students. Some of the primary programs that weave together our campus and the tribal schools are summarized in MSU-Tribal College Collaborations.

Students building a miniature satellite share their experiences on the Vomit Comet (Satellite). Also inside are stories about a microscope small enough to fit between your teeth and gums (Bacteria); a switch to electronic journals that;s both convenient and economical (E-Journals); a gathering of the world;s largest group of paleontologists (Big Mike); new developments in the School of Art ; a rising star in the world of solar physics; a group that keeps its thoughts in the heavens (p. 33); and new work in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

I'm proud of these accomplishments and of the thousands more we didn't have room to showcase in this report. But we can do even more. This year, for example, we plan to more aggressively seek grant opportunities for women and minorities on our campus. And since no successful venture functions in a vacuum, I invite your responses to what you read here and welcome any comments or suggestions you may have for ways to make the research and creative activities enterprise at MSU even better.

Tom McCoy
MSU Vice President for Research,
Creativity and Technology Transfer
Foreword | Bioterrorism Research | Drought, Fire and Weeds | Call of the Wild
Lights! Camera! Bacteria! | Art Takes Flight | Big Crowd, Big Mike Turn Out | MSU-Tribal College Dana Longcope: Solar Physics' Rising Star | Paranoia to White Jazz
To Slamdance and Beyond! | Campus Sees Boom in E-Journals
TechLink Drums Up Success for Innovation
"Powerful Triumvirate" Explores Foundation of the Universe
Undaunted Stewardship Encourages Visitors, Preserves Resources
Student-Built Satellite to Fly on Converted Missile
Research Notes | Faculty and Student Awards
A Summary of Research Expenditures for Fiscal Year 2002