The MSU Climate Action Today for Students (CATS) Lab engages students in learning, research and outreach about the critical issues facing Montana State University, the citizens of Montana, and the world on the climate crisis.

The CATS Lab is a student-led, faculty advised independent learning initiative.  We encourage the use of the Montana State University campus as a living laboratory for experiential learning and applied research on how the climate crisis is impacting our area, and ways we can reduce our own carbon footprint across campus and beyond.

  ~ For more information, contact Paul Lachapelle at [email protected]

Check Out These Student Independent Study and Class Projects


Hailey Sinoff - Spring 2022
Hailey worked on a “Campus Climate Coalition” Toolkit to help students understand the history of university divestment movements, background on efforts to reduce Montana State University’s carbon footprint, and various resources associated with socially responsible investing.  See Hailey's Project

Zach Knoll, Alex Musar, and Andrew Nosler - Spring 2022
These students worked together on the MSU Scope 3 Task Force to analyze what our peer universities are doing to address Scope 3 emissions and make a series of recommendations to Montana State University.  See Zach, Alex, and Andrew's Project

Taylor Brandt - Spring 2022
Taylor worked with Bonnie Hickey, Sustainability Director at Bridger Bowl, on a number of sustainability initiatives including improving composting opportunities and interpretive signage for youth.  See Taylor's Project

Nicole Bondurant, Dominic Corradino, Nicholas Fitzmaurice, Cy Halvorson, Raye Myers, Megan Stone, Jessica Thompson, Savanna Washburn – Spring 2021
The Climate Action Plan Research Report 2021 examines both the development and implementation of climate action plans in higher educational settings. Research strategies include conducting a literature review utilizing reference management software; collecting institutional data on universities across the United States; narrowing the scope of our research down to the following four case study institutions based on their similarities to Montana State University: Colorado State University (CSU), University of Montana (UM), Utah State University (USU), and Weber State University (WSU); analyzing those universities’ climate action plans and supporting documents; interviewing individuals involved with climate action plan development and implementation from each university; and synthesizing our data based on thematic categories into key findings. See Climate Action Plan Research Report 2021

Noah Jakovac - Summer 2021
Noah performed an onsite, photovoltaic analysis for Montana State University, recommending a series of projects to increase our solar capacity. See Noah's Project

Atticus Cummings - Spring 2021
The Campus Climate Coalition was created as a result of Atticus’s work investigating similar organizations at other universities and establishing the student-run effort here at Montana State University. 

Climate Leadership (HONR 291) course - Winter 2021
My colleague Heather Higinbotham and I taught a 1-credit, Climate Leadership (HONR 291) for 25 Honors students.  Part of their required assignment was to complete an interview with a "climate leader" of their choice and then tell their own climate leadership story. See all the videos posted on our class YouTube channel.