Course Description

This course uses the emerging discipline of systems thinking to explore concepts of holism and apply them using the Holistic Management model. The instructors and students collaborate as learning teams in exploring sustainable solutions to issues of land and natural resource and associated human resource management decision making. We consider multiple scales and cultural paradigms in merging place-based traditional knowledge with contemporary science and management. Case examples come from ongoing BioRegions projects and from participant interests, experiences and contacts. As learning team members, participants will use online discussions to evaluate reading from the assigned texts and supplemental sources, discuss principles and procedures with each other, and complete a personal and group case example project.

This course fulfills 4 credits of the Natural Science/Mathematics degree requirement in Liberal Studies.

Meeting Place and Times



Dr. Cliff Montagne, PhD. Professor Emeritus of Soil Science


As a Holistic Management Certified Educator, Director of the BioRegions Program, and professor, Dr. Montagne works to actualize the application of systems thinking and holistic management in various settings in North America, Japan, Mongolia, and Russia.


Lora Soderquist, MS.

Lora Soderquist is a faculty member in Land Resources and Environmental Sciences at Montana State University where she has worked extensively with this course and Introductory Soils. Additionally, she has worked with seminomadic herding families in Mongolia, and is an independent land management consultant managing private and public lands throughout the West.


Roland Kroos, BS.

Roland Kroos is a longtime consultant and Holistic Management Certified Educator with extensive experience in the use of Holistic Management with North American ranchers and government natural resource management agencies.



Junior Standing


Tuition and Fees

If you are accepted into a qualified online program, see the appropriate MSU Online Only Tuition and Fee table.

If you are also taking a face-to-face course, please refer to the MSU Fee Schedule.

Required Books/Materials

Savory, A., Holistic Management: A New Framework for Decision Making.

Dagget, D. Gardeners of Eden ISBN-13: 978-1559634885 ISBN-10: 155963488X Approx $51.00 new, paperback

Dagget, D., Gardeners of Eden. ISBN 0-9666229-1-X Approx $22.00 new, paperback


Computer Requirements:

  • Internet access
  • A device and browser that pass the system check for Brightspace LE, MSU's learning management system. 

This course uses a learning management system. You will learn more closer to the course start date.


For More Information

For course information: Please contact Lora Soderquist at [email protected]


How to Register

You must be accepted as a student to Montana State University to take this course.

Learn how to apply.

After your application has been accepted, you will register via MSU's online registration system, MyInfo

Registration requires a PIN. Learn how to find your PIN.

Once you have your PIN, learn how to register through MyInfo.