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Profiles of Environmental Education Grants Awarded to Organizations in Montana

- Indicates a Headquarters grant

2015 Grants

Montana State University   $91,000
Barbara Bunge, 309 Montana Hall, PO Box 172470, Bozeman, MT 59717
Empowering Community Stewardship in the Headwaters
The Empowering Community Stewardship in the Headwaters project expands and advances a statewide water quality education program that encourages adult and youth civic community organizations to adopt a local river or stream reach. This project combines water quality monitoring, river cleanups, and enhancement projects by community organizations. The organizations engage in water quality investigations that lead to better understanding of local watershed issues and that identify local actions to improve water quality. Five Adopt-a-Reach pilot water stewards groups receive training and support through water monitoring training, on-site visits, water quality collection days, and river-reach cleanups. Each organization must adopt at least 1 river-mile for the duration of the grant. Within each reach, the community organizations identify locations to conduct water monitoring, riparian visual assessments, and river cleanup events based on safe and legal access and areas of concern by.

Montana State University   $91,000
Barbara Bunge, 309 Montana Hall, PO Box 172470, Bozeman, MT 59717
Pursuit of Educational Advancement toward Careers in Environmental Fields (PACE) for Montana Tribal College Students
Pursuit of Educational Advancement toward Careers in Environmental Fields (PACE) for Montana Tribal College Students is located in seven Tribal communities. Montana Tribal College student participants (PACE Participants) increase their awareness and knowledge of specific local environmental issues identified as a concern by their community and where the community desires a solution. Inspiring and encouraging interest in environmental stewardship and environmental careers, the program increases the environmental literacy, knowledge of sources of information, and evaluation skills of the PACE Participants in relation to the environmental issue identified. Additionally, the program increases awareness of institutions of higher learning in Montana and the degrees they offer in environmental fields and mentorship and support programs; scholarships and grants; internships and fellowships; and other opportunities.

The Watershed Education Network   $91,000
Deb Fassnacht, 315 So, 4th East Suite 203 , Missoula, MT 59801
Western Montana Place-Based Watershed Education Program
Western Montana Place-Based Watershed Education Program educates tribal and non-tribal student groups and community members on the environmental issues in their local watersheds and the possible solutions to those issues, as well as potential stewardship opportunities in those watersheds. The project provides environmental education on issues relevant to the Clark Fork and Flathead watersheds to grades 5 through 12. The program protects the local watersheds through educating and empowering watershed-literate citizens. Additionally, it builds a connection between what is learned in the classroom and the real-world applications through investigative, immersion learning at the river's edge.

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2013 Grants
University of Montana     $168,969
Beth Covitt, 32 Campus Dr., 4104, Missoula, MT 59812
Montana Groundwater Academy
The Montana Groundwater Academy (MGA) is a 2-year program that engages high school students in place-based, data-driven science investigations. Students develop knowledge of western Montana hydrologic systems, the ability to undertake water research investigations, and the capacity to participate in informed decision-making about water issues. 1,000 students participate in a 3-day learning unit that includes a half-day field trip to a groundwater education field site where students collect firsthand data to use in water science investigations. The field site comprises a network of monitoring wells and surface water features accessible to learners for data collection (e.g., water elevation, etc.). The project also makes use of archived data (e.g., from USGS) to support water investigations.

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2012 Grants

Montana State University     $157,690
Barb Bunge, PO Box 172470, Bozeman, MT 59717
Classroom to Careers: Investing in the Headwaters' Future
The Classroom to Careers program offers substantial environmental education application training for teachers and career building experiences for youth.  This highly personalized, far-reaching, environmental education and stewardship program expands and advances Montana’s statewide water education training for K-12 teachers and non-formal educators.  In addition, hands-on, real world experiences are provided for middle school through undergraduate students. This project, by design, requires participants to think critically about their watershed and take action towards becoming leading environmental stewards in their communities. Students and educators engage in timely and locally relevant water investigations that lead to a heightened understanding of local watershed issues. High school and college students are provided opportunities to connect to employers and higher education institutions. The program aims to provide instruction and coaching to novice teachers to align needed community water projects with Common Core Standards for deeper application to the school curriculum. The focus on Common Core integration, the real-world applications to environmental restoration and protection issues, and the development of a delivery model to mostly rural populations serve as environmental education models that can translate to other EPA Region 8 states, especially where natural resource extraction and development have affected watersheds.

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2011 Grants

Ecology Project International   $32,200
Kelsey Stamm, 315 South 4th Street East, Missoula, MT 59801
Empowering Environmental Stewards
Yellowstone Wildlife Ecology Program fulfills three goals: 1. To aid scientists by contributing to conservation projects addressing climate change to improve habitat, protect endangered species, and inform land management 2. To engage youth in hands-on science, from which they acquire a strong foundation in biology, ecology, geography, and the scientific method; and 3. to empower and inspire youth to become active environmental stewards. Our work partnering teens with field-based researchers demonstrates how experiential learning can change attitudes and empower youth to tackle conservation issues. Our participants’ experience in nature inspires them to incorporate environmental stewardship into their lives over the long-term, and is critical to the success of conservation efforts.

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2010 Grants

Bitter Root Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) Area, Inc.   $26,088
Becki Koon, 1709 North 1st Street, Hamilton, MT 59840
Earth Stewardship Program (ESP)
The goal of the Earth Stewardship Program (ESP) is to help disenfranchised middle school youth develop a deeper connection to nature by enhancing their environmental problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, thus enabling them to make informed decisions about the future of their local environment. ESP addresses seven local environmental issues relevant to the Rocky Mountain Region: watershed health, noxious weeds, forest health focusing on fuels build-up, forest insects and tree disease, air quality, recreational ethics and etiquette, and interactions between humans and wild animals. During each of the seven classroom lessons, students brainstorm ideas for stewardship projects that involve scientific monitoring related to the environmental issue they are learning about that month. Each class carries out two projects. Classes can choose to do two monitoring projects, two community stewardship projects, or one of each. Students have greater ownership over the experience by choosing the type of projects they want to undertake rather than having project topics assigned to them.

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2009 Grants

Montana Audubon    $31,440
Paul Belanger, P.O. Box 595, Helena, MT 59624
Yellowstone River Education and Stewardship Project
The purpose of the Yellowstone River Education and Stewardship Project is (1) to promote environmental stewardship by young students (grades 3 through 8), (2) increase environmental knowledge as measured by pre- and post training surveys, (3) improve environmental literacy, and (4) develop a sustainable environmental education program. Students connect with nature by studying the Yellowstone River ecosystem and by examining related environmental issues such as habitat loss and water pollution. The students visit the Audubon Conservation Education Center (ACEC) at least three times a week during the school year to participate in environmental monitoring, stewardship, and environmental education activities that reinforce themes previously introduced in the classroom. The ACEC field trip engages students in monitoring water quality, tree growth, fish, turtles, frogs, small mammals, dragonflies, and birds. The project also targets teachers (grades 3 through 8) who collaborate to plan a curriculum that introduces basic ecological concepts and environmental themes into the classroom and provides an opportunity for students to participate in outdoor learning opportunities to reinforce and bring to life what they have learned in the classroom. The Yellowstone River Education and Stewardship Project at the ACEC in Billings is a collaborative partnership with Yellowstone River Parks Association, Billings School District #2, Montana State University-Billings, and several area schools.

Montana Outdoor Science School   $21,543
Ciara Wolfe, 4056 Bridger Canyon Drive, Bozeman, MT 59715
Science in Residency Program (SIRP)
SIRP supports state and local science education standards through an interdisciplinary approach to teaching science and environmental education. The SIRP module incorporates science and environmental education into weekly curriculum through subjects such as literature, art, and math. SIRP instructors help ensure that key material is covered and understood, assisting classroom teachers with building student skills and a knowledge base in preparation for testing. The program is designed to aid teachers in their effort to convey the importance of science concepts to their students, bringing topics to life through techniques that are often excluded in the classroom. SIRP lessons not only engage the students in natural science and environmental issues, but also the teachers by demonstrating useful methods for bringing these concepts to the table without adding stress to their workload.

Montana State University   $77,579
Debra Earl, P.O. Box 172470, Bozeman, MT 59717
Student Water Monitoring Program
Montana Watercourse (MTWC) is a statewide water education program that supports water resource decision-making and stewardship for Montana citizens. This project expands on these efforts by offering a 2-year education and service learning program that engages students in real-world investigations. In coordination with partner organizations, MWTC delivers water quality training to students and provides new components to help strengthen the ongoing volunteer water monitoring program. These events encompass targeted regional water monitoring trainings for teachers, personalized site visits, a statewide Water Summit for Students and Teachers, service-learning projects, and coordination of statewide water quality events. New school groups that join the monitoring program are trained in service projects that consist of classroom learning with real-world application to solve local watershed issues. To prepare school monitoring groups, MWTC coordinates a mentorship program comprised of experienced educators and local watershed protection groups and distributes World Wide Monitoring Kits. Students coordinate and design water monitoring and river cleanups within their local communities. Students then share this knowledge with the community through community presentations, public service announcements, and posting data on the World Water Monitoring Data Web site. Key partners included the Clark Fork Coalition, the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conversation, the Montana Outdoor Science School, the Montana Science Teacher's Association, the Montana State University Big Sky Science Partnership, the Montana Watershed Coordination Council, and the Yellowstone River Watch.

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2008 Grants

Montana Tech of the University of Montana   $23,780
Matt Vincent, 1300 W Park Street, Butte, MT 59701
Clark Fork Watershed Education Program Director
This project provides teachers with the skills and knowledge to integrate place-based environmental education content into standard curricula and promotes inclusion of place-based environmental education content in standard district curricula. To build stewardship, communities must understand the science motivating the Upper Clark Fork Basin transformation and what average citizens can do to maintain the health of the newly restored watershed. The CFWEP, with its partners, manages and conducts the project. The audience served by this project consists of teachers working in grades 5 through 9 with an emphasis on science and math teachers. The strategy of this project is to design, promote, and deliver professional development workshops that provide teachers with existing environmental education curricula and supporting materials. Teachers gain background content knowledge on the environmental history of the watershed and the science behind ongoing reclamation and restoration. They are trained in use of environmental education content to meet state and national education standards. Environmental literacy improves in Upper Clark Fork Basin communities, resulting in increased environmental stewardship and the continued restoration and perpetual health of area ecosystems.

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2007 Grants

Montana State University   $13,080
Janet Bender-Keigley, P.O. Box 170575, Bozeman, MT 59717-0575
Expanding Water Education Opportunities
The Montana Watercourse and Girls Scouts of Big Sky Council partner to provide a series of trainings for Girl Scouts and their leaders on the importance of water quality issues and clean water. Trainings include water resources components for the leader training,; water education training for the residential camp counselors; and water education modules for day camp programs, providing direct education to Girl Scouts themselves and troop leaders. These trainings lead to a cadre of girls and volunteer leaders who are more aware of water quality and the importance of individual action and knowledge. In all cases, the emphasis is on empowering the leaders and their girls to think critically and to act on water resource issues that affect their daily lives.

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2006 Grants

Institutes for Journalism & Natural Resources   $12,000
Frank Edward Allen, 121 Hickory Street, Suite 2, Missoula, MT 59801
A Field-Based Learning Expedition for Reporters and Editors
The Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources (IJNR) is an independent, non-profit educational group that conducts expedition-style programs for selected representatives in the field of journalism. To date, IJNR has conducted 31 learning expeditions and a year-around mentoring program serving journalists in 37 states. The institute works with the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, EPA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), along with representatives in the timber, energy, and food services industries, grass roots organizations, and family-owned farms. For nine consecutive days in September, a diverse group of journalists, serving rural and urban communities in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, and the Dakotas, will be visiting various ecosystems. There, they learn about drilling sites, logging and grazing operations, watershed restoration projects, power plants, and wind farms. Journalists are required to improve their competence as critical thinkers and as investigators of trends. They interact with 50 expert speakers and site hosts and visiting communities such as Pinedale, Big Piney, Rock Springs, Evanston, Green River, Rifle, and Salt Lake City.

Rim Country Land Institute   $10,000
Carol Schmid McEvoy, 70 Hanging Tree Gulch, Clancy, MT 59634
Revitalizing Communities Through Place-Based Education and Stewardship
The non-profit Rim Country Land Institute (RCLI) offers educational workshops, teacher training, and community service projects in the Yellowstone County and Billings area. Education programs focus on initiatives in environmental stewardship, impacts to the prairie ecosystem, urban sprawl, and conservation easements and Smart Growth policies. This project offers teacher training sessions for state and tribal teachers in the local area; monthly student activities including community service projects; environmental workshops to increase environmental literacy; and school field trips for local schools. Partnerships have been established with Montana State University, Project WET, the Prairie Alliance, the Montana Natural History Association, the Montana Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy – Helena Office, along with tribal representatives from the Crow Nation and Northern Cheyenne. Partnerships also have been established with federal agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), EPA, Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Sun River Watershed Group   $9,990
Alan Rollo, 808 52nd Street South, Great Falls, MT 59405
Montana Watershed and Stewardship Program
The non-profit Sun River Watershed Group is dedicated to increasing environmental literacy and stewardship in the Great Falls School District for middle and high school students. This program is a joint venture of the Sun River Watershed Group, Cascade County Conservation District, and Sun River Science Club. Students learn about rivers and watersheds, and in particular issues surrounding the Missouri River and the Sun River and Teton watersheds using hands-on activities related to ecological issues in the area. Teacher seminars involve collecting and interpreting data, improving creativity, as well as developing and applying logical processes in science and environmental issues. The program also demonstrates environmental projects using the Mobile Environmental Science Lab (MESL). This small school bus has been remodeled into a mobile laboratory where demonstration kits and equipment can be transported to the students and teachers. Project curricula and materials used come from several sources, including The Montana Watercourse, Healthy Water Healthy People, Water Quality Educators Guide, and the Air & Waste Management Association’s Environmental Resource Guide on Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention.

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2005 Grants

Institutes for Journalism & Natural Resources   $10,000
Frank Allen, 121 Hickory Street, Suite 2, Missoula, MT 59801
Great Waters Institute
Institutes for Journalism & Natural Resources (IJNR) conducts the Great Waters Institute for journalists. The Great Waters Institute is a 9-day expedition into rural parts of Wisconsin and Michigan that provides practical learning experiences in relevant outdoor settings. Journalists explore the conditions of forests, farms, fisheries, rivers, and lakes. They examine logging practices, watershed restoration projects, shoreline developments, and mining and Superfund sites. Along the way, they will meet and talk with expert speakers. IJNR mentors the journalists after the expedition is over.

Institutes for Journalism and Natural Resources   $10,000
Frank Allen, 121 Hickory Street, Suite 2, Missoula, MT 59801
2005 Salmon Country Institute 
Education for journalists about agriculture, forestry, and water quality under this project is intended to enable them to report more accurately and with more depth. Participants study logging practices, watershed restoration projects, dams, and agricultural operations during several field trips in coastal parts of Oregon, Washington, and Canada. They talk with more than 40 experts from federal and state agencies; representatives from local timber, energy, mining, and seafood companies; family farms; and grassroots environmental groups. These experts offer knowledge on all aspects of environmental issues. After the training, the institute follows up with individualized professional coaching and mentoring that lasts for at least 1 year. The goal of the project is to improve reporting on environmental issues to expand and reinforce public understanding.

Missoula County Watershed Education Network    $16,200
Debbie Fasshecht, The Swift Building, 315 South 4th Street East, Missoula, MT 59801
Missoula County Watershed Education Network Program
The Watershed Education Network (WEN) conducts hands-on educational programs to elementary, middle, and high school students about water quality and non-point source pollution issues. Through several community outreach events, classroom activities, and field experiments, WEN empowers citizens to make decisions about local water quality and community land use practices. In addition, parents attend the special events and field experiments.

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2004 Grants

Boone and Crockett Club Foundation    $17,979
Lisa Flowers, P.O. Box 230, Dupuyer, MT 59432
Sustaining the Source through Watershed Education Program
The Rocky Mountain Front is a large region where controversies currently exist regarding land subdivision, public land access, oil and gas extraction, animal grazing, water use and quality, and other environmental issues. The Sustaining the Source through Watershed Education Program is a partnership of Blackfeet Community College, Montana Watercourse, the Pondera County Conservation District, the Blackfeet Conservation District, the De La Salle Blackfeet School, the Valier Public School, the Dupuyer Elementary School, and the Boone and Crockett Club. The program is a year-long endeavor to bring together junior high school students and teachers from three underserved communities so that they can explore watershed issues and conduct three local watershed restoration and enhancement projects. Students conduct community open houses to showcase their efforts and share their knowledge about the local watershed.

Missoula County Public School District #1   $5,000
Dr. Jim Clarke, 215 S. 6th Street West, Missoula, MT 59801
Outdoor Environmental Education Program
Missoula County Public School District #1 is partnering with the University of Montana School of Education and Missoula Outdoor Learning Adventures to conduct the Outdoor Environmental Education Program for sixth-grade students and to provide associated training for their teachers. The objectives of this program are to integrate environmental education into the public school curriculum, offer teachers environmental education training that focuses on specific environmental issues in the Missoula area, provide students with information about environmental careers and career development, and support environmental education capacity building in Montana.

Montana Environmental Education Association   $17,000
Steven Eshbaugh, P.O. Box 7022, Bozeman, MT 59771
Environmental Education Certification Program 
The Montana Environmental Education Association and the University of Montana are developing an Environmental Education Certification Program for the state. The program’s training initiatives lay the groundwork for the implementation of higher environmental education standards across Montana. As part of the program, a Certification Summit is held to provide organizations and individuals with the opportunity to demonstrate their attainment of certain benchmarks in environmental education excellence that are outlined in a Certification Rubric. The certification program also provides training for Assinibione-Sioux tribal members who conduct environmental education programs on the Fort Peck Reservation.

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2003 Grants

Montana Environmental Education Association   $25,000
Steve Eshbaugh, P.O. Box 8065, Bozeman, MT 59773
Guidelines for Environmental Education Providers in Montana 
In 2002, the Montana Environmental Education Association established focus groups for meetings across much of Montana. These ongoing meetings reach a diverse audience of environmental education providers over a large geographic area. The meetings are used to establish specific guidelines and a baseline understanding among environmental education providers based on the Guidelines for Excellence. In addition, the project is developing leadership in Montana’s environmental education community and is increasing the skills, knowledge, and expertise of Montana’s environmental education providers. The project is also increasing the legitimacy of environmental education in Montana and is laying the groundwork for a Montana environmental education certification program.

Montana State University   $41,765
Matthew Kraska, P.O. Box 173490, Bozeman, MT 59717
Wildlife Education in Big Sky Program
The Wildlife Education in Big Sky (WEBS) program enhances the skills of middle and high school science teachers through a combination of field-based workshops and Internet-based courses. The curriculum provides teachers with information about climate change and its impacts on the wildlife and wild lands of the northern Rockies. The WEBS program trains middle and high school science teachers living in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. The program also trains teachers enrolled in the Masters of Science in Science Education program at Montana State University (MSU). Key partners in this teacher-training program include Glacier National Park, the Montana Environmental Education Association, the MSU Masters of Science in Science Education program, National Biological Information Infrastructure, and the Burns Telecommunications Center.

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2002 Grants

Birch Creek Outdoor Education Center   $5,000
Paul Clarke, 710 South Atlantic, Campus Box 100, Dillon, MT 59725
K-12 Experimental Environmental Education Program
The 2002 Environmental Education Project is a multi-tiered project involving students, teachers, and administrators from town, rural, and tribal schools. It seeks to expand the teacher training opportunities by increasing the direct work with educators and student teachers of University of Montana-Western and Salish-Kootenai Tribal College. The program expands upon current conservation education offerings, and intensifies the cultural and social contribution to the community.

Bitteroot Ecological Awareness   $5,000
Susanne Meikle, 615 Pinckney, Hamilton, MT 59840
Fire Ecology Pilot Program
The Bitteroot Ecological Awareness Environmental Presenters Program allows local expert presenters to bring the natural world into the classrooms. The fire ecology program supplements text-based curricula with experienced-based learning. It gives teachers the support of experts to refine their environmental teaching, and provide resources to encourage locally-specific and community-based education around this important community issue. As a result of this program, the student population is more informed and more interested in the ecology of their home.

Helena Forest Foundation   $4,500
Liz Burke, 2880 Skyway Drive, Helena, MT 59601
Senior Naturalist Program (SNP)
The Helena Forest Foundation, through the Senior Naturalist Program (SNP), promotes conservation and environmental stewardship within community youth organizations. The program has expanded into a year-round, after-school enrichment program. By drawing upon Montana's large resource of senior retirees and youth organization needs, SNP fosters cross-generational connections and an enhanced appreciation of natural resources.

Livingston School District 1 & 4   $4,345
Julie Handcock, 132 South B Street, Livingston, MT 59047
The Yellowstone River Project
During this program, students participate in both classroom and field activities focused on the Yellowstone River and its value to the community. The goal is to increase students' knowledge of and appreciation for the river and consequently improve future decision making about the Yellowstone River. To achieve this goal, the project is designed to train certified teachers through Project WET, the Montana Watercourse workshop. Project WET uses materials from the International Fly Fishing Center to design a 2-week program for second- through sixth-grade students.

Missoula County Public School District Number 1   $5,000
Susan Arthur, 215 South 6th West, Missoula, MT 59801
Forest Outdoor Environmental Education Program
This program offers outdoor environmental education coordinated by the Missoula YMCA, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). During the program, community environmental issues are examined in depth, and teachers receive advanced training. Students' educational horizons are enhanced through a community-based partnership that supplements the formal curriculum.

Montana Environmental Education Association (MEEA)   $24,500
Steve Eshbaugh, General Delivery, Bozeman, MT 59773
On-line Environmental Education Database for Montana
This project improves and expands state environmental education programs using a sophisticated and comprehensive searchable information clearinghouse for environmental education resources. Based on the success of this program in Utah and Colorado, the organizational memberships have grown from 48 to 120.

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2001 Grants

Missoula County Public School District #1   $5,000
Robert McKean, 215 South 6th Street, W, Missoula, MT 59801
Outdoor Environmental Education Learning
The goal of the project is to establish a program that offers quality outdoor environmental education learning experiences for students in grade 6 in the Missoula area. Now in its fourth year, the program serves almost 500 students, 20 teachers, 15 college student volunteers, and several interns. The audience is reached through lessons, games, and activities adapted from established sources and programs, with classes conducted by a lead instructor and trained volunteers at an outdoor recreation area in a nearby national forest.

Montana Science Institute, Inc.   $5,000
Gil Alexander, 7653 Canyon Ferry Road, Helena, MT 59602
Workshop in Forest Fire/Wildfire Utilization
Montana Science Institute, Inc. provides a three-week workshop in the use, fighting, and management of forest fires and wildfires, along with remediation after such fires, for 25 at-risk high school students and community members who were affected by fires in the upper Missouri watershed during the summer of 2000.

National Center for Appropriate Technology   $10,886
Kathleen Hadley, 3040 Continental Drive, Butte, MT 59702
Streams as Living Laboratories
Schools in Fayetteville adopt portions of six urban streams to participate in a monthly investigation of water quality through the application of monitoring and sampling techniques. Approximately 170 students participate in the study of watershed ecology and water quality. The lessons learned are related to human health threats posed by environmental pollution and to community education about watersheds, issues related to water quality, and the effects of such issues on public health. Age-appropriate programs of environmental investigation are developed to facilitate the participation of students at various levels. The Adopt-A-Watershed Program and the EPA’s Water Patch projects are used as models for the project. (Project in Arkansas)

Rocky Boy Public Schools   $23,290
Sandra Murie, RR1, Box 620, Box Elder, MT 59521
Living Laboratory
Under the project, a “living laboratory” is developed to rehabilitate a 0.25 mile section of the streambed of Parker Canyon Creek. Students collect data on the physical, chemical, and biological water quality parameters from pre-selected investigation sites and use those data to explore the causes of changes in water quality. The Chippewa Creek Tribal Water Resources Department and the Rocky Boy Soil Conservation District use the results to establish the provisions of the water quality standards.

Wild Rockies Field Institute   $4,700
David Havlick, P. O. Box 7071, Missoula, MT 59807
Summer Field Course in 2002 for Educators
The institute develops and implements two sections of a summer field course that are provided to educators in 2002. The field course is offered to teachers, particularly teachers of grades 6 through 12, and college students who are considering careers in education. Designed for experiential learning, the course is conducted in the field during a week-long back-packing trip in Montana’s Bitterroot Mountains. Each participant receives a curriculum packet that includes lesson plans and field-based teaching suggestions for use after the course.

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2000 Grants

Bitterroot Ecological Awareness Resources Co-op, Inc.   $5,000
Jamie Ogden, P. O. Box 2135, 421 North 2nd, Hamilton, MT 59840
Expansion of Environmental Presenters Program
Through the Environmental Presenters Program of the Bitterroot Ecological Awareness Resources Co-op, Inc. (BEAR) allows expert presenters to bring the natural world into classrooms and take students out into the natural world. The goals of the project are to supplement test-based curricula with lively, interactive, experienced-based learning; to give teachers the support of experts in refining their environmental teaching; and to transform generic environmental teaching into education specific to Bitterroot Valley. The outcome is a student population of young and old environmentalists and non-environmentalists at various income levels who is more informed about and more interested in the ecology of their home.

Lewis and Clark Elementary School   $4,750
Carol Runyon, 2901 Park Street, Missoula, MT 59801
Outdoor Discovery Core Habitat Restoration and Nature Study Area
Through the Outdoor Discovery Core project, a portion of the schoolyard at Lewis and Clark Elementary School is developed as a wildlife habitat study area. The project is an outgrowth of the school's need to comply with new standards for educational reform mandated by the Missoula County Public Schools and the Montana Department of Education. The new standards require the use of inquiry-based learning, a teaching method that involves students in relevant problem-solving investigations. The standards specifically identify the need for inquiry-based learning in educating children about the importance of biodiversity as part of an environmental education curriculum.

Montana Audubon, Inc.   $14,425
Robert Petty, P. O. Box 595, Helena, MT 59624
Community Naturalist Program: Migratory Bird Education Project
Montana Audubon's Community Naturalist Program (CNP) Migratory Bird Education Project effectively links schools, community groups, and local naturalists to regional natural landscapes through a focus on the decline of neotropical migratory birds and the vital importance of riparian habitat. The program offers training for local naturalists and provides direct service to teachers in the classroom and in the field. With support from EPA in 1997 and 1998, the program was established successfully in the Helena, Montana area, in partnership with the Last Chance Audubon Society. This grant makes it possible to expand the CNP to five additional Montana communities, Hamilton, Kalispell, Great Falls, Miles City, and Billings, as well as nearby areas.

Montana Science Institute   $5,000
Gil Alexander, 7653 Canyon Ferry Road, Helena, MT 59602
Kids Investigating Their Environment (Project KITE)
Kids Investigating Their Environment (Project KITE) uses grant money provided by EPA, along with matching funds, to provide 450 student days of environmental education, with career components, during the 2000-2001 academic year. Project KITE engages 30 at-risk middle school and high school students in a 15-day program through which they investigate water quality in the Missouri River and its tributary streams, the environmental condition of forest habitats, and historical changes that have occurred along the Missouri River corridor since the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1805. Students have daily interactions with professionals and consultants in environmental sciences. They develop an appreciation for the work those individuals do and the preparation necessary to become involved in similar jobs as they actually conduct some of the same types of field monitoring that resource scientists perform while they work alongside those professionals.

Montana State University   $7,790
Michael Vogel, 109 Taylor Hall, Bozeman, MT 59717
Pollution Prevention Education and Improvement Program
The goal of the project is to provide comprehensive education and assistance in pollution prevention in teaching laboratories to agricultural and vocational educators (in middle schools, high schools, technical colleges, and junior colleges) in Montana. A secondary goal is to develop the program in a way that makes it easy to adapt and implement in other states throughout the nation. The objectives of the project are to increase awareness of the hazardous nature of wastes generated in agricultural and vocational teaching laboratories and their potential effects on the environment; to provide education on specific pollution prevention practices applicable to agricultural and vocational teaching laboratories; to increase awareness of existing resources, such as opportunities to take advantage of special collections material exchange programs, and recycling facilities; to provide the knowledge and materials necessary to enable agricultural and vocational educators to perform effective pollution prevention self-audits of their teaching laboratories, as well as to assist their colleagues in performing such audits; to improve practices of pollution prevention among agricultural and vocational educators; and to provide technical assistance for the duration of the project.

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1999 Grants

Bridger Outdoor Science School   $4,981
Bobbi J. Geise, P. O. Box 502, Bozeman, MT 59771
The Gallatin Journey
This project establishes and integrates an interdisciplinary schoolwide environmental education component into the mandated curriculum at Emily Dickenson Elementary School. The project is a collaborative effort of the school and the Bridger Outdoor Science School. It uses the natural resources in the vicinity of the school -- a stream, town parks, agricultural fields, and federal lands -- to teach about ecological concepts and related issues. The age-appropriate Gallatin Journey lessons provide a real world application of each of the required classroom science kits and other curriculum requirements. The Gallatin Journey serves 19 teachers, 25 parents, and 490 students in kindergarten through fifth grade at Emily Dickenson.

Missoula Family YMCA   $5,000
J. Porter Hammitt, 3000 South Russell, Missoula, MT 59802
Outdoor Environmental Education Program
The project has established a year-round program that offers quality environmental education learning experiences for sixth graders in the Missoula area. The program has expanded to reach 450 students, 20 teachers, and 15 college students, who serve as volunteer instructors. The objective of the project is to develop in participants an awareness of the unique ecosystems of western Montana and the environmental issues that affect the area. Its purpose is to introduce participants to ecological concepts and environmental principles, to provide insight into the implications of personal and societal decisions about the use of natural resources, and to foster in students an attitude of stewardship for the local environment. The audience is reached through lessons and activities adapted from established sources and programs, with classes conducted at an outdoor recreation area by trained volunteer instructors.

Montana Environmental Education Association   $4,887
Carolyn Duckworth, Box 8065, Bozeman, MT 59773
Delivering Quality Environmental Education On-Line
The Montana Environmental Education Association (MEEA) maintains a World Wide Web site to expand the educational capability of its newsletter by providing information about its activities, cover stories, and resource information on-line; to provide searchable directories and bibliographies of environmental education materials; and to connect members of the association with other educators. The primary audience is the 200 members of MEEA, along with the 700 members of the Montana Geographic Alliance, who include teachers of science, social studies, and language arts in kindergarten through 12th-grade programs; educators working in informal settings; and personnel of state and federal agencies. The secondary audience is the entire educational community of Montana and on the Web.

School District 87 J-L   $22,400
Sandra Murie, Rocky Boy Public Schools, Rural Route 1, Box 620, Box Elder, MT 59521
Mother Earth First 1999
Rocky Boy Public Schools are providing a summer environmental program to educate students in nontraditional settings and encourage them to pursue environmental careers. The program includes both classroom instruction and actual field experiments and experiences in the three predominant zones of Rocky Boy's Indian reservation, the plains, the hills, and the mountains. Students study the plant species, the water, and the geography of the three zones, as well as the effects of farming and ranching on the zones. Students present the results of their experiments to the Chippewa Cree tribal government to demonstrate to that body the harmful effects of certain ranching and farming practices that are carried out on the reservation. The purpose of the effort is to encourage the formulation of new regulations governing the management of natural resources to ensure that future generations enjoy a thriving homeland. Currently, the school district serves 574 students in kindergarten through grade 12, of whom 96 percent are American Indian, while the total population of the reservation is approximately 2,800 residents. All benefit directly or indirectly from activities conducted under the project.

Teller Wildlife Refuge   $3,540
Amy Monteith, 1292 Chaffin Road, Corvallis, MT 59828
Teller Wildlife Refuge Naturalist Education Project
The goal of the education program of the Teller Wildlife Refuge is to support the mission of the refuge by providing an outdoor classroom and resources through which students and members of the community can engage in hands-on learning about the natural world. Each year, outdoor education field trips are offered to more than 3,000 teachers and students in kindergarten through grade 12. Field sites, assistance in planning and carrying out field trips, and equipment for use in the field also are offered. Because of the success of the model, and in response to many requests from throughout the community, plans are being made to expand the program to include a pilot education program for adults and families in the community. The goals of the program are to give members of the community the opportunity to learn about the ecology of their local environment to foster understanding of the remaining natural areas in the area and support the potential for sustaining those areas.

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1998 Grants

Clark Fork Watershed Education Network   $4,400
Stephanie Stowell, 1000 Taylor, Missoula, MT 59802
Clark Fork Watershed Education Program
This project trains teachers and staff volunteers to coordinate and organize field experiences and gather field data by monitoring water quality in the Missoula watershed. Elementary and middle school teachers attend a two-day training workshop that focuses on water quality monitoring techniques. Students in first through eighth grades participate in water quality monitoring at pilot project schools. The large Native American population of the Missoula watershed benefits from the project.

Five Valleys Audubon Society   $4,825
Janie Chodosh, P. O. Box 8425, Missoula, MT 59807
Montana To Oaxaca: Migratory Bird Education Exchange
This project educates fourth and fifth grade teachers to develop an international sister school program with students and teachers in Oaxaca City, Mexico. Teachers and students participate in a cross-cultural study of neotropical migratory birds that breed in Montana and migrate to Oaxaca during the winter months. Students learn about neotropical migration, avian habitat needs, and basic field identification skills; they then are able to educate the general public, translating classroom learning into community education. The project explores the need for preservation of ecosystems in both countries.

Montana Audubon, Inc.   $4,750
Robert Petty, P. O. Box 595, Helena, MT 59624
Migratory Bird Education Project
This project is intended to protect Montana's ecosystems through the coordinated efforts of members of Montana Audobon, Inc., focused on the conservation of birds, other wildlife, and natural communities for the benefit of future generations. The project provides workshops to reach public and private school teachers and students and their families, as well as other members of the community. Other workshops introduce teachers to bird conservation curricula to be used in the classroom. The project includes field exploration for families, public lectures, and slide presentations on bird conservation for the community.

Montana Environmental Education Association   $4,737
Carolyn Duckworth, P. O. Box 362, Gardiner, MT 59030
Expanding Environmental Education in Montana
This project addresses new science and geography standards by making available environmental education materials and information. Educational information distributed in newsletters encourages community members to adapt activities to be included in environmental education. Science, social studies, and language arts at the kindergarten through grade 12 levels; educators working in informal settings; and personnel of state and federal agencies participate in preparing the newsletter, which is distributed at environmental workshops and conferences.

Montana Natural History Center   $16,830
Lisa Mills, P. O. Box 8514, Missoula, MT 59807
Teachers as Community Naturalists
This project educates teachers, pre-service teachers, and college students about environmental issues to improve their environmental education teaching skills. The target audience of this project is fourth grade teachers in Missoula County. Workshops focus on topics related to biodiversity and involve local scientists. The training provides the instructors the skills they need to teach in formal settings about environmental issues and to encourage environmental careers. The teacher training incorporates outdoor activities, mentorship by scientists, and action projects and teaches the participants how to integrate existing environmental curricula into their classroom programs.

Owl Research Institute   $5,000
Eric C. Atkinson, P. O. Box 8335, Missoula, MT 59807
Northern Saw-Whet Owl Migration Monitoring Project
This project educates Gallatin County students and their families about ecological processes and interactions between owls and their community. To encourage wise stewardship, information based on scientific research is made accessible to the general public. The project also is tied to owl conservation and measures the effects of conservation on the health of the ecosystem in the community.

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1997 Grants

Missoula Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA)   $4,642
J. Porter Hammitt, 3000 South Russell, University Hall 116, University of Montana, Missoula, MT 59801
Missoula Community Environmental Education Program
The Missoula Community Environmental Education Program is a year-round project that offers quality learning experiences in environmental education. More than 100,000 residents of the community have the opportunity to take part in the program's outdoor sessions, during which experienced instructors lead educational activities that vary in length from one hour to one day. The instructors demonstrate and disseminate field-tested curricula developed under other programs, borrowing primarily from established sources. They focus the learning experiences on issues related to the environment and natural resources of western Montana.

University of Montana   $25,000
Ken D. Hubbard, Research Administration, Missoula, MT 59812-0002
Integrated Ecosystem Conservation Framework
The Integrated Ecosystem Conservation Framework project develops and demonstrates a new, balanced, integrative teacher training course outline for environmental education. The primary goals of the project are improvement of skills in teaching environmental subjects among middle- and high-school teachers and improvement of teacher-training skills in the same area among faculty members at the University of Montana. A pilot workshop demonstrates materials and teaches educators how to use them and evaluate them. Problems addressed through the curriculum include polarization and conflict among such environmental issues as those related to endangered species, harvesting of timber, reintroduction of bear and wolf populations, and water quality. In addressing such issues, the project focuses on teaching critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. Under long-term plans, the revised curriculum will be offered as a two- to four-credit course through the continuing education summer program at the university. Primary partners in the project are the Boone & Crockett Conservation Education Program, the Western Montana Ecosystem Management Learning Center Program, and the Missoula Curriculum Consortium.

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1996 Grants

Blackfeet Community College   $5,000
Carol Murray, P. O. Box 819, Browning Glacier County, MT 59417
Environmental Careers on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation
The purpose of this project is to establish a natural resources camp to educate the general public and promote environmental careers for the youth on the reservation. Presentations provide a hands-on learning experience to increase knowledge of environmental issues. This project educates the students, parents, and volunteers about natural resource issues important on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.

Montana State University   $5,000
Mike Cavey, Room 203 Tatlor Hall, Bozeman, MT 59717
Montana Project Learning Tree
This project is for kindergarten through 12th grade teachers. It develops state capacity for promoting environmental education and outdoor education. Teachers learn ways to infuse environmental education into existing curricula. Efforts are being made to secure participation by Native American teachers.

Montana State University Extension   $5,000
Sherry Lajeunesse, 334 Leon Johnson Hall, Bozeman, MT 59717
Electronic Landscape
This project creates an electronic home and garden center which uses state-of-the-art communication measures to educate and modify homeowner behavior. The project provides research-based, un-biased information to teach homeowners to solve their own landscape, home, and garden problems through multi-disciplinary approaches.

Northern Plains Resource Council   $5,000
Denise Roth/Teresa Erickson, 2401 Montana Avenue, #220, Billings, MT 59101
Pollution Prevention Project
This pollution prevention project, focused in the Yellowstone County community, motivates and increases the level of citizen involvement in environmental issues. Citizens adopt strategies to reduce or prevent health impacts from various forms of pollution.

Salish Kootenai College   $39,296
Kimberly Skyelander, P. O. Box 117, Highway 83, Pablo, MT 59855
Flathead Indian Reservation Pollution Prevention Education Program
The Salish Kootenai College project educates the population of Arlee, Montana about the human health problems that will result from an unsafe drinking source for the community. Participants in the Flathead Indian Reservation Pollution Prevention Education Program are developing a public outreach program using local media to spark interest and curiosity among Arlee residents about the quality of their water. They also are developing pollution prevention education workshops to educate the community about the threats to their water supply and discuss potential strategies to protect it. Finally, the program offers technical support to the Arlee community to implement their pollution control strategies. The target audience is the general population of 489 residents in Arlee on the Flathead Indian Reservation, half of whom are Native American. The project uses existing partnerships and can be duplicated on other reservations.

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1995 Grants

Montana State University   $25,000
Dennis Nelson, Culbertson Hall #210, Bozeman, MT 59717-0057
Project WET
The funds from this grant will support Project WET, a leadership training and network building initiative in EPA Region 8.

Western Montana College of University of Montana   $24,700
Susan Dejmal, WMC Box 100, Dillon, MT 59725
Pioneering Discoveries
The purpose of this project is to train 30 teachers, who will reach 800 students, in a holistic approach to environmental education through the ECOSYSTEM curricula. The project will result in the development of the "Pioneering Discoveries curriculum and three teacher workshops in 1995 that focus on natural resources protection and conservation.

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1994 Grants

Butte-Silver Bow Health Department   $5,000
Barbara Popovich, 25 West Front St., Butte, MT 59701
Lead in Our Environment
The purpose of this project is to encourage students in grades 4 through 8 and educators to take an investigative and scientific approach to understanding the influence of lead as an environmental substance. Health department staff will go into the classroom to explain about lead in our environment, suggest projects for discovering more about the effects of lead, and offer assistance to develop these projects. The grant funds will be used for awards given through a regional science fair.

Montana Environmental Education Association   $4,500
Carol Soth, P. O. Box 928, Dillon, MT 59725
Outreach Program
The purpose of this project is to extend a pilot outreach program to rural school districts to further the integration of environmental education into the kindergarten through 12th grade curriculum. The project seeks to expand the Resource Lending Library, install a toll-free telephone line, conduct five to eight additional residencies in rural schools, and conduct five to eight additional in-service programs for teachers around the state.

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1993 Grants

Missoula City/County Health Department, Environmental Health Division   $3,778
Peggy Schmidt, 301 West Alder Street, Missoula, MT 59802
Educational Materials for Air Pollution
This project will add educational materials to an existing set of three kits on the subject of air pollution in the Missoula Valley. The project also will provide funding for a Missoula-based non-profit organization to administer a program where local teachers may borrow the kits for classroom use free of charge.

Montana State University, Extension Service   $4,630
Michael P. Vogel, Taylor Hall, Room 203, Bozeman, MT 59717
Community Involvement in Environmental Education
The primary purpose of this project is to involve community and tribal volunteers in environmental education by providing them with the tools, training, and follow-up support necessary to reach the public in rural isolated areas through a program that will be created, marketed, implemented, and evaluated in Montana.

The Nature Conservancy, Pine Butte Preserve   $3,306
Mary Sexton, HC 58 Box 34B, Choteau, MT 59422
Grizzly Bear Ecology
The purpose of this project is to develop curriculum and field trip opportunities that will focus on the study of grizzly bear ecology followed by the investigation into and comparison of two sub-groups of the grizzly bear population.

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1992 Grants

Bozeman Public Schools   $4,500
Bozeman, MT 59802
Yellowstone Habitats
This project will involve sixth graders conducting habitat analysis of the Yellowstone ecosystem.

Butte-Silver Bow Health Department   $5,000
Butte, MT 59701
Prevention of Lead Poisoning
This program will focus on educating children in the prevention of lead poisoning.

Missoula City/County Health Department   $4,995
Missoula, MT 59802
Air Pollution Kits
The grant funds the development of kits for studying air pollution in the valley.

Montana Environmental Education Association (MEEA)   $5,000
Dillon, MT 59725
Environmental Education Curricula and Statewide Network
This project focuses on increasing the general public's knowledge and understanding of environmental issues and ecological principles by enhancing the skills and curricula of educators and by building a statewide network of educators committed to integrating environmental education into existing school curricula.

Northern Montana College   $18,750
Havre, MT 59501
Environmental Technology Education Partnership
This grant funds a project for representatives of educational institutions to establish a partnership for environmental technology education in the Northwest region.

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