University of Montana

Recent Posts

Daines, Gianforte tout tech growth at Missoula summit

Daines

Back in the 1970s, when Steve Daines was on a family trip to Disneyland, a woman asked him about life back home. Her impression of Montana was stereotypical at best  — a third-world state far removed from economic prosperity. Kicking off the Montana High Tech Jobs Summit on Monday, Daines, now a U.S. senator representing the state, said times have changed. Technology has removed the barriers of geography, and Montana’s booming tech sector competes at the enterprise level with the world’s top firms. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Fire ecology prof: We’d better get used to this

Fire

As a follow-up to our recent story about “Land on Fire,” Gary Ferguson’s new book, here’s an interesting interview with Philip Higuera, a professor of fire ecology at the University of Montana. In no-nonsense terms, he talks about drought, the traditional role of fires in forest ecosystems, the advisability of tree-thinning to prevent fires, climate change and “good” and “bad” fires. Here’s one good example of his way of thinking, in response to the question of whether should be building houses in what as known as the wildland-urban interface:

“Every place on our planet has some natural phenomenon that is not friendly to humans. If you live on the East Coast, you are going to experience hurricanes. If you live in the Midwest, you are going to experience tornadoes. Continue Reading →

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UM scientist: Cassini mission shows value of exploration

Storm

Cassini is the most sophisticated space probe ever built. Launched in 1997 as a joint NASA/European Space Agency mission, it took seven years to journey to Saturn. It’s been orbiting the sixth planet from the sun ever since, sending back data of immense scientific value and images of magnificent beauty. Cassini now begins one last campaign. Dubbed the Grand Finale, it will end on Sept. 15 with the probe plunging into Saturn’s atmosphere, where it will burn up. Continue Reading →

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Hardin High to represent state at international drama festival

Hardin

Lisa Marie Hyslop has been an adjudicator at the Montana State Thespian Festival for five years, her husband for two. During this year’s festival, held over the weekend at the University of Montana in Missoula, they saw something they won’t soon forget. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Opinion: Law prof’s moonlighting a disqualifier for high court

KJ

Professors are not just employees of the institutions they serve, they are ambassadors. Rightly or wrongly, their conduct reflects on our Montana universities as a whole. According to the American Association of College Professors’ Statement of Professional Ethics, “Professors must give due regard to their paramount responsibilities within their institution in determining the amount and character of work done outside it. Professors need to stay away from employment outside the university that creates the appearance of a conflict of interest or otherwise negatively affects the university.” (more…) Continue Reading →

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Montana Ethic Project: What to expect as climate changes

Climate

This is the 27th chapter of the 32-part video series “The Montana Ethic Project.” This chapter features Steve Running, University Regents Professor of Ecology at the University of Montana, talking about “Montana Climate Change.” You can watch the whole video below. Here is an edited transcript of how it begins:

(more…) Continue Reading →

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Montana colleges rank near middle of pack

Montana colleges and universities posted mediocre results in Washington Monthly’s annual rankings, which came out Monday. The University of Montana ranked 115th nationally in the overall rankings. It was the only Montana school to make the list, which included more than 300 colleges and universities. In the “Best Bang for the Bucks” listing of colleges in the West, only the University of Montana Western campus in Dillion cracked the top 40. Montana Tech in Butte was listed 49th. Continue Reading →

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Montana Ethic Project: Sustainability and success

Mohr

This is the 25th chapter of the 32-part video series “The Montana Ethic Project.” This chapter features Jakki Mohr, the Regents Professor of Marketing and the Gallagher Distinguished Faculty Fellow at the University of Montana. She discusses the subject of “The Corporate Model for the 21st Century.” You can watch the whole video below. Here is an edited transcript of how it begins:

(more…) Continue Reading →

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Noodles O’Brien aims at ‘fast food made healthy’

Noodles

Paul O’Brien was nearing the completion of his doctorate in physical therapy when he had a life-changing thought. He liked doing physical therapy, but he realized he didn’t really love it. Talking to his then-girlfriend, he wondered aloud what he could throw himself into that he was truly passionate about. As O’Brien recalled it, she looked at him and said, “It’s food. Are you kidding me? Continue Reading →

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Montanan transforms understanding of lichens

The Atlantic had an article in July about a Montana man who may have overturned scientific understanding of how those incredibly tough and hardy lichens work. For 150 years, the article by Ed Yong says, scientists thought that lichens were composite organisms made up of a fungus in partnership with algae. Toby Spribille, who was home-schooled in a Montana trailer park and returned here after studying in Germany, found a third element: another sort of fungus that works in partnership with the other two. Spribille suspected that the additional fungus existed, but it took him five years to find it, going through some 45,000 lichen samples he collected over the years. “Many of the fundamentals of lichenology will need to be checked, and perhaps re-written,” Yong writes. He quotes John McCutcheon, with whom Spribille works at the University of Montana: “Toby took huge risks for many years. Continue Reading →

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