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UM News
November 30, 2012


New Experience Montana courses through The University of Montana School of Extended and Lifelong Learning allow participants to interact with Montana’s landscape, natural resources and cultural heritage.

The two- to five-day, non-credit courses are taught by UM faculty and outside experts. Learning time is split between a traditional classroom and in-the-field experience. With no tests, papers or grades, Experience Montana reinvents the classroom.

“Experience Montana allows instructors and participants the chance to take advantage of the hands-on learning opportunities that are so easily accessible in our state,” said UM Extended Courses Director Candi Merrill.

The next course, “Winter Animal Tracking in the Wild Swan,” takes place Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 26-27. The two-day field course will be taught by Melanie Parker and Adam Lieberg of Northwest Connections. Participants will explore the Swan Valley on snowshoes and learn to identify animals by their tracks, interpret animal behavior and study the ecology of animals active during winter.

Beck Homestead, an 80-acre, turn-of-the-century property complete with a barn, bath house and cook house in Condon, will serve as both classroom and lodging for participants. The $395 course fee includes all course materials, instruction, local transportation, accommodations and food. Participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from Condon.

Registration is open to the public, but limited space is available to ensure a small-group, quality experience for participants. Registration is available through Friday, Jan. 11, online at

In a course last summer, “Discover the Crown of the Continent,” UM Professor Rick Graetz led participants on a three-day journey through Glacier National Park. Experts provided information about water, flora, fauna, geology, climate and fire, inspiring participants to learn more and spend more time interacting with the environment.

Upcoming courses for spring and summer 2013 include urban archaeology in the historic Missoula underground, paleontology in Makoshika State Park, grassland ecology at the Matador Ranch in Dodson, history at Bannack Ghost Town and archaeology at the Rosebud Battlefield. Courses are limited to five days to accommodate the busy schedules of working adults. All courses offer hands-on learning experiences with a view into research being conducted in Montana.

For more information call Beth Burman Frazee, marketing director for the UM School of Extended and Lifelong Learning, at 406-243-6721 or email


Media note: The School of Extended and Lifelong Learning can accommodate one reporter who would like to attend the course and write a feature article. Contact Burman Frazee for more information.


Western Montana


Contact: Beth Burman Frazee, marketing director, UM School of Extended and Lifelong Learning, 406-243-6721,