UM Graduate Student Earns Native Science Fellowship

January 07, 2016

MISSOULA – Incoming University of Montana graduate student Leanne Falcon recently was awarded a $5,000 Native Science Fellowship from Hopa Mountain, a Bozeman-based nonprofit organization, which she will use for her research project during spring semester 2016.

FalconFalcon, a member of the Blackfeet Tribe, graduated from UM with a bachelor’s degree in biology. After earning her undergraduate degree she worked as a project coordinator for the Glacier-Two Medicine Alliance, where she contributed to the conservation of the Badger-Two Medicine Area – a sacred area to the Blackfeet people.

At UM, Falcon will work with environmental studies Assistant Professor Rosalyn LaPier, who will serve as her thesis adviser, to research the intersection between environmental science and traditional ecological knowledge.

As part of her fellowship, she is invited to participate in the spring Native Science Fellows meeting March 3-5 at Montana State University in Bozeman.

Hopa Mountain and Blackfeet Community College cooperatively offer this innovative Native Science Fellows program for Native American undergraduate and graduate students to participate in community-based science organizations in an effort to increase their engagement in higher education and geosciences careers. Funded by the Naitonal Science Foundation, the program has four primary goals: to increase the number of Native American students engaged in community-based geosciences education and careers, to provide role models and work experience for Native American high school and college students interested in the geosciences, to develop a career ladder network of Native students who are interested in pursuing geosciences careers, and to build a network of community-based science professionals who are committed to the success of Native students and provide ongoing support for personal, academic and professional success.

For more information about the Native Science Fellowship, call Bonnie Sachetello-Sawyer, Hopa Mountain executive director, at 406-586-2455.

For more information about Falcon’s UM project, call LaPier at 406-243-6787 or email  

Contact: Rosalyn LaPier, assistant professor, UM Environmental Studies Program, 406-243-6787,