UM Offers New Name, Expanded Focus for Restoration Degree

September 09, 2016

MISSOULA – The University of Montana now offers one of the first degrees in the United States to combine elements of ecosystem science and restoration for students enrolled in the fall 2016 semester.

The growing ecosystem science and restoration bachelor’s degree program, formerly called ecological restoration, combines a study of organisms and their environment with the skills needed to restore degraded ecosystems and landscapes. This semester Ben Colman and Phil Higuera join eight other UM College of Forestry and Conservation faculty members who teach courses and conduct research in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem science and restoration.

“Our students learn about everything from genes to ecosystems across the globe,” said Undergraduate Program Director Lisa Eby. “By gaining an understanding of how organisms and environments interact, those students will have the skills needed to begin revitalizing degraded ecosystems once they’re out working in the real world.”

The program emphasizes a hands-on approach that includes a three-semester capstone experience. Through an internship, practicum or senior research project, students work with research scientists, local biologists and restoration practitioners to learn real-world skills. Those include the design, implementation or assessment of scientific research or local restoration projects.

For more information about the program, visit


Contact: Lisa Eby, UM associate professor of aquatic vertebrate ecology, 406-243-5984,