UM Public Health Program Receives $1.2M Science Education Grant

October 01, 2018

MISSOULA – The University of Montana recently received a five-year, $1.2 million Science Education Partnership Award from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health. 

The grant was awarded to UM’s School of Public and Community Health Sciences within the College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences.

The award will fund the Clean Air and Healthy Homes Program, providing educational opportunities for over 5,000 students from middle schools and high schools located within rural and underserved areas of Montana, Idaho and Alaska.

This new project will boost citizen science, science communication, student mentoring and teacher professional development. UM researchers and educators will develop inquiry-based science lessons that prepare students to conduct their own research projects focused on particulate matter air pollution and its effect on cardiovascular and population health. 

In collaboration with the International Heart Institute of Montana, the UM Health and Medicine initiative, and the UM Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, students will explore careers in the biomedical sciences through job shadowing experiences. Participating teachers will receive professional development, curricula and air-sampling equipment to guide environmental health science education and research.

“We look forward to continue working with local and regional students and teachers, facilitating their understanding of the process of doing science while researching air pollution issues of concern to our region, such as the impact of forest fire smoke on health,” said Dr. Tony Ward, principal investigator of the program. 

For more information, visit, call Ward at 406-243-4092 or email


Note: Content reported in this release was supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the NIH under grant number R25GM129849. This content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official NIH views.

Contact: Tony Ward, UM professor of public health, 406-243-4092,