Innovation: Block Scheduling at the University of Montana Western

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Featured Quote:

"So, I’ve got an Environmental Field Studies class I teach in the fall and what we do is we go out and I get a project from one of the local agencies like Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks and so, for example, we’ve been working on the grayling in the Upper Big Hole. Grayling are down to about 1,000 due to mostly habitat destruction related to bad ranching practices . . . So, what I do is I go to the land managers and say, “OK, what do you guys want…what do you need done?” And so, we went up onto the Big Hole valley up on the Big Hole Rivers about 40 minutes from campus and I leave at 8:00 or 8:15 in the morning with the student and we’re up there all day and they’re in hip boots and waders on the river doing stream cross-section profiles and assessing riparian vegetation and stability, using server samplers to collect macroinvertebrates and determine what the food resources look like for grayling in the stream, habitat surveys, all of it…sediment surveys. And then by about week…we’re up there for about two, two and a half weeks working every day, all day long."

  • Rob Thomas, Professor of Geology at University of Montana Western

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