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SMART FIRES RII Track-1 Project

Wildfire plays a vital role in Montana’s diverse ecosystems but also poses a growing threat to Montanans’ health, safety, and livelihoods. The National Science Foundation’s EPSCoR program is supporting a research and education project to understand and improve the use of prescribed fire to manage wildfire and its impacts in our state. Researchers from Montana universities and colleges are working with state agencies, private companies, and non-profit organizations to develop technologies, partnerships, and educational opportunities that strengthen our ability to prevent, respond to, and live with wildfire.

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Staff from SMRC pose in front of the SMART FIRES table

SMRC staff facilitate SMART FIRES activities at MSU Family Science Day

Staff from the Science Math Resource Center facilitated SMART FIRES activities for over 200 fifth grade students as part of MSU Family Science Day.

ReadBlog SMRC staff facilitate SMART FIRES activities at MSU Family Science Day
Participants engage at the spectrUM Discovery Area

SpectrUM Day of Smoke and Fire Science

Students from Polson and Ronan High Schools on the Flathead Reservation visited the University of Montana on January 29, 2024, for a day of smoke and fire science with SMART FIRES. During a morning field trip to spectrUM Discovery Area, UM’s hands-on science center, the students explored the concept of the fire triangle and experienced a matchstick “forest” simulation, activities from the USFS’s FireWorks curriculum.

ReadBlog SpectrUM Day of Smoke and Fire Science
UM smoke researcher Bob Yokelson recently was named a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. (Photo by Tommy Martino)

UM smoke researcher honored by major science organization

Bob Yokelson, an accomplished University of Montana researcher who studies biomass burning, recently was named a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. AGU is the world’s largest Earth and space sciences association, with nearly 60,000 members in 137 countries.

ReadBlog UM smoke researcher honored by major science organization
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Sensors Across the Curriculum: Modules Developed for K-12 Classrooms

At Montana State University, the Science and Math Resource Center (SMRC) and the EDU 370 class (Integrating Technology into Education) partnered to build the capacity of 45 undergraduate, pre-service teachers in their thinking about integrating sensors into diverse classrooms. SMRC supplied the class with microcontrollers (Circuit Playground Express) and any additional accessories for each member of the EDU 370 class.    

ReadBlog Sensors Across the Curriculum: Modules Developed for K-12 Classrooms
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Montana STEM Summit 2023 findings and next steps will be presented online Dec. 12

Key findings from the 2023 Montana STEM Summit will be shared in an online presentation on Tuesday, Dec.

ReadBlog Montana STEM Summit 2023 findings and next steps will be presented online Dec. 12
Participants engage at the spectrUM Discovery Area

SpectrUM Day of Smoke and Fire Science

Students from Polson and Ronan High Schools on the Flathead Reservation visited the University of Montana on January 29, 2024, for a day of smoke and fire science with SMART FIRES. During a morning field trip to spectrUM Discovery Area, UM’s hands-on science center, the students explored the concept of the fire triangle and experienced a matchstick “forest” simulation, activities from the USFS’s FireWorks curriculum.

ReadBlog SpectrUM Day of Smoke and Fire Science
UM smoke researcher Bob Yokelson recently was named a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. (Photo by Tommy Martino)

UM smoke researcher honored by major science organization

Bob Yokelson, an accomplished University of Montana researcher who studies biomass burning, recently was named a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. AGU is the world’s largest Earth and space sciences association, with nearly 60,000 members in 137 countries.

ReadBlog UM smoke researcher honored by major science organization
Project Blog Image

Sensors Across the Curriculum: Modules Developed for K-12 Classrooms

At Montana State University, the Science and Math Resource Center (SMRC) and the EDU 370 class (Integrating Technology into Education) partnered to build the capacity of 45 undergraduate, pre-service teachers in their thinking about integrating sensors into diverse classrooms. SMRC supplied the class with microcontrollers (Circuit Playground Express) and any additional accessories for each member of the EDU 370 class.    

ReadBlog Sensors Across the Curriculum: Modules Developed for K-12 Classrooms
Project Blog Image

Montana STEM Summit 2023 findings and next steps will be presented online Dec. 12

Key findings from the 2023 Montana STEM Summit will be shared in an online presentation on Tuesday, Dec.

ReadBlog Montana STEM Summit 2023 findings and next steps will be presented online Dec. 12
A laser beam shines through optical components in a Gallatin College photonics lab Monday, Feb. 7, 2022, in a Montana State University lab in Bozeman, Mont. MSU photo by Kelly Gorham

Montana State part of new regional tech hub focused on critical technologies for U.S. national security

Montana State University will be part of a new, federally designated regional technology hub focused on photonics and smart sensor technology, research areas in which MSU has decades of experience.

ReadBlog Montana State part of new regional tech hub focused on critical technologies for U.S. national security
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Montana STEM Summit 2023 findings and next steps will be presented online Dec. 12

Key findings from the 2023 Montana STEM Summit will be shared in an online presentation on Tuesday, Dec.

ReadBlog Montana STEM Summit 2023 findings and next steps will be presented online Dec. 12
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Project Highlight: "The Future Isn't Written"

Dr. Arica Crootof of UM Western assists in a project surrounding effective communication about contamination and remediation efforts of the Warm Springs Ponds at the headwaters of the Clark Fork River.

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New article from CREWS JRW Natural Resource Social Science team focuses on challenges rural communities face with public water systems

A recent publication from the Natural Resource Social Science team highlights the challenges facing rural communities in the arena of public water systems—namely, the locally-managed infrastructure that delivers domestic water to homes in settled areas like small towns and cities.

ReadBlog New article from CREWS JRW Natural Resource Social Science team focuses on challenges rural communities face with public water systems
Graduate student Tasha Stryker stands next to a development version of the online Crash Course game

Online college simulation game introduces players to STEM concepts and pathways

The online learning game, Crash Course, is a virtual college simulation that introduces players to various STEM concepts and pathways.

ReadBlog Online college simulation game introduces players to STEM concepts and pathways
Panelists speak at the first Clark Fork Science Forum in April

Montana NSF EPSCoR supports first Clark Fork Science Forum

On April 20 and 21st of 2023, the first Clark Fork Science Forum was held at the Holiday Inn Downtown Missoula. 

ReadBlog Montana NSF EPSCoR supports first Clark Fork Science Forum

Upcoming Events

Indiginizing Engineering Education

The ASEE Pacific Northwest Section Annual Meeting will be held March 27-29, 2024 at Montana State University

More Indiginizing Engineering Education

Indiginizing Engineering Education

The ASEE Pacific Northwest Section Annual Meeting will be held March 27-29, 2024 at Montana State University

More Indiginizing Engineering Education

What We Do

More about us
We develop and manage NSF ESPCoR Research Improvement Investment (RII) Awards to Montana to promote the development of science and technology capacity across the Montana University System. With RII support we have:
125
Faculty hired in strategic areas
300+
Graduate students supported on projects
1K+
Undergraduate students supported on projects
100+
Native American Students supported on projects