What You Need To Know for a Summer at FLBS
Textbooks and basic course supplies may be purchased at the FLBS Bookstore. You are provided with a list of necessary items upon acceptance to our program. Cash, personal checks, traveler's checks, money orders and credit cards (MasterCard and Visa) are accepted in payment for books and supplies.
Banking and Telephone Services
Either traveler's checks or a debit card offer added convenience for the duration of your stay . The nearest bank, for cashing personal checks, and ATM is 15 miles north of the Station in Bigfork.
A telephone credit card or prepaid phone card is useful as most calls are long distance and must be placed using pay phones.
Cell phone service is available in this area.
Climate and Dress
Generally, everyone dresses casually. Typically the last two weeks in June can be somewhat chilly and damp, so it is suggested you bring a cold-weather jacket and warm clothes (layersare recommended). Items-to-bring checklist. Average temperatures for Kalispell are included below. Note that mountain temperatures are generally lower than those in the valleys.
Average temperatures (°F)
June: 71 / 44
July: 80 / 47
August: 78 / 46
Student Mailing Address
You will be assigned a box for mail and messages. Outgoing mail may be sent on normal mailing days; incoming mail should be addressed using the following address:
32111 Bio Station Lane
Polson, MT 59860-6815
Computers / Internet Access
FLBS no longer maintains a student computer lab. We strongly recommend bringing your own laptop. Microsoft Office is also recommended for optimal collaboration with faculty and peers.
Bringing your own laptop also allows enrolled students to access:
- Wireless internet
- Classroom printers
- Shared server storage and software, including access to Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and Powerpoint), SPSS statistics software, and Endnote reference manager software
Travel Options and Rides to FLBS
*Note that all taxi services and shuttles must be pre-arranged. On-demand taxi service is not available in this area.
Many students drive their own vehicles to the Biological Station. If you want riders or need a ride, visit the Student Rider Board. Note that without your own vehicle, you will need to network with other students to get to town (~15 miles) and/or for weekend adventures. Driving Directions
If you aIf you are travelling from out of state, the ideal way to reach FLBS for the summer session is to fly into Glacier International Airport (FCA) in Kalispell before 5pm on
Sunday, June 25, 2017, and then catch a ride on the FLBS shuttle to the station. However, your circumstances may require you to seek alternate arrangements.
- FLBS advises flying into Kalispell (Airport: FCA) which is ~42 miles north of FLBS. Students sometimes find that it is cheaper to fly into Missoula (Airport: MSO) ~85 miles south of FLBS. However, you must then find your own transportation from Missoula to FLBS. (see transfer options below)
Amtrak makes a daily stop in Whitefish (~47 miles north of FLBS). The Westbound train arrives late pm, while the eastbound arrives early am. However, you must then find your own transportation from Whitefish to FLBS. (see transfer options below.)
FLBS offers a no-fee shuttle from the Glacier International Airport in Kalispell
(FCA) ONLY, on
June 25 and August 19, 2017
ONLY. Shuttle service is available under the following limitations:
- You must notify FLBS of your itinerary details and pickup point by 4 p.m. MDT,
Thursday, June 22, 2017
- Arrivals on
June 25, 2017
: Last shuttle will leave the Glacier International Airport (FCA) in Kalispell as needed and confirmed
(in advance), but no later than 5 p.m.
- Departures on
August 19, 2017
: A shuttle will run from FLBS to Glacier International Airport ~4:30 a.m.
The FLBS shuttle is not available for other dates, times, or pick-up/drop-off locations. For all other airport departures, plan to network with other students with vehicles for a ride or contact Glacier Transportation (see below).
Transfer Options by Arrival/Departure Location
Glacier International Airport (FCA) Arrivals/Departures (RECOMMENDED)
- FLBS Shuttle (see limitations above)
- Car rental
- Taxi service (must be pre-arranged at least 48 hours in advance), Flathead Glacier Transportation at 406-892-3390. (~$90 for first person and $3 for each additional person)
Missoula International Airport (MSO) Arrivals/Departures
- Car rental
- Find a driver on the FLBS Rider Board.
Note that FLBS does not mediate issues with rides arranged on the Rider Board.
- Alternatively, Taxi --> Hotel ---> Taxi --> Greyhound --> Taxi, all
pre-arranged. And likewise on the return leg. You may save money on a flight
into Missoula, but there are significant additional time and cost expenses
involved in getting to FLBS from Missoula (and back).
- One-way costs
- Taxi from airport to Missoula Greyhound terminal: ~$20
- Overnight stay in Missoula due to flight and bus schedule connections: ~$95
- Bus ticket from Missoula to Polson via Greyhound - 406-549-2339: ~$25 one-way
- Taxi from Polson to FLBS via South Lake Taxi - 406-883-9220: ~$30 each + $2 per
each additional person (must be pre-arranged, ~48 hours in advance)
- FLBS shuttle service is NOT available from/to Missoula airport
Whitefish Amtrak Train Depot Arrivals/Departures
- Car rental
- Prearrange taxi by calling Flathead Glacier Transportation at 406-892-3390 (~$100 for first person and $3 for each additional person)
- On June 25, 2017 you may take a taxi from the Whitefish depot to Glacier International Airport to connect to the FLBS shuttle (see shuttle limitations above)
Summer Session Checklists
Students and faculty need to bring the following items for their stay at FLBS:
- Bed linens (twin-size sheets, pillows, etc.)
- Toiletry articles
- Proper clothing
- Full raingear (waterproof coat and pants)
- Hiking boots (preferably broken in and not too stiff)
- Sleeping bag
- Hot/cold mug and water bottle
- Lunch pack-up container (small divided Rubbermaid container, or two small containers; recommended
-you will pack your own lunch every day)
- Flashlight/headlamp, batteries
- Laundry soap
- Alarm clock
- Sunglasses, sunscreen, and cap/hat
- Daypack and backpack
- Mess kit for field trips and weekends (plate, cup/mug, storage container and eating utensils)
- Camera (optional)
- Laptop computer (highly recommended!)
- Prepaid phone card or cell phone
- Traveller's checks/Money/ATM card
Required Overnight Field Gear Checklist
All courses require the following items. Contact your instructor if you have any questions on whether your gear is appropriate for three season mountain camping.
- Tent - one or two person with a rain fly (does not have to be a backpacker tent)
- Ground Tarp or Tent Footprint to go under the tent (all tents leak from the bottom in heavy rain which means a wet sleeping bag without a tarp)
- Sleeping Bag - rated to 20 degrees, preferably 0 degrees
- Sleeping Pad or Self Inflating Air Pad to put under the sleeping bag (any standard sleeping pad - does not have to be carried)
- Layered Clothing to hike and sleep in
- Warm Hat and water resistant Gloves - useful if the weather gets bad and it can get bad year-round, at any time, in the high country
- Good Rain Jacket and Rain Pants - ESSENTIAL! Rain jacket must be breathable for hiking; rain pants should be breathable. Nonbreathable pants are okay but will be less comfortable.
- Day Pack required to carry water, food, extra clothes, camera, GPS, binoculars, headlamp, field guides and any other personal gear - lots of different day packs available so find one that is easy to hike with for a long ways - roughly 1500-1800 cubic inches (do not bring a book pack) Note: (students do not need a heavy duty backpack for the courses, but may want a backpack for personal hiking/backcountry
- Good Hiking Shoes or Boots - Essential! These must support off trail bushwhacking. It is recommended that hiking boots be broken in and waterproof. Everyone should be prepared to treat their own blisters.
- Headlamp - with extra batteries
Optional Backpacking Checklist
The following items are routinely used by backpackers in this area. Plan for
altitude, wet, and possibly snowy conditions. You are not required to bring all
of these items, but they will make your backpacking experience more enjoyable:
- A backpack large enough to carry the items listed below (a smaller rucksack or day pack is useful for day-long field trips)
- Wool or polypro socks
- Long underwear (wool or synthetic)
- Undershirt (light polypro or wool)
- Wool or pile sweaters or jackets (2)
- Rain/wind shell (pants, jacket, hood). Full rain gear is essential!Rain jacket must be breathable for hiking; rain pants should be breathable. Nonbreathable pants are okay, but will be less comfortable.
- Wool or pile stocking cap or balaclava
- Gloves or mittens with shells (water resistant handware is recommended)
- Hiking boots (not too stiff)
- Tarp, plastic or nylon (emergency shelter)
- Sleeping bag - good to 20 degrees, preferably 0 degrees
- Backpack tent, with rain fly and footprint/ground tarp (all tents leak from the bottom in heavy rain which means a wet sleeping bag without a ground cover)
- Sleeping pad, closed cell foam
- Stove and fuel (one per 3-4 individuals)
- Mess kit (plates, cup, storage container, eating utensils for field trips and weekend meals)
- Food & drink mix (both hot and cold types)
- Power Bars
- Water bottle (e.g., wide-mouth Nalgene or similar)
- Sunglasses and sunscreen, cap
- Flashlight/headlamp, batteries
- Compass and/or GPS
- Map(s) of your destination
- Pocket knife
- Bear spray
- First aid kit - personal size; everyone should be prepared to treat their own blisters, and minor cuts/scrapes
- Ditty bag (pencil, note pad, spare medicine, prescription glasses, etc.)