Holly Church

Holly Church

Education Coordinator

Holly Church

Phone: (406) 872-4507
Email: holly.church@umontana.edu

As the Education Coordinator at the Flathead Lake Biological Station, Holly designs curriculum to be used in the classrooms and/or at the biological station, conducts field trips for visiting school groups, teaches lessons in classrooms at schools in the Flathead Valley, and coordinates the logistics of the summer session courses. When Holly is not engaged in educational activities for the biological station, she  works as laboratory technician extracting and processing DNA and RNA samples collected in ocean and freshwater habitats.

Holly recently moved here from Oahu, Hawaii where she spent 12 years teaching high school science.  In her teaching career, she has taught biology (honors and regular), human physiology, Earth science, marine science, oceanography, and life science. She enjoys creating engaging curriculum that integrates technology, research, and problem solving skills into the lessons.

Prior to becoming a teacher, she worked as a research and laboratory technician in laboratories in California, Virginia, and Hawaii.  She started her research career as a research SCUBA diver for a laboratory at the University of California Santa Barbara that specialized in surfgrass (Phyllospadix sp.) and kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) restoration. As an undergraduate, she cultured surfgrass seedlings and conducted intertidal and subtidal surveys of surfgrass populations. After she graduated from U.C.S.B., she went on two expeditions to Antarctica to study Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba).  During her first expedition, she worked with a team of scientists to collect adult krill and other zooplankton species using large plankton nets off the Antarctic peninsula.  During the second expedition, she worked as a part of a 6-man dive team to collect juvenile krill by SCUBA diving under the sea ice.  After her polar excursion she worked at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, where she processed zooplankton samples and cultured a coastal species of dinoflagellate (Pfiesteria piscicida). She then worked at the University of California Santa Cruz, where she cultured an open ocean species of phytoplankton (Pseudo-nitzschia australis). 

She became a teacher when she moved to Hawaii in order to bring all of her unique research experience into the classroom.  She moved to Bigfork, MT in 2016 with her family and is thrilled to have the opportunity to educate the youth in the Flathead Valley about the unique ecosystems in and around the Flathead Lake.

I her free time, she enjoys hiking, skiing (a new hobby), taking photographs, drawing, putting puzzles together, playing water polo (when near a pool), exploring tide pools and surfing (when near the ocean), and whenever possible, spending time with her two daughters and husband.



B.S. 1996. Ecology and Evolution. University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA.

Master's of Education in Teaching (M.Ed.T.). 2006. Secondary Science. University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI.


Teaching Certifications

Hawaii State Teaching License. 2006 to present

Montana State Teaching Licence. 2016 to present