Summer - Courses

Courses at FLBS

 

FLBS summer courses are offered to qualified applicants on a first to apply basis. Applying as early as possible will assist you in securing your first-choice courses and will assist FLBS in planning summer session. Note that underenrolled courses may be cancelled based on enrollment numbers as of the enrollment review date.

Each course runs all day each scheduled day of its timeframe, including holidays, unless otherwise noted. You may select 1 or up to 5 classes for the summer. Taking a full load over the 8-week session is an efficient way to complete advanced courses during one summer!

Admission and Credit Info

  • Undergraduate (300/400 level) or Graduate (400 level) credit
  • Credits transferrable to UM and most colleges/universities
  • Formal admission to UM not required
  • Credits may be transferred with a single completed transcript request form
  • Applying for FLBS courses requires: application; $50.00 non-refundable application fee; and transcripts (official or unofficial)

About FLBS Course Prerequisites

FLBS summer courses are designed to be affordable and flexible for all students and working professionals, whether in state or out of state, for undergraduate, graduate, or continuing education credit. Contact us with any questions or concerns, or contact the course instructor directly using the contact info in each course description.

FLBS Course Notices

Some FLBS courses require you be in good physical condition and complete extended all-day hikes at altitude in uneven terrain in strenuous conditions. Check each course syllabus for specific requirements.
All FLBS courses require students to have a foundation in academic writing. Students will need to display critical thinking and research skills as well as provide thoughtful commentary. Students should be able to clearly and concisely present technical and academic concepts in writing.
International students: a strong grasp of English (listening, speaking, reading and writing) is essential for success in FLBS coursework and collaboration with fellow students.

FLBS Courses

Alpine Ecology
July 17-July 28, 2023
BIOE 416/01
3 credits
Alpine Ecology students observe high mountain processes
Prereqs: One semester of a college-level biology and an ecology course such as BIOE342 Field Ecology at FLBS or other equivalents; or consent of instructor
This course requires you to complete extended all-day hikes at altitude in uneven terrain in strenuous conditions. If you have concerns about this requirement, contact the course instructor.
Exploration of the distribution, abundance and biotic interactions of plants and animals and their unique ecophysiological adaptations to life in the rigorous environments of high mountains above the timberline, with emphasis on the Crown of the Continent area. Students learn about the distribution of plants and animals and study the processes and interactions that are the foundation to ecology in alpine environments. Emphasis is placed on the processes that organize communities including drivers of global climate, and the complex interrelationships of biotic and abiotic interactions, including natural and human components as modifiers of system dynamics, and how those processes affect alpine systems. The class is organized around field trips and data intensive class projects that underscore major concepts and allow training in data collection, analysis, writing a scientific paper, presentation and interpretation by students.
Aquatic Microbial Ecology
June 19-June 30, 2023
BIOE 400/01
3 credits
AME aboard the Jessie B
Prereqs: One year of college-level biology, chemistry, and mathematics, or equivalents; or consent of instructor
This intensive field course is available to upper-level under-graduate students with interests in environmental microbiology and aquatic ecology and provides a conceptual foundation and experiential field and laboratory training in modern methods in aquatic microbial ecology. Students will explore topics such as physiology and metabolism of aquatic microbes; methods and tools for assessing microbial diversity, biomass, and growth; and the role of microbes in bioelemental cycles. Students will gain hands-on experience with both cultivation-based approaches and cultivation-independent methods for studying environmental microorganisms.
Conservation Ecology
June 19-June 30, 2023
BIOE 440/01
3 credits
Student inspects a field sample
Prereqs: One semester of college-level biology and an ecology course (BIOE342 Field Ecology at FLBS) or equivalents; or consent of instructor
This course emphasizes the application of basic biological research to problems in conservation and management with a focus on science, human dimensions, and policy interface. The three main disciplines in conservation biology we will study are Ecology, Evolution, and Human Dimension. These themes will be applied to case studies chosen to illustrate general principles and important issues in conservation and to facilitate discussion with professional field and conservation biologists. We will meet with professionals from government or nongovernment organizations providing a special opportunity to interactively learn by working side by side with conservation biologists, researchers, and natural resource managers from USGS, Montana FWP, US Forest Service, and the National Park Service.
Evolution of Animal Behavior
July 17-August 11, 2023
BIOE 491/01
5 credits
Evolution class in Glacier
Principles and methods of evolutionary behavioral ecology, strongly emphasizing the development and honing of professional field study skills. Interactive lectures and discussions will cover basic and advanced concepts relevant to modern Darwinian analyses of complex contingent behaviors, including sexual and social behaviors. We will engage in close observation of behaviors, followed by whole-class round-table formulation of (a) evolutionary adaptationist hypotheses about a given behavior's possible net benefits, (b) testable predictions of each hypothesis, and (c) effective and efficient methods to test those predictions in the field or lab; in the classroom or on-the-spot in the field.
Field Ecology
June 19-July 14, 2023
BIOE 342/01
5 credits
Ecology in Glacier Park
Prereqs: One semester of college-level biology, chemistry and mathematics (or equivalents); or consent of instructor
This course requires you to complete extended all-day hikes at altitude in uneven terrain in strenuous conditions. If you have concerns about this requirement, contact the course instructor.
The course engages major concepts and approaches in modern ecology via immersive field experiences, hands-on sampling, and project-based learning in both aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Topics range from physiological and behavioral ecology to population and community ecology to ecosystem ecology. The course will build students' natural history knowledge of the biota of the Rocky Mountain region while directly engaging them in active research projects of FLBS / UM faculty. This course is conducted largely outdoors regardless of weather so that ecological phenomena can be examined in real time and real life. All-day and overnight trips will be conducted throughout the course, taking students into a range of aquatic and terrestrial environments near the Bio Station and the adjacent mountain areas including Glacier National Park. Students should be physically fit and able to hike 10 miles per day. Students will conduct directed measurements connected to ongoing research projects of the faculty, developing technical skills as well as skills in analysis and interpretation in written and oral form. Meets UM writing requirement.
Forest and Fire Ecology
July 31-August 11, 2023
BIOE 458/01
3 credits
Students observe patterns in forest development
Prereqs: Two completed semesters of college-level coursework (sophomore standing); or consent of instructor
This course requires you to complete extended all-day hikes at altitude in uneven terrain in strenuous conditions. If you have concerns about this requirement, contact the course instructor.
This course examines physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of lake ecosystems with an emphasis on nutrient cycling, food web interactions and water quality. This course focuses on functional relationships and productivity of plant and animal assemblages in lakes as regulated by physical, chemical, and biotic processes. Fundamental concepts of ecology as they relate to the aquatic environment are highlighted. Students will learn basic and contemporary study methods in field settings including Flathead Lake, glacial lakes of Glacier National Park and Swan Valley, inter-montane prairie kettle lakes and nutrient rich lakes. Emphasis is directed toward experiential learning and obtaining hands-on examination and characterization of lakes that will serve students well throughout their careers. Written and oral reports of independent studies as directed by the professor are required.
Lake Ecology
July 31-August 11, 2023
BIOE 453/01
3 credits
Students collect water samples on Flathead Lake
Prereqs: One year (or equivalents) of college-level biology, chemistry, and mathematics courses, and an ecology course (such as BIOE342 Field Ecology at FLBS or other equivalent); or consent of instructor
Physical, chemical and biological characteristics of lake ecosystems with an emphasis on how physical processes of lake circulation and stratification, nutrient loading and cycling, primary and secondary production and food web interactions, and atmospheric and land/watershed use affects water quality. This course focuses on functional relationships and productivity of plant and animal assemblages in lakes as regulated by physical, chemical and biotic processes. Fundamental concepts of ecology as they relate to the aquatic environment are emphasized. Limnological principles are presented within the context of regional and landscape spatial scales. Students will learn basic and contemporary methods of study in field settings including Flathead Lake, glacial lakes of Glacier National Park, inter-montane prairie kettle lakes and nutrient rich lakes with emphasis toward experiential learning and obtaining hands-on examination and characterization of lakes. Written and oral reports of independent studies as directed by the professor are required.
Landscape Ecology
July 3-July 14, 2023
BIOE 451/01
3 credits
Ecology on Pitamakin Pass
Prereqs: One year of college-level biology, chemistry, and mathematics, and an ecology course (BIOE342 Field Ecology at FLBS) or equivalents; or consent of instructor
This course requires you to complete extended all-day hikes at altitude in uneven terrain in strenuous conditions. If you have concerns about this requirement, contact the course instructor.
The objective of this course is to understand the physical and ecological processes that shape landscapes, how these biological and physical processes interact, and how they are responding to global change. We will examine how plants and animals are distributed across landscapes, how the physical template of the environment shapes species distributions and how biotic feedbacks can influence the physical environment. We will examine processes of pattern formation in the environment such as disturbance from fire and how landscape pattern can affect both physical and biological processes. Field trips will underscore concepts and allow data gathering and interpretation by students. Students are introduced to both satellite and airborne remote-sensing tools used in a GIS environment. Students will analyze and interpret spatially explicit data through analyses and oral presentations.
Seminars in Ecology & Resource Management
June 19-July 14, 2023
BIOB 494/01
1 credits
Osprey Research
This seminar involves presentation and discussion of local environmental issues and problems, and is available to any students enrolled for the first four weeks of summer session in any combination of courses.
Stream Ecology
July 17-July 28, 2023
BIOE 439/01
3 credits
Sampling Middle Fork of the Flathead River
Prereqs: One year of college-level biology, chemistry, and mathematics, and an ecology course (BIOE342 Field Ecology at FLBS) or equivalents; or consent of instructor
This course focuses on the fundamental concepts of stream/river ecology and the physical, chemical and biological processes that characterize running water ecosystems. Students will study the ecology of streams and obtain hands-on experience in the examination and characterization of stream systems. Daily participation, examinations, and written and oral reports of independent or group studies as directed by the professor are required.
This course requires enrollment approval
Advanced Undergraduate Research
June 19-August 11, 2023
BIOE 490/01
1-10 credits
Instructor/s:
TBA
Independent research experience in field ecology associated generally with the various research projects at FLBS. Projects are mentored by permanent and visiting FLBS faculty. Send us a short outline of research work you would like to undertake.
This course requires enrollment approval
Independent Study
June 19-August 11, 2023
BIOB 596/01
1-8 credits
Instructor/s:
TBA
Open only to non-UM graduate students. Independent research is intended to solve a specific ecological problem as identified and examined by the student under mentorship of a Bio Station professor. Independent research includes design, analysis and reporting of ecological data. Student must contact FLBS faculty to determine course availability and provide a short outline of proposed research work.
This course requires enrollment approval
Undergraduate Research: Animal Behavior
June 19-July 14, 2023
BIOE 490/01
1-10 credits
Instructor/s:
TBA
Enhanced version of BIOB 491. Principles and methods of evolutionary behavioral ecology, strongly emphasizing the development and honing of professional field study skills. Interactive lectures and discussions will cover basic and advanced concepts relevant to modern Darwinian analyses of complex contingent behaviors, including sexual and social behaviors. This course will run before BIOB 491: Evolution of Animal Behavior to provide students extra time on effective and efficient methods to test project predictions in the field or lab.
This course requires enrollment approval
Undergraduate Research: Cryosphere Ecology
July 31-August 11, 2023
BIOE 490/01
1-10 credits
Prereqs: At least one semester of ecology, biology, and chemistry or consent or instructor.
The cryosphere includes sea ice, glaciers, snow, permafrost and other frozen environments. These environments host a number of unique ecosystems and highly adapted organisms but the cryosphere is rapidly changing with climate change. In this course, we will examine the ecology of organisms in cryosphere environments including sea ice, permafrost, glaciers, and snow. We will consider the physiology and ecology of several key cryosphere organisms and discuss ecosystem-level processes in the cryosphere and how these may change with a changing climate. We will also perform lab and field experiments in snow and ice ecosystems and then analyze and present data from these experiments.
This course requires enrollment approval
Undergraduate Thesis
June 19-August 11, 2023
BIOB 499/01
3-6 credits
Instructor/s:
TBA
The objective of this course is to prepare a thesis/manuscript based on undergrad research in field ecology for presentation and/or publication. An oral presentation of the finished work must be given at the Bio Station. Student must contact FLBS faculty to determine course availability and provide a short outline of proposed research work.
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