Summer Program - Logistics

FLBS Bookstore

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 (Discover, 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 the area, but coverage is spotty.

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 (layers image indicating link to external site content are 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:

Your Name
32111 Bio Station Lane
Polson, MT 59860-6815

Computers / Internet Access

FLBS no longer maintains a student computer lab. All students are required to bring a laptop. FLBS will work with students unable to bring a laptop due to financial hardship. MS Office is also recommended for optimal collaboration with faculty and peers. See individual course syllabi for specific laptop requirements.

A laptop will allow 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 shuttle services must be pre-arranged. On-demand taxi service is not available in this area. 


1. Driving

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


2. Flying

If 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 23, 2019, and then catch a 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)

3. Train

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.)


Ground Transport Options by Arrival/Departure Location

Glacier International Airport (FCA) Arrivals/Departures (RECOMMENDED)

  • Shuttle options (see limitations above)
  • Car rental
  • Prearrange shuttle service online (advance notice recommended): Arrow Shuttle. ($103.50 for first person, $3 each additional person)
  • Prearrange shuttle service by calling Big D's Taxi at 406-892-3390. (~$125 for first person and $3 for each additional person)
  • Shuttle service may be unavailable with <24-48 hours notice.

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 (estimated)
    • 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 Annie's Taxi - 406-309-0999: ~$25 each + $2 per each additional person (must be pre-arranged, ~48 hours in advance)

Whitefish Amtrak Train Depot Arrivals/Departures

  • Car rental (Hertz)
  • Shuttle service (1-2 day advance notice recommended): Arrow Shuttle. ($103.50 for first person, $3 each additional person)
  • Prearrange Shuttle service online: Arrow Shuttle. ($126 for first person, $3 each additional person)
  • Prearrange shuttle by calling Big D's Taxi at 406-892-3390 (~$140 for first person and $3 for each additional person)
  • Shuttle service may be unavailable with <24-48 hours notice.


Summer Session Checklists

Items-to-Bring Checklist

Students and faculty need to bring the following items for their stay at FLBS:

  • Blankets
  • Bed linens (twin-size sheets, pillows; mattress pad provided)
  • Towels
  • Toiletry articles
  • Proper clothing (layers recommended)
  • Full raingear (waterproof coat and pants) plus umbrella
  • Hiking boots (broken in! and not too stiff)
  • Hot/cold mug and water bottle
  • Lunch pack-up container (small divided Rubbermaid container, or two small containers; recommended -lunch is packed every day)
  • Mess kit for field trips and weekends (plate, cup/mug, utensils)
  • Flashlight/headlamp, batteries
  • Laundry soap and quarters for pay machines
  • Alarm clock
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen, and cap/hat
  • Daypack and backpack
  • Sleeping bag
  • Camera (optional)
  • Laptop computer (required; contact FLBS if this is a problem)
  • Prepaid phone card or cell phone
  • 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.

  • 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 camping)
  • 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: 

  • Backpack tent, with rain fly and footprint/ground tarp
  • 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.
  • 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 hiking 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 (broken in! and not too stiff)
  • Tarp, plastic or nylon (optional emergency shelter)
  • Sleeping bag - good to 20 degrees, preferably 0 degrees
  • Sleeping pad, closed cell foam
  • Stove and fuel (one per 3-4 individuals)
  • Mess kit (plate, 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 (can be purchased at FLBS bookstore)
  • 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.)
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