FLBS Statement on COVID-19

FLBS Statement on COVID-19

An Important Update from FLBS Director Jim Elser:

The University of Montana and the Flathead Lake Biological Station (FLBS) continue to ​remain open with highly modified operations for continuity of essential functions. Currently our facility is closed to external visitors and most FLBS personnel are telecommunting. Those ​performing essential services at FLBS in administration, facilities, and research continue to practice social distancing ​and other protective measures. Additionally, we are following any guidelines from and are in consultation with University of Montana President Bodnar, the Commissioner of Higher Education, and the Governor of the State of Montana.

Recently, our leaders at University of Montana decided that 2020 UM Summer Classes will be online.  We have therefore made the decision to cancel our FLBS summer classes because they are experiential and field-based, and do not convert to an online platform. This was a very tough decision to make. We wanted to communicate this decision as early as possible so students can make alternative plans for the coming summer. 

We have already issued refunds of the application fee to all students who had applied. Students affected by course cancellations due to COVID-19 that want to attend in 2021 will be given first priority preference, and we are keeping your application and scholarship materials on file for 2021.

We thank you for bearing with us during this unprecedented time. It’s often said to pick your battles to win the war. In the interest of public health, and the safety of our students and personnel, we chose the prudent path in light of the many unknowns about the COVID-19 disease. The absence of the vitality and wonder for the natural world that our students bring each summer will truly be felt by all at the Bio Station. We will miss our students deeply, and very much hope that they will still be able to join us next summer for #FLBS2021. 

In the meantime, we wish all our students, colleagues, partners and community the best. We will continue to keep everyone informed of any changes to other activities or FLBS facilities closures through our established lines of communication, including our social media accounts and website. 

Stay safe, stay healthy, and wash your hands!

Jim Elser

Director and Bierman Professor of Ecology

Flathead Lake Biological Station