Bozeman, MT
Jul 06-Jul 10, 2015
Credit: 2 graduate
Tuition & Fees: $727.00
Instructor(s): B. Maxwell

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Course Description

This five day course includes 3 days in the field making measurements on exotic invasive plants at a range of sites from the Gallatin Valley to the Gallatin National Forest and 2 days analyzing the data and using simulation models to explore plant invasiveness. The focus of this course is to directly involve students with testing methodology for monitoring the invasive potential of several exotic species in otherwise pristine mountain environments.

The questions that we will examine are:
  • Can we detect change in non-indigenous plant populations that will allow us to judge them as invasive?
  • What should be the criteria for determining if a non-indigenous plant species can have a significant impact on the ecosystem?
  • What should be the criteria for determining if a non-indigenous plant species can have a significant impact on the ecosystem?
Students will read the most current theories on what makes species invasive and what conditions invite or detour non-indigenous plant species. At least 1/3 of the field time will be used to discuss how these theories apply to our system.

Data analysis will place each student with a computer and include the use of Excel software. Small groups will be created and each group will analyze a different portion of the field data. Integration of field ecology into K-12 classes will be discussed throughout the course.

Physical Fitness Requirement:
Field trips can require walking up to 2 miles on moderate to steep slopes off established trails.

Required Equipment:
Hands lens; compass with mirror for shooting an azimuth; clipboard; good pair of hiking shoes; and a small backpack to carry rain gear, lunch, and water.

Time Commitment: 10-12 hrs/day

Please Note:
Drs. Rotella, Maxwell, and Johnson have coordinated their curricula for the three (3) mini-session classes listed below so that the 3 courses each stand alone; but also, if taken together, form a coherent package. If possible, you are encouraged to register for the courses together as a "package" in one summer or over a couple of summers to maximize the content benefit gained for each class. Although you are certainly welcome to take any combination of the courses in any order that suits you, we urge you to consider taking the entire 3-week package:
  • June 22-26, 2015
    BIOE 520 Understanding and Managing Animal Biodiversity in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (Dr. Jay Rotella)
  • July 6-10, 2015
    LRES 569 Ecology of Invasive Plants in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (Dr. Bruce Maxwell)
  • July 6-10, 2015
    BIOL 591 Land Use Issues in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (Dr. Jerry Johnson)

Meeting Place and Times

Class: MTWRF 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Location: ABS Hall Room 238 from 8:00 am to 11:00 am; ABS 234 from 12:00 Noon to 5:00 pm
Field Trips: M-F


B. Maxwell, PhD.


Graduate standing.

Target Audience

Restricted Entry for Science Educators

Tuition and Fees

 Program Fee $187.00
 Computer Fee$7.00
 Distributed Learning Fee$0.00

A $30 registration fee is also charged once per semester.

The costs above assume that you are taking only MSU Extended University courses during the semester that the course is offered. If you also registered for courses through the MSU Registrar, the regular MSU fee structure may apply.

A $40 late fee will be assessed if payment is not posted to your account by 3 pm (Mountain Time) of the course start date (or the business day before if the course starts on a weekend or a holiday).

To learn more about tuition and fees, please see the University Business Services' Student Accounts Web page.

Required Books/Materials

  • Course materials will be provided by the instructor on the first day of the class.

For More Information

contact Diana Paterson at or 406-994-5679.

How to Register

Register Online