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

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Course Description

This course will lay the groundwork for an understanding of the legal and political basis for scientific management of natural resources on public and private lands in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Readings, field visits and skill-building exercises will equip science educators with the social context of complex ecological issues.

Issues facing policy makers in complex administrative jurisdictions like the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem require a consideration of the social, legal and economic environment as well as understanding the scientific questions. Both are necessary if society is to successfully address issues like recovery of endangered species, rural sprawl, or wildfire. The laws that govern the development of the vast storehouse of natural resources in the West are based in a time some call the era of the "Lords of Yesterday". They are the product of a more freewheeling period of our economic and political history. They include water law, hardrock mining law, timber and grazing, and the designation of Yellowstone National Park in 1872. These laws play a direct role in how and why the resource agencies manage public lands in the West.

Today, economic, social, and political changes are sweeping the West. The emergent New West is often in conflict with the Old as extractive industry gives way to tourism, retirees, and a service-based economy. While the impacts of our extractive history are well understood, those resulting from rapid land use and social change are less so; from employment patterns to politics, the new west is different from the old.

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
    BIOE 591 Land Use Issues in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (Dr. Jerry Johnson)

Meeting Place and Times

Class: M 8:00 am to 12:00 noon
Location: Lewis Hall 407
Field Trips: M 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm; TWRF 8:00 am to 6:00 pm


Jerry Johnson, PhD.


Graduate standing.

Target Audience

Teachers in Montana State University's Master of Science in Science Education program; teachers desiring graduate credit in biology for professional development.

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 your instructor.

For More Information

contact Diana Paterson at or 406-994-5679.

How to Register

Register Online