Tag Archives: Glacier Institute

Nature as classroom

Photo by W. K. Walker

Former North Forker and NFPA stalwart Ellen Horowitz got a nice write-up in the Flathead Beacon this week as part of their article about adult nature classes given by the Glacier Institute . . .

The trail leading to Firebrand Pass was lit by intermittent sun, giving the already-expressive mountains flanking the park’s eastern border an extra sense of drama as the light shifted and moved with the wind.

But even that high-altitude spectacle couldn’t pull the eyes of a small group of people from the ground, where they studied leaves and petals in various greens and pinks and purples, the summertime color explosion of plants awakening for their time, however short, to shine.

This is how botanist and instructor Ellen Horowitz sees the park, not in the macro of the craggy peaks and pristine lakes, though she also enjoys those, but rather in the micro details.

Read more . . .

Glacier Institute rolls out 2016 winter courses

The Glacier Institute’s tracking course will be in the North Fork again this winter . . .

The Glacier Institute, a public educational leader in the Crown of the Continent, will kick off 2015 with a course Jan. 9 in animal tracking and sign interpretation. A longtime favorite, the course will return to the North Fork region for the second year after some 20 seasons of exploring in West Glacier.

“There’s awesome tracking along the North Fork—aquatic, riparian, and terrestrial species,” said Director of Education Justin Barth. “There’s a lot of action. If they’re really lucky, they could see rare carnivore tracks, maybe wolves or wolverines. Or [tracks from] a grizzly bear out taking a break from his nap.”

Brian Baxter, a wildlife researcher with years of experience tracking and trapping, will lead the field course, as he has for many years. He’ll lead participants along four or so miles of eastern shore of the North Fork, teaching them to observe the evidence of nature.

Read more . . .

Celebrating History of the North Fork at Big Creek, Aug 22

Tyler McRae, Program Manager for the Big Creek Outdoor Education Center, passed along this announcement for a big “Celebrating History of the North Fork at Big Creek” event this weekend. Check it out if you’re interested in coming down to Big Creek on the 22nd of this month for a good BBQ dinner, some exchange of stories about the old days of this place, and/or breakfast, lunch, and some trail projects. There’s also a breakfast event Sunday morning.

Big Creek Creek Ranger Station History Event

Animal tracks in Glacier Park

Patti Hart has an excellent article — with photos —  over on the Mago Guide site about last Saturday’s “North Fork Animal Tracking and Sign Interpretation” course sponsored by the Glacier Institute . . .

Yesterday Team Mago spent the day learning about how to identify animal tracks in the snow. This adventure began when we saw a news release from the Glacier Institute advertising “North Fork Animal Tracking and Sign Interpretation” with Brian Baxter, a wildlife researcher and forester who has spent a number of winters studying animals such as the wolverine, lynx, fisher, marten and instructing outdoor educational programs in Glacier Park. We had been tromping around the North Fork for years in both summer and winter and had often seen tracks/scats, wondering if the animal was canine or cat.  That’s pretty pitiful.  So when this course was announced, we jumped at the chance.

Read more . . .

Glacier Institute winter lecture series kicks off Jan. 22

The Glacier Institute is launching a pretty interesting lecture series staring January 22. Here’s the announcement from the Flathead Beacon . . .

The Glacier Institute presents their three-part 2015 winter lecture series in conjunction with the Conrad Mansion, beginning on Jan. 22.

The first of the series will be “Glacier’s Iconic Mountain Goats,” with presenter Sumio Harada.

History buffs take notice: on Feb. 26, presenter Dave Shea will speak on “Wildlife Encountered by Lewis and Clark.”

And finally, the series rounds out with “Stories from the Top: Glacier’s Fire Lookouts,” with presenter Justin Barth.

Doors open at 6 p.m. for coffee and wine, desserts, and conversation with old and new friends. The presentations begin at 6:30 p.m. and will conclude by 8 p.m.

All programs will take place at the Conrad Mansion in Kalispell. A $10 admission per person is charged to support the missions of both organizations. Seating is limited, so RSVPs are required. Payment is required at the time of reservation. To RSVP, please call Conrad Mansion at 406-755-2166.

Visit the Glacier Institute’s website for more information, at www.glacierinstitute.org.

‘Winter Ecology and Animal Tracking in Glacier National Park’ class offered March 1

Here’s an interesting winter course coming up at Glacier Park the first Saturday in MArch . . .

The Glacier Institute and instructor Beau Servo are offering a course titled, “Winter Ecology and Animal Tracking in Glacier National Park” on Saturday, March 1.

Servo will lead a day of adventure in the snow-covered forest to study ecological concepts from a winter perspective. The day will begin with a short classroom session at the Glacier Park Community Building behind Park Headquarters in West Glacier. Discussion will focus on predator/prey relationships, evergreen plant species and animals’ adaptations to winter.

A field session will follow, concentrating on hunting behaviors, prey escape strategy, specialized adaptations, tracks and trails and wintering birds of prey. The class will travel on snowshoes…

Read more . . .

The Glacier Institute at 30

The Great Falls Tribune posted an excellent article on the Glacier Institute . . .

Justin Barth’s first experience with the Glacier Institute as a sixth grader left a lasting impression.

“I remember putting on waders, hopping into Big Creek, finding bugs and looking at them under a microscope,” said the Kalispell native. “At the time, seeing them magnified kind of scared me.”

Ten years later, as program manager of the Institute’s West Glacier Field Camp, he’s eagerly leading others through the same discoveries…

For 30 years, the Glacier Institute has made the natural world accessible, fascinating and memorable to tens of thousands of children and adults. That several of its seasonal staff, like Barth, first attended as schoolchildren, is a testament to its enduring influence.

Continue reading . . .

Glacier Institute wins $20K for alternate energy curriculum at Big Creek

The Glacier Institute won a nice grant to buy equipment and develop an alternate energy curriculum at their Big Creek education center . . .

A month-long online voting contest among nonprofits in all 50 states has earned the Glacier Institute a $20,000 grant for its Outdoor Education Center located on the North Fork of the Flathead.

The local nonprofit was selected in September as Montana’s lone finalist in the Tom’s of Maine “50 States for Good” program, which helps support a suite of outdoor-oriented community projects nationwide.

The award, announced Thursday, will fund the Glacier Institute’s brand new alternative energy curriculum, which teaches students how to preserve and better use Montana’s natural resources.

Continue reading . . .

Glacier Institute to hold annual Volunteer Work Day on Saturday, May 5th

Rachel Potter passed along the news that the Glacier Institute, a private nonprofit that “provides hands-on, field-based educational adventures to people from all over the world in… Glacier National Park and the Flathead National Forest,” is holding their annual Volunteer Work Day on Saturday, May 5th. For those of you interested in participating (as well you should be), here’s the press release:

April 13, 2012

CONTACT: The Glacier Institute (406) 755-1211


The Glacier Institute is holding its annual Volunteer Work Day on Saturday, May 5th this year. Volunteers are needed for cleaning, painting, light carpentry, and outdoor work such as raking, sweeping, and many other tasks.

Volunteers are needed at both the Glacier Park Field Camp, located in Glacier National Park one mile north of West Glacier and our Big Creek Outdoor Education Center located on the North Fork Road, approximately 21 miles north of Columbia Falls.

The Glacier Institute, an educational non-profit organization in its 29th year, is a long-time partner with Glacier National Park, Flathead National Forest, Flathead Valley Community College and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. The Institute offers family programs, youth science adventure camps, Discovery School at Big Creek Outdoor Education Center and adult educational programs.

The Institute will provide lunch and dinner for participants. Volunteers may stay over at the camps but need to call to reserve a spot. Tools are not required, but are helpful; please bring carpentry tools, rakes, shop vacuums, wheelbarrows and work gloves. Interested volunteers, please RSVP by contacting the Glacier Institute at
(406) 755-1211 or register@glacierinstitute.org.


Lilly L. Beebe, Office Administrator
The Glacier Institute
P.O.Box 1887
Kalispell, MT 59903
Phone: 406-755-1211
Fax: 406-755-7154
Email: register@glacierinstitute.org
Website: www.glacierinstitute.org
Blog: theglacierinstitute.blogspot.com