Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 60.89
Liaison Eva Rocke
Submission Date June 30, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Montana
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
2.00 / 2.00 Madeleine Jones
ASUM Sustainability Coordinator
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an active student group focused on sustainability?:

Name and a brief description of the active student groups focused on sustainability:

Associated Students of the University of Montana Sustainability Committee: An all-student committee that works to promote, develop, and initiate sustainability-focused projects and goals on UM's campus.

Air and Waste Management Society: The mission of the University of Montana Student Chapter of the A&WMA is to assist in the professional development and critical environmental decision-making of our members to benefit society.

Climate Action Collective: We are a group of climate crisis-stopping organizers. We work to help students take on climate projects by offering guidance, resources, and connections to other social justice/climate justice groups. We are an academic group. We host many educational activities throughout the year. We also host activities like debate watch parties, field trips to the Helena legislature, and many more. Members can expect a support group and free-thinking space for climate action.

Climate Response Club: Our mission is to undertake projects that educate students and mitigate University of Montana's climate impact.

Society for Ecological Restoration: Our purpose is to promote ecological restoration as a means of sustaining the diversity of life on earth and re-establish an ecologically healthy relationship between nature and culture.

Fire Ecology and Management: To connect students, faculty and community members with a network of fire peers, managers and ecologists and provide career training and experience for students. Club activities include active participation in fuels reduction, prescribed burning and fire management related activities. Education about fire ecology is accomplished through yearly visits to the Missoula Fire Laboratory, Neptune Aviation, historically important wildland fire locations and many other field opportunities.

American Fisheries Society: A professional society to help students further their studies and careers in the realm of fisheries.

Forum for Living with Appropriate Technology: The UM FLAT is an intentional living-learning community dedicated to everyday sustainability. Student residents gain experience in shared leadership, learn practical skills, and build a supportive, dynamic community. The FLAT also provides a welcoming gathering space and actively engages the University of Montana and Missoula through demonstration and education programs.

International Forestry Student Society: Our mission is to provide a platform for students of forest sciences to enrich their formal education, promote cultural understanding by encouraging collaboration with international partner organizations and facilitating students in gaining practical experiences with a wider and more global perspective. Through its network, IFSA encourages student meetings, enables participation in scientific debates, and supports the involvement of youth in decision making processes and international forest and environmental policy. UMONTANA IFSA MISSION: Provide those within, or connected to, the community of the University of Montana with the opportunity to engage in major forest conservation challenges, with a specific focus in promoting the inclusion and participation of stakeholders in conservation research, practice, and policy.

Wildlife Society: The University of Montana Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society (TWS) strives to be an active club providing many great opportunities to our members while having fun along the way. At our meetings, students get a chance to connect with current wildlife professionals and learn about their research. We also provide several opportunities throughout the year where students can practice skills they will use in the field and gain valuable experience for their resume. Students can also use TWS as an opportunity to get involved in the surrounding community through our education and outreach program. In addition, participating in the club is a great way to gain leadership skills and meet new people in a positive social atmosphere.

ASUM student group list: https://www.umt.edu/asum/student-groups/list-of-groups/categories.php#env_interest

Does the institution have a garden, farm, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery program, or an urban agriculture project where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:

A brief description of the gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects:

UM Dining's gardens and associated closed loop campus food system serve as living laboratories where students, faculty, staff, and guests can learn about growing food through various methods, passive solar greenhouse design and management, sustainable waste management, composting, and water catchment.

The Lommasson garden, a small garden located on central campus, has three sections: 1.) 12 raised beds; 2.) a large area used for row crops, fruit trees, and the passive solar greenhouse (directly to the south of the raised bed zone); and 3.) a zone dedicated to edible Montana and Northwest native plants, including serviceberry, an assortment of currants, alpine and wood’s strawberry, the native red raspberry, and hazelnuts. The third area is meant to mimic nature and be a “food forest” where plants can grow a little wilder but still be for human consumption. Together, the three sections represent various methods of gardening and total over 60 varieties of plants.

This garden is unique in that it incorporates all aspects of the food production cycle within a plot of land no bigger than many people’s backyards as well as demonstrating the uniqueness of a location in an urban setting and providing a model for food production in dense, urban environments. It is also an educational tool that demonstrates the actual processes of how individuals and communities can bring their food systems close to home and move towards community food security. The South Ave garden is three times the size of the Lommasson garden and is home to an orchard and mixed vegetable row crops that are served at the Iron Griz Bistro and other UM dining venues.


Does the institution have a student-run enterprise that includes sustainability as part of its mission statement or stated purpose?:

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

The ASUM Office of Transportation is a student-funded, organized, and run business that provides alternative modes of transportation for students and the campus community. The Office of Transportation provides a free bus service, rental bikes, bike repair, student education, and incentives for alternative transportation.


Does the institution have a sustainable investment fund, green revolving fund, or sustainable microfinance initiative through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills?:

A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives:

The Kless Sustainability Fund is a pool of money generated from the student sustainability fee. A committee of students, faculty, and staff (mostly students) manage the fund and students develop and propose projects that save energy, lower operating costs, and decrease greenhouse gas emissions. The majority of funded projects must have quantifiable savings and an ROI of 10 years or less.


Has the institution hosted a conference, speaker series, symposium, or similar event focused on sustainability during the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia, or similar events focused on sustainability:

1. Fall Feastival
The University of Montana and UM Dining's Farm to College program host the “Fall Feastival” that brings students, faculty and staff together on the University Oval to enjoy a delicious shared meal of Montana grown and produced food.

2. Earth Week:
Every year in April, the ASUM Sustainability Center and the Office of Sustainability join together to facilitate a variety of workshops, community service opportunities, and educational outreach all focused around Earth Day. In the week leading up to Earth Day, an Ecopentatholon and Earth Service day offer students and community members a chance to volunteer for sustainability-focused efforts like invasive weed removal, Clark Fork River cleanup, sorting recyclables at the UM Recycle shed, and organic gardening in the university-owned garden spaces. https://www.umt.edu/sustainability/Connect/base-page1.php

Has the institution hosted a cultural arts event, installation, or performance focused on sustainability with the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations, or performances focused on sustainability:

In September 2019, the UM Theatre department collaborated with Climate Change Theatre Action and put on a staged reading of 9 plays related to themes about Climate Change in Montana. http://www.climatechangetheatreaction.com/event/university-of-montana-earth/?fbclid=IwAR3MU1BM6__6ZEthK04Nyi3A8HE9W68ICzluvWOR3XLANd_tFXNANOHEOdM

The Montana Museum of Art and Culture regularly has installations and features artists that discuss sustainability themes. For example, in 2020, there was an exhibit featuring the works of Monte Dolack, notable for his environmental concerns and observations of nature that come through in his art. https://www.umt.edu/montanamuseum/exeventsschedule/pastexhibitions/2019-2020.php

Does the institution have a wilderness or outdoors program that follow Leave No Trace principles?:

A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:

1. Freshman Wilderness Experience
The Freshman Wilderness Experience is a program designed to give incoming freshman a genuine wilderness experience before their first week of college. Experienced students lead groups of 5-10 freshman on backpacking, canoeing, mountain biking, or kayaking trips. These trips often expose out-of-state students to the beautiful and extensive public lands that we enjoy in Montana and develop incoming freshman develop a strong sense of community before classes begin. https://www.umt.edu/freshman-wilderness-experience/

2.Climate Change Studies in the Field:
The Climate Change Studies program provides three different outdoor field courses that students in and outside of the minor can participate in. The three courses provided are located in Glacier National Park, Vietnam or Central Montana with each focusing on a specific aspect of climate change as it is related to the location of the study abroad experience. https://www.cfc.umt.edu/ccs/hands-on-learning/field-courses.php

3. Campus Recreation's Outdoor Program runs coordinates and leads rafting, kayaking, climbing, backpacking, and skiing outings open to all students, faculty, and staff. All of their student leaders are Wilderness EMT certified and LNT certified. https://www.umt.edu/crec/Outdoor/default.php

Has the institution had a sustainability-focused theme chosen for a themed semester, year, or first-year experience during the previous three years?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:

UM’s Communities of Excellence (CoEx) are transdisciplinary areas of research, creative scholarship, teaching, study, and community partnerships that allow for elasticity across degree paths and scholarly collaborations. One of these communities is focused on "Environment and Sustainability." Students in the group have the opportunity to take courses related to sustainability before committing to a degree path. https://www.umt.edu/provost/initiatives/coex/#:~:text=UM's%20Communities%20of%20Excellence%20(CoEx,degree%20paths%20and%20scholarly%20collaborations.

Does the institution have a program through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:

A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

The Curry Health Center offers a wellness program that empowers students to make healthy and sustainable choices. They offer a program with peer mentors, "PRO" (Peers Reaching Out), who are specifically trained in conducting outreach to students in the residence halls, as well as running the "Health Nut" blog. Programming and blog posts offer suggestions on cheap and healthy cooking, financial sustainability, as well as personal health and wellness.

Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:

The ASUM Office of Transportation employs 2-5 Sustainable Transportation Ambassadors each year to lead the department's bike, pedestrian, and public transit outreach efforts. The Ambassadors coordinate commuter challenges, present transportation options to campus groups, and run the "Commuter of the Week" social media campaign when school is in session. https://www.umt.edu/transportation/about/employment/default.php

The ASUM Sustainability Center also hires an intern who works 5-10 hours a week. This student does outreach through tabling and class presentations about sustainability opportunities with the goal of increasing student awareness of sustainability resources and opportunities. Additionally, this position assists with event coordination for the annual Earth Day celebrations among other campus events.

The Recycling Program hires several student positions. Two or three students are employed as Recycling Technicians to assist in collecting and properly sorting all recycling from around campus. The Recycling Program also hires a student Recycling Outreach Coordinator who supports and leads educational and outreach activities that increase the diversion of recyclable materials on the UM campus.

Does the institution have a graduation pledge through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:

A brief description of the graduation pledge(s):

UM currently has a sustainability pledge that is not explicitly tied to graduation, but is available to anyone within the UM community at any time. The pledge is available online and asks participants to identify specific strategies they plan to use to shrink their resource footprint and become more involved in campus and community sustainability efforts.

A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that do not fall into one of the above categories:

The Sustainable Business Strategies Certificate is a collection of 15 academic credits that require students engage with sustainable business strategies, research B Corp companies, and gain hands-on experience with for-profit sustainability assessment tools. This certificate is open for students from any department. In addition to taking four business oriented classes, students are required to complete one sustainability related internship.

Additional documentation to support the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.