Monday, Aug. 4th, 2014

MSU's new Jabs Hall receives passive solar wall

A passive solar wall installed atop Montana State University’s new Jabs Hall could pay for itself in 10 years, reduce the amount of energy used to heat the building and provide valuable data to research engineers.
Installation of the solar wall, completed on Monday, is one of many sustainable technologies being used to reduce the building’s energy use and carbon footprint. Jabs Hall, which was made possible by a $25 million donation from MSU alumni Jake Jabs, is under construction and scheduled to open in the summer of 2015. It will be the new home of the Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship.
The solar wall, which makes up the south-facing side of the building’s mechanical penthouse, will preheat fresh air coming into the building thereby reducing the amount of energy needed to heat the building.
“It’s simple, cost effective and will bring down the overall energy costs for Jabs Hall,” said Dan Stevenson, assistant director of MSU Facility Services. “And that is why it is a technology that is likely to be incorporated into almost every new building we see on campus. We replace the building’s skin with something that has energy performance built into it.”
The solar wall includes sensors that a research team from MSU’s College of Engineering will use to study how well the technology performs.
Kevin Amende, assistant professor of mechanical engineering technology, said the data his lab collects will be an asset to engineers and architects on future projects. Having the ability to monitor the way fresh air warmed with solar energy affects the building’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems will also be a great tool for teaching future engineers studying in MSU’s HVAC Lab, Amende added.
The research project, which is being launched by mechanical engineering technology junior Ben Listowich of Kingfield, Maine, will combine data collected from a weather station atop Jabs Hall with data collected from sensors at various points within the solar wall. By also tracking the building’s HVAC system, Amende said the study should offer a pretty good picture of how the technology is performing within three or four years.
“If we can show empirically that we can heat up the in-take air by 10 degrees, that will corroborate that the use of this technology can deliver real energy savings,” Amende said. “Best of all, we’ll have students working out real-world problems with what we are learning from the solar wall data.”
Listowich agreed.
“When I joined (the HVAC lab) as an undergraduate researcher, I definitely didn’t expect to be working on a project this large,” Listowich said. “I expected to be testing air handlers in the lab. Instead, I’m testing a system that could have a big impact on how buildings’ energy systems are designed at MSU.”
The use of passive solar, as well as ground-source heating and cooling from a series of nearby wells, helps the new building fall into line with MSU’s strategic goals for advancing sustainability on campus, Stevenson said. Sustainability at Jabs Hall comes from looking for common-sense solutions, Stevenson added. For example, the building’s south-facing orientation will combine with abundant state-of-the-art windows and smart lighting technology to reduce energy demand during daylight hours.  
Erik Renna, a 2002 grad from MSU’s College of Engineering who is now a mechanical engineer with Morrison-Maierle, said Jabs Hall should earn a LEED Gold certification for its environmentally friendly design. Morrison-Maierle is the mechanical engineering consultant for the Jabs Hall project.
“I think we are on track for gold, although we won’t know the final certification level until Jabs Hall is complete,” Renna said. “While the project mandate was for LEED Silver, we wanted to show that we could exceed that.”

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Friday, Jul. 25th, 2014

Montana Shakespeare in the Parks part of visit celebrating Bard’s 450 birthday

Montana Shakespeare in the Parks has been selected to be a part of “Shakespeare on the Road,” an international celebration of Shakespeare taking place across America in honor of Shakespeare’s 450th birthday.
A team from the University of Warwick and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust based in Stratford-upon-Avon will visit Montana Shakespeare in the Parks Aug. 1-5 as part of a 60-day road trip visiting 14 Shakespeare-related theatre festivals across America. The team will attend performances of “As You Like It” at the Sweet Pea Festival in Bozeman on Aug. 3 and “Romeo and Juliet” on Aug. 4 in Philipsburg. There they hope to interview audience members about their experience with Shakespeare and Shakespeare in the Parks.
The “Shakespeare on the Road” team is made up of Paul Edmonson, head of research and knowledge from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and Paul Prescott, associate professor at the University of Warwick, along with media partners, AJ and Melissa Leon of Misfit, Inc.
The team began its journey in Kansas City on July 4 and hit the road to determine how Shakespeare is being performed and celebrated across the U.S.
The team will award MSIP a commemorative plaque to mark the visit and the project team will give presentations about its work and the work of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the charity set up in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1847 to look after many of the world’s most important Shakespeare heritage sites.
In addition, MSIP will be invited to deposit material in the trust’s archives to create a permanent record of their activities. Regular updates on the visit will be blogged during the 60-day road trip. Edmonson and Prescott will also compile a book about their experiences.
“Shakespeare on the Road is about engaging with international communities who celebrate the world’s most famous playwright,” Edmonson said. “These are the people who make Shakespeare happen, year in year out.
“Every year almost three-quarters of a million people from around the world visit Shakespeare’s birthplace, and American tourists are a high proportion of these, so it’s a story of reverse pilgrimage, which we hope will start new conversations across the States.”
“The amount of Shakespearean theatre-making in America dwarves that of any other country, the U.K. included,” Prescott said. “Every summer, from sea to shining sea – and at all points in between – from spit and sawdust performances in local parks to slick professional productions in reconstructed Elizabethan playhouses, the Bard busts out all over the USA. This trip will take the pulse of Shakespeare in America over the course of one remarkable summer in 2014 and is a perfect way of celebrating his enduring popularity and the 450th anniversary of his birth.”
To follow the progress of Shakespeare on the Road, visit their website at or follow them on Twitter at @bardintheusa. To learn more about Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, visit

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Submission deadline is Aug. 4 for MSU convocation writers' contest

Writers of short fiction, essays and poetry from throughout Montana are eligible for a $100 prize and to meet Shiza Shahid, CEO and co-founder of the non-profit Malala Fund, by entering the 2014 Montana State University Freshman Convocation Writer's Voice contest.
Entries, due at 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 4,  should be inspired by the book “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban.” Winners of the juried competition will meet Shahid at a reception to be held at 3 p.m. Aug. 25 at MSU's Renne Library. First-place winners will receive $100 gift cards. Second-place finishers will receive gift certificates from Country Bookshelf. The submitted work of all award-winning writers will be considered for publication.
The competition is open to all Montana K-12 students, MSU students from all campuses and Montana community members at large.
Submissions must be identified as short fiction, essay or poetry and may not be more than 1,500 words. Entries will be judged by a panel that includes MSU students, faculty and community members.
Entries should be emailed as an Adobe PDF file to All entries must be accompanied by a cover sheet that lists the contestant's name, telephone number, email address, whether the contestant is a student (including name of school) or community member, the title of the work, and whether the entry is short fiction, essay or poetry. Contestants may submit one entry per person.
This event is co-sponsored by the Bozeman Public Library Foundation. “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban,” is the 2014 One Book One Bozeman selection. It is also co-sponsored by the Country Bookshelf and the MSU Writing Center.
More specific entry requirements may be found at: or contact Jan Zauha, MSU librarian, at 994-6554 or
Shahid is the speaker at the 2014 MSU Freshman Convocation, which will be held at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 25, in the MSU Fieldhouse. The event is free and open to the public; however, tickets must be reserved in advance for everyone planning to attend except for the members of the 2014 MSU freshman class. Tickets will be available July 30 at all Bobcat ticket outlets including: the Bobcat Ticket Office, Rosauers, the AskUs Desk at the SUB, by calling 994-CATS or (800)325-7328 and online at

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Montana Girls STEM funds eight Montana youth projects

Eight projects have received mini-grant funding from the Montana Girls STEM Collaborative Project through Montana EPSCoR, a National Science Foundation-funded partnership that includes Montana State University and the University of Montana.

The mini-grants seek to develop or grow programs that offer exposure to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), with a focus on building collaboration between existing programs and organizations that will encourage girls to pursue STEM-related education and careers. Funding for the grants was given in partnership with the Women’s Foundation of Montana.

The projects are:

In Bozeman:
    •    The Gallatin Girls Coding Club will work with the Children’s Museum of Bozeman to launch an innovative high-touch club that engages girls in the joy and beauty of coding. GGCC will help girls acquire valuable skills in a safe and structured environment, gain confidence in their ability to create beautiful and functional code, and can inspire them to pursue further education and careers the STEM fields;
    •    Hyalite STEM Club is based at Hyalite Elementary School in Bozeman. Working with engineers from McKinstry, the after-school school club will meet monthly to focus on creating a working greenhouse classroom. The students will conduct an energy audit of their school and learn about conceptional design, site location and sustainability.

In Butte:
    •    Montana Gems is an after-school STEM program for girls in grades 5-8 based at Montana Tech in Butte. The participating girls will conduct hands-on STEM activities and develop science fair projects. The experience will culminate in a multi-day summer camp experience featuring guest scientists and technologists. Montana Gems will take place in partnership with Montana Tech’s Create Math: Mathematics and Music Summer Experience.

In Great Falls:
    •    LittleBigPlanet Club in Great Falls will offer a video game development camp for girls. Working in partnership with the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art and Team KAIZEN (Montana’s first PlayStation-certified game studio), the camp will include real world game development and help students see how their passion in gaming can translate to a fulfilling career in the game industry.

In Missoula:
    •    The University of Montana’s PJW College of Education and Human Sciences and the UM Paleontology Center will collaborate to create a YouTube STEM Channel that features female role models demonstrating various STEM topics including fossils, exoplanets, oceans and many others. High school girls will help produce, edit and review films. The project is in collaboration with spectrUM Discovery Area;
    •    The SciGirls After-school Astronomy Club is an afterschool program partnership between the Girl Scouts of Montana & Wyoming and the University of Montana’s Department of Physics and Astronomy. Activities will include a tour of the night sky in spectrUM Discovery Area’s Starlab, outdoor stargazing with UM astronomers and their telescopes, Native American storytelling, SciGirls light pollution activities, and an array of self-guided art and astronomy experiences.  The club will culminate with a “night at the museum event” where girls get to stay the night at spectrUM Discovery Area.

In Philipsburg:
    •    Montana Trout Unlimited, in partnership with the Big Sky Watershed Corps, received scholarship funds to send five girls to Fly Fishing and Conservation Camp near Georgetown Lake outside of Philipsburg. The camp strives to educate girls about fly fishing, fly tying, conservation and stream restoration and will feature expert speakers sharing knowledge on water quality, watershed management, trout habitat, insect life, fly casting, stream etiquette and more.

Reed Point:
    •    The Reed Point STEM Club will offer a robotics camp for youth in grades 3-8. This summer’s camp will focus on robotic surgery, and participants can choose an area of personal interest, whether human or animal surgery.
The Montana Girls STEM Collaborative is part of the National Science Foundation-funded National Girls Collaborative Project with hubs at Montana State University’s Extended University and at the University of Montana’s spectrum Discovery Area. The group’s Website is: and the group is on Facebook at

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Wednesday, Jul. 23rd, 2014

MSU’s online Native American Studies courses now open for fall registration

Montana State University’s online courses in Native American studies are now open for fall registration, including two graduate courses and one undergraduate course.
Students do not have to be enrolled in an MSU program of study in order to take the courses.

“Montana Indian Culture, History and Current Issues” (NASX 232) offers three undergraduate credits and is taught by Department of Native American head Walter Fleming. The course covers the establishment of Montana's reservations; treaties and agreements with the federal government; contemporary tribal governments; and social structures including kinship, political affiliations, military, warrior societies and religion.

Fleming has taught at MSU for over 30 years and was raised on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. He is an enrolled member of the Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas.
“Native America: Dispelling the Myths” (NASX 550) is a three-credit graduate course exploring the various “myths” commonly held by non-Indians and sometimes Indians alike. Students will wrestle with these preconceptions while learning the most basic elements of American Indian—which is to say American—history.

The instructor is Francine Spang-Willis, a Northern Cheyenne tribal member who grew up on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Montana. She has a master’s in Native American Studies and a college teaching certificate from MSU-Bozeman. As former director of the American Indian Tribal Histories Project, she has extensive experience in oral tradition. She currently helps the U.S. Forest Service’s Heritage Program protect and maintain pre-historic and historic sites in the Gallatin National Forest.

“Indigenous Nations of Montana” (NASX 552) is a three-credit graduate course offering an introduction to Montana’s contemporary indigenous nations, including exploration of the 11 tribes resident on Montana reservations, as well as the Little Shell, who are without a federally recognized homeland. With instructor Shane Doyle, students will start in the east with the Nakoda, or Assiniboine, and work their way through the state clockwise, finishing up with the A’aninin, or White Clay, in the north. The course examines the traditional culture and history of each tribe, with a strong focus on contemporary life and issues.

Doyle is a Crow tribal member originally from Crow Agency. He holds a bachelor’s in elementary education, a masters in Native American studies and an doctorate in curriculum and instruction. He is also a singer of traditional Plains Indian style music.

These online classes run from Aug. 25 to Dec. 12.
Students who go on to earn an online or campus degree or certificate, including the online graduate certificate in Native American Studies or the online bachelor's degree completion program in Liberal Studies, may be able to apply these credits toward their program. Students interested in this option should speak with an MSU academic advisor.

To register or read more about the courses, visit MSU's Extended University at All courses are listed under Native American Studies. For more information, contact Janine Hansen at or call (406) 994-6683.

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The Brothers Comatose at Sweet Pea Festival 2014

Literal brothers, Alex (banjo and vocals) and Ben Morrison (guitar and vocals) of The Brothers Comatose grew up in a house that was known for its music parties. “The Morrison house was a gathering place for local musicians – everyone would bring an instrument, call out tunes, call out changes, and just play for hours” says Brothers Comatose bassist and Morrison music party goer, Gio Benedetti. “I learned more in that living room than in any class I ever took.” The brothers took this generous, inclusive and rowdy attitude and brought it to stages all over San Francisco. With the addition of members Philip Brezina (fiddle) and Ryan Avellone (mandolin) the string quintet brings their original string music and the feel of an intimate music party to audiences all across the United States.

The environment the band creates with their music and their live shows isn't the exclusive band vs. crowd world of rock and pop, but rather the sing-along, stomp-along, inclusive world that gave birth to string band music. The band – while playing festivals like Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Strawberry, High Sierra, Outside Lands, Kate Wolf, and SXSW, - has not lost sight of their roots, their fans and the relationships that have brought them where they are.

Despite their name, the band is anything but Comatose. They toss alligators (inflatable) into the crowd, they hand out chopsticks for audience-percussion-participation, and are known to jump down and play acoustic encores in the middle of the crowd at the end of a set. It's just one, big, extended Morrison music party. Only now, the living room travels via Chevy G20 Conversion Van from state to state.

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Monday, Jul. 21st, 2014

Volunteers are sought for the 14th annual Montana State University Move-In Day, set Wednesday, Aug. 20.

Volunteers from both MSU and the community will help move an expected 1,850 new students into their residence halls. Volunteers will have a choice of one of three shifts, which are each 2 1/4 hours long: 8:45 a.m.-11 a.m.; 10:45 a.m.-1 p.m.; or 12:45 p.m.-3 p.m. Event volunteers will receive a free MSU polo shirt.
Anyone who would like to volunteer for the student welcome event may RSVP on the Web  or call the MSU President's Office, 994-2341, by Friday, Aug. 8.

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Monday, Jul. 14th, 2014

Did you know that Bozeman has a Coop of artists?

Did you know that Bozeman has a Coop of artists? The Artists’ Gallery in the Emerson Cultural Center is a coop of over 20 local artists and craftspeople. Works range from oils and watercolors to glass, wood, metal, pottery and hand-painted silk.
During the month of August the gallery will be featuring the work of a silk painter and a watercolor artist.  Kaye Light is showing her hand-painted silk scarves.
Kevin Heaney will be displaying his watercolor paintings of Montana landscapes and western ghost towns.
Ever since reading an article in Threads magazine in 1992 about painting on silk Light has been hooked on this medium.  She still finds that watching dyes being absorbed by the fibers of silk to create saturated colors and interesting designs is immensely addictive. Her work at the Gallery is a display of hand-painted silk scarves. Her designs are often bright and bold in both color and pattern. HER WORK can be found at galleries and shops throughout Montana, as well as in Idaho and Washington.
Heaney’s paintings and drawings capture the memories of his Montana roots. He has been capturing ghost towns of the West for over 30 years in his paintings and drawings.  The Bannack Day posters for 1994, 1995, 1996 were painted by Heaney and presented to the Governor of Montana. His work has been in several magazines and is included in the permanent collections of libraries, colleges, schools and offices throughout Montana and Nevada. He maintains a studio in Gallatin Gateway, Montana.
Light and Heaney’s work is featured throughout the month of August and at the Arwalk to be held on Friday, August 8th from 5-8 pm. Come and have a glass of wine and meet the artists at this event. Located in the Emerson Cultural Center, Suite 106.

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Industry and MSU biofilm experts to weigh in on chronic infections during meeting

For Brett Baker, president and CEO of Bozeman-based Microbion Corporation, the interplay of industry and academic science showcased by Montana State University’s Center for Biofilm Engineering is a critical ingredient in the development of new medical technology, particularly in one area of human health – biofilm-related infections.
“I really see it as a matter of saving lives, considering we have close to 100,000 people dying each year in the U.S. from infections they acquired in a hospital environment, and, according to the Centers for Disease Control 2013 report, over 23,000 each year die from antibiotic-resistant infections,” said Baker, who will be attending the CBE meeting of industrial associates and scientists in Bozeman this week.
CBE’s biannual meetings bring members from CBE’s Industrial Associates program, which includes 33 companies, many of which are Fortune 500 companies, together with dozens of MSU faculty and students to discuss the latest science regarding biofilms.
Biofilms are communities of bacteria that mount defenses and attach to surfaces, making them more resistant to antibiotics, cleaning agents and other treatments than individual bacteria that float freely in blood, water or other medium. Plaque on teeth is a biofilm.
Biofilms can be extremely damaging, accounting for billions of dollars yearly in the U.S. in industrial downtime for equipment repair and cleaning, as well as health problems, including chronic wound infections, tooth decay and infections on medical implants. Increasingly, MSU scientists are showing that biofilms also can be engineered for beneficial uses, such as cleaning up environmental pollution.
Whether you are a global energy giant like BP or a small, emerging clinical-stage biotech company like Microbion, Baker said companies join CBE’s Industrial Associates program because it gives them access to leading-edge scientists, both through partnering in research and through the sharing of science during the meetings.
“These meetings are so well attended (by those in the biofilm field) because the Center for Biofilm Engineering is recognized as the world’s foremost biofilm research institute,” Baker said. “In fact, I would have moved my company practically anywhere in order to have such close proximity to the CBE – the fact that it is located in Montana has been a welcome bonus to me and my family.”

Baker said Microbion is getting set to partner with another Bozeman-based company, BioScience Laboratories, to carry out clinical testing of Microbion’s new drug designed to combat antibiotic-resistant, biofilm-related orthopedic infections. The contract work, which is being completed for Food and Drug Administration submission purposes, will be paid for in part by an $84,875 grant from Montana Board of Research and Commercialization Technology, which provides funding through the Montana Department of Commerce. The MBRCT has also awarded Microbion and the CBE a previous, larger grant, which resulted in discoveries that were published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology in 2011.
That state-funded research is just one instance of how the university’s research environment helps industry leverage the best science on biofilms to develop commercial technology, Baker said.
While Microbion is headquartered in Bozeman due to the presence of the CBE, several other biotech companies in Montana are direct spin-offs from research started at MSU, including Bacterin, Biosurface Technologies and Sustainable Bioproducts.
The CBE’s biannual meetings are another example of how the institute provides for collaboration between industry research and development teams and top academic and clinical scientists.
“These meetings are a great way for us to connect the dots between what we do here in our labs at the Center for Biofilm Engineering and what is happening in the clinics,” Stewart said. “We’ll be able to hear from a speaker like Randy Wolcott, who operates one of the only biofilm-centric wound care clinics in the country, as well as those who have conducted preliminary research here at MSU on some of the products that he uses to successfully treat chronic wounds.”
Stewart said the approaches the medical establishment and pharmaceutical industry take on biofilms continue to evolve. The cutting-edge nature of the field underscores the importance of the partnerships between academic science and industry that are fundamental to CBE, he added.
Since CBE was founded, the support of industry has helped fund the institute. In the past year, CBE scientists conduced 73 research projects for 48 industrial sponsors. That relationship also helps to promote further investigation into pure science, as well as the education of undergraduate and graduate students at MSU.
“CBE does many things, from technology transfer, to the illumination of new ways of thinking about how biofilms work fundamentally, to the education and training of the next generation of scientists, who we hope will go on to do their own groundbreaking research or start their own biotech companies,” Stewart said.

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Friday, Jul. 11th, 2014


The Bozeman Film Festival screened 23 contemporary, independent and international films this past season in the Emerson's Crawford Theater. Thank you for supporting our year-round commitment to showing films that entertain, engage and foster an understanding of the world around us. Beginning this fall, we are changing our name to The Bozeman Film Society to better reflect bimonthly screenings of important, original films you won't find at the multiplex, along with fascinating guest speakers and special events.
Our 2014-2015 Season Sponsor Drive is now in full swing! We invite you to join us as a Bozeman Film Society underwriter-it's a great way to show that your business supports quality, independent cinema in the Gallatin Valley. Get some great exposure-contact by July 25th to find the sponsorship commitment / benefit level that best suits your needs.
Kicking off the BFS 2014-2015 season Saturday, August 23rd is our popular outdoor film series, 'Screen on the Green: 2014.' Join us for an evening of free film under the stars on the spacious, west lawn of The Emerson Center for the Arts and Culture. This summer, the event takes a scarier, more mature-themed turn with the wonderfully chilling 1978 Sci-Fi remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

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