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Friday, Nov. 16th, 2018

MSU-Blackfeet Community College collaboration featured in American Indian higher-ed journal

A research collaboration between Blackfeet Community College and Montana State University involving tribal college students that looks at the health effects of stress on Native American communities has been featured in a national journal.

The article, "The Spirit of Our People Runs Deep: How a Program at Blackfeet Community College Offers Students Biomedical Research Experience," was published Oct. 22 in the Tribal College Journal of American Indian Higher Education online. It is the leading scholarly and journalistic publication featuring the achievements of the nation's 38 tribal colleges and universities.

Bill Stadwiser, the program communication specialist for Montana INBRE who wrote the article, said the collaboration shows what can happen when academics and communities discuss problems and solutions on an equal footing.

"The work that the BCC undergraduates are doing on this project is really quite impressive and on par or even more sophisticated than some of the research happening at larger institutions in the state," he said.

Students working on the project investigate the relationship between stress and disease on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation near Glacier National Park and how to reduce stress by building a sense of community, said Betty Henderson-Matthews, chair of the BCC Math and Science Division and INBRE project leader.

The students have surveyed 350 tribal members on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation between the ages of 18 and 80 since the BCC-MSU collaboration began in 2012. The students also collected saliva and blood samples for testing to reveal more about the connection between stress and disease. More recently, the students expanded their research to look for ways to reduce ongoing stress by building community through hikes and talks about the importance of culture, place and staying active.

The project exemplifies long-term, community-based participatory research, meaning that “it fosters a partnership where communities are equitable collaborators in all phases of research and cultivate an environment for producing mutually beneficial goals,” said Ann Bertagnolli, Montana program coordinator and director of the Community Engagement Core.

"Investments in undergraduate research at tribal colleges are building professional, academic and social bridges between institutions like Montana State University and Blackfeet Community College,” Stadwiser said.

"The significance of the collaboration is that it develops the student pipeline into biomedical research and careers, has developed and works to sustain a relationship focused on community-based participatory research and uses this CBPR approach to collaborate on improved health for the Blackfeet Nation," Bertagnolli said.

Founded in 2001, Montana INBRE is a network of 16 tribal colleges, community colleges and universities focused on building biomedical research capacity and a workforce pipeline in Montana. The research is supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number P20GM103474.

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With MSU roots, snow workshop makes the world safer from avalanches

When researchers at Montana State University hosted a conference about snow and avalanches in Bozeman during the fall of 1982, they made flyers featuring ski tracks alongside a math equation, planned a field day and after-party at nearby Bridger Bowl ski area, and called the event the International Snow Science Workshop.

Because most of the 220 participants were Americans or Canadians, "the 'international' part was a little bit tongue in cheek," said Ed Adams, one of the event's organizers and a recently retired MSU civil engineering professor. Still, the name gave the event — which has since been held at least every two years — "room to grow," he said.

And grow it has. Last month, Adams and more than a dozen other locals joined roughly 1,000 attendees from 27 countries at the 2018 International Snow Science Workshop in Innsbruck, Austria, a colorful city often referred to as the capital of the Alps.  
 
Billed as the world's largest conference on snow and avalanches, the five-day event featured panel discussions, 140 presentations by world experts and 285 posters in an exhibition where researchers, avalanche forecasters and others discussed their work. MSU faculty and students presented a total of 23 papers, including seven papers with students as lead authors.

With topics ranging from the microscopic properties of snow crystals to satellite imaging to best practices for rescue operations, the ISSW covers "the full gamut of snow science," said MSU earth sciences professor Jordy Hendrikx, who attended with four of his graduate students.
 
Hendrikx chaired a session in which MSU earth sciences master's student John Sykes presented research he has conducted at Bridger Bowl about how skiers and snowboarders make decisions in avalanche terrain. As a result of the project, Sykes was one of three recipients — out of roughly 50 submissions — of the ISSW's Young Snow Professional Award.


Adams chaired a session about snowpack stability that featured presentations by Benjamin Reuter, a Swiss researcher visiting MSU to conduct studies in the university’s Subzero Research Laboratory, as well as Karl Birkeland, director of the Bozeman-based National Avalanche Center.
 
"Usually these sorts of things are all scientists ... with a separate meeting for practitioners to talk about problems and solutions," said Birkeland, who chaired a session about how forecasters and others communicate avalanche hazard. "The cool thing about ISSW is that it brings those two together."

Avalanche forecasters from Montana and across the U.S. were among the participants at the event, as were ski patrollers, including from nearby Big Sky Resort, according to Birkeland.
 
"Listening to people talk about the issues they're dealing with in the field helps spur ideas for research," said MSU assistant professor of civil engineering Kevin Hammonds, director of MSU's Subzero Research Laboratory. Hemmonds presented a study on how naturally occurring chemical impurities affect the bonds between ice and snow grains.

 
According to Adams, the ISSW has flourished because, as snow science has advanced and winter recreationists increasingly venture into the backcountry, the event fills a need for practitioners to exchange information with researchers. The workshop's practical bent emerged from the milieu of MSU snow science, which was pioneered starting in the 1950s by earth sciences professors Charles Bradley and John Montagne, both of whom were avid skiers involved in the creation of Bridger Bowl.

Montagne was the first director of Bridger Bowl's volunteer ski patrol, and he also taught a popular undergraduate class that emphasized practical skills for assessing avalanche danger. His and Bradley's scientific studies — which became more rigorous and internationally recognized after Bradley recruited MSU engineers — often revolved around predicting and preventing avalanches at the community ski area.

Shortly after Adams came to MSU in the late 1970s to study snow science, Montagne spearheaded the effort to create the ISSW, Adams recalled. Building on a tradition of more informal snow conferences in the U.S. and Canada, MSU's snow scientists coined the ISSW name and gave the event its enduring motto: "A Merging of Theory and Practice."

 
"The motto really says it all," said American Avalanche Association director Dan Kaveney, who lives in Bozeman and attended the Innsbruck event.
 
Birkeland first attended the ISSW in 1988 at Whistler, British Columbia, where the MSU contingent endured a week of rain while camping on the outskirts of town, he recalled. At the time, he was earning his master's in snow science in MSU's Department of Earth Sciences after working as a ski patroller at Utah's Snow Basin. He found the conference to be "instantly relatable," he said. At the 1990 ISSW in Bigfork, Montana, he presented his master's thesis, which built on Bradley's early experiments about how snowpack stability varies across mountain slopes.

 
Now, when he returns from ISSW, Birkeland writes a synopsis of select presentations and sends it to avalanche forecasters around the country, some of whom may not have attended the event. The summary includes links to the full text of the conference proceedings. Since 2012, as a result of an effort led by former earth sciences department head Steve Custer, all ISSW proceedings have been housed in a digital archive maintained by the MSU Library.

"The whole avalanche community is so grateful to MSU for doing this," said Birkeland, who is also an adjunct professor in MSU's earth sciences department. "For people looking for practical, scientific avalanche work, it's probably the first place that most people look."
 
"Ultimately, bringing people together at the ISSW has advanced our knowledge much more than if it never existed," Birkeland said. "ISSW has made people here, and around the world, safer from avalanches."

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Wednesday, Nov. 14th, 2018

2018 Yellowstone Ski Festival Conditions

The 2018 Yellowstone Ski Festival begins next Tuesday. There have been many inquiries about the conditions on the Rendezvous Ski Trails here in West Yellowstone. As of today, the trails have been rolled and finished. We have not groomed, but skier activity on the trails has helped to compact the snow, resulting in faster, early-season conditions. Reports from skiers indicate the skating “good” and classic is “fair.”

Nighttime temperatures hover around zero degrees and often dip down to several degrees below zero. The low last night was -15ºF. Daytime temperatures are also working in our favor, rarely reaching above the freezing mark. These low temperatures help maintain the snow levels. 

Snow conditions are early season with cold, fast powder covering the trails. All trails except Windy Ridge are rolled and skiable. 

Area trails, including the Riverside, Boundary, and Frontier Trails, are all in skiable condition.
If necessary, there is plenty of snow on the secondary venue of the South Plateau. In the event that the snow on the Rendezvous Trails melts out, there will be skiing on the South Plateau. However, at this time, our focus remains on the Rendezvous Trails. The next pulse of moisture is predicted for Thursday night into Friday morning. We will post more information following the result of that potential storm.

We are looking forward to another exciting, fun-filled week. The evening activities at the Holiday Inn offer something for everyone. For more information and up-to-date reports, like our Facebook page, Rendezvous SkiTrails, and bookmark www.SkiRunBikeMT.com.

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Tuesday, Nov. 13th, 2018

Fermentana launches second annual Beer Maven event series celebrating women and beer

Fermentana is excited to kick off the second round of Beer Maven in 2019. As Montana’s first-ever, female-only beer event series celebrating women and beer, Beer Maven offers women the opportunity to expand and develop their beer knowledge through a variety of exciting beer tastings, unique food pairings, and fun, educational discussions with guest industry speakers at local community establishments.

The second annual series will be hosted at the newly-opened Kitty Warren Social Club in downtown Bozeman during the months of January, February, and March. Additionally, 10% of proceeds from tickets sales from this event series will be donated back to HAVEN, a Bozeman-based nonprofit which offers support to women and families affected by domestic violence.

According to the Brewers Association, women currently represent slightly more than half of all beer drinkers. Of that number, approximately 25% of those female drinkers choose craft beer. Through Beer Maven, Fermetana is helping to grow their fellow females’ appreciation for craft beer by bringing women of varying palettes, diverse beer style preferences, and multiple fermented interests together to learn and experience beer in new and interesting ways.

The first event in the series will happen Tuesday, January 15th from 6-9pm. Attendees will be treated to a sensory analysis training with Fermentana co-founder and Beer Cicerone, Loy Maierhauser, during a tasting of a series of beers from Draught Works Brewery of Missoula, MT.

In the second event of the series on Tuesday, February 19th, women will have the opportunity to again learn from Maierhauser about the complex flavors and aromas malt imparts to beer via a tasting of beers from Bozeman Brewing Company. Other industry experts including, Karl DeJonge, founder of Gallatin Valley Malt of Manhattan, MT will also be part of the discussion. Light snacks and plenty of time for mingling and discussion will also be included in both events.

Beer Maven will finish with a Big Beer Pairing Dinner on Tuesday, March 19th. A special hand-picked collection of bold, strong beers will be paired with small plates prepared by the chefs at the Kitty Warren.

Individual tickets for each event in the series (limited to 35 people each) will be offered to beer drinkers at a price of $35 each for the first two events and $45 for the beer pairing dinner. Tickets include entrance to the event, beer samples, and light snacks, or, in the case of the beer pairing dinner, small plated foods. A special Beer Maven Pass, which includes entrance to all three events, is also available for $100 each. Only 20 of these special three-event passes are available.

“Whether you’re a woman who already loves beer or are just getting started, Beer Maven offers something for every female drinker,” says Fermentana co-founder, Jesse Bussard. “These events give women a chance to build their beer knowledge, discover new beers, meet like-minded women, and in general, feel more confident about their future beer decisions. With Beer Maven, we hope to educate more women about beer and continue to build the community of female beer drinkers one pint at a time!”

Complete event details and tickets are available for purchase online at www.fermentana.com.

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Friday, Nov. 9th, 2018

Bozeman serving those who have served this Veteran’s Day

“Serving those whom have served” is the guiding principle of the newly formed V.E.T.S. Treatment Court in the City of Bozeman. The court provides Bozeman veterans that were in the criminal justice system a chance to connect with the resources that they’ve earned through their time in service. Started in February of 2018 through a grant, the court now has 9 participants and continues to grow.

For eight year National Guard officer and V.E.T.S. Court Judge J. Colleen Herrington, starting this court was just the right thing to do to serve the veterans of the Bozeman community. “They choose to be a part of the V.E.T.S. Treatment Court. We give them the tools, structure and accountability that the standard criminal justice system cannot.”

 
As part of the program veterans are teamed up with a veteran mentor to act as a “battle buddy” and supporter as they navigate through the process. Mentor Daniel Ritter says, “I think the V.E.T.S. Court provides a great service for veterans that may need a little assistance in adapting to their unique situation.  As a retired Marine, I consider it a privilege to have the opportunity to give back to our community by serving as a mentor to other veterans.  As a mentor it is quite rewarding to observe the individual development of all the members assigned to the court.”

The program is in need of community veterans who are interested in becoming a mentor. Anyone interested must be a veteran and can contact Mentor Coordinator Kate Reid at 406-581-3253. Anyone interested in learning more about the V.E.T.S. Treatment Court can contact Court Coordinator Renee Boundy at 406-548-5950.

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Thursday, Nov. 8th, 2018

Gallatin Valley Mall will be closed on Thanksgiving Day

Hundreds of mall across the nation are closing their doors on Thanksgiving and Gallatin Valley Mall is no exception. The mall closed the last two years on Thanksgiving; a decision that will be repeated this year after receiving overwhelming support from retailers and customers.

GVM General Manager, Deb Jacupke states, “It has always been our priority to allow for our retailers, both national and local, to determine what works best for their employees, families, and customers concerning Thanksgiving shopping hours.” Although the stores will be closed, the mall will be open for any community members who would like a warm, dry place to take a walk and window shop after finishing Thanksgiving dinner.

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New Nonprofit Serving Abuse Survivors

We Are HER is one of Bozeman’s newest nonprofits for trauma survivors, and already it has helped over 100 survivors across the globe.

HER is an online community for survivors of abuse or assault to be Healed, Empowered, and Restored. Currently HER serves survivors from many US states and has reached internationally with survivors in Germany, the Philippines, and Denmark. We Are HER’s website builds community for survivors of domestic abuse or sexual assault by giving them a voice to share their stories.

HER was started in 2016 by Bozeman resident Stevie Croisant. She left an abusive relationship in April of 2016 and found help from HAVEN.

“HAVEN gave me a voice and helped me feel empowered. Joining their End the Silence program was one of the best decisions I could have made for myself.”

But programs like End the Silence and organizations like HAVEN aren’t available for everyone.

“I wanted to create an organization where survivors could come and get help even if I never knew their name.”

HER partners with HAVEN and is honored to bring another resource for survivors who want to share their story.

HER has several goals for 2019 including starting more survivor-centered events and hosting a podcast so survivors have even more opportunity to build community. For more information, please email Stevie@weareher.net.

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Thursday, Nov. 1st, 2018

List of 125 MSU ‘Extraordinary Ordinary Women’ who contributed to university history now on display

They touch every area of the university, ranging from Montana State University’s first female mathematics teacher to one of the country’s first Extension poultry experts to MSU’s first female president. And now the public can know more about the stories of the Extraordinary Ordinary women who have molded the history of MSU with an exhibit at the MSU Library and an expansive website.

The 125 “Extraordinary Ordinary Women” who impacted the university were selected this summer by the MSU President’s Commission on the Status of University Women from nominations submitted by the public is part of the university’s yearlong quasquicentennial celebration.
 
MSU President Waded Cruzado said the list shines a light of recognition and appreciation on women who have been leaders, problem solvers and innovators throughout the university’s history, whether they were widely recognized or were relatively unknown during their time on campus.
 
“This list, which is not exhaustive, demonstrates how the pivotal contributions of scores of brilliant MSU women made Montana State the dynamic university it is today. It should also give us inspiration and hope for the future about how the daughters of the land-grant university in the future will excel in everything they do,” Cruzado said.


Rebecca Belou, co-chair of the commission that selected the honorees, said more than 400 nominations poured in from across Montana, recognizing those who have had an impact on the status of women at MSU and inspired others by their example. The 125 honorees were picked from those nominations. Women from every era of the university were represented as well as a diverse representation of race, age and academic or service areas.

A full list of the honorees can be found here. More information about each recipient can be found in a brief drop-down menu, and there is a website where more in-depth biographical information may be accessed.
 
The Extraordinary Ordinary Women are honored with displays in several locations in the MSU Library through Nov. 9. Posters and an interactive exhibit of honorees is located in the atrium. A computer adjacent to the posters provides virtual access to biographies of each honoree. The MSU Library Open Collection, which is located on book shelves near the cyber discovery wall on the first floor mezzanine, features works from women on the list.  Featured contributors are also highlighted in MSU Library Special Collections located on the second floor. And the display case at the library entrance features memorabilia from some of the honorees.

The women will be honored at a private reception on Nov. 2. They will also be introduced at MSU’s home football game on Nov. 3 against Cal Poly.
 
Nika Stoop, a member of the selection committee, said the accomplishments of the women on the list are truly extraordinary.
 
“The vast array of these women’s accomplishments is amazing,” Stoop said. “When you read what they have done, it blows you away. I am inspired by this remarkable collection of women.”

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Tuesday, Oct. 30th, 2018

Can the Griz food drive launches Nov. 3

The 19th annual Can the Griz food drive, an off-field competition between Montana State University and the University of Montana to see which school can collect the most donations for its local county food bank, begins Saturday, Nov. 3.

The competition ends Nov. 17 at the end of the first quarter of the annual Brawl of the Wild football game between MSU and UM, which will be held this year in Missoula. The winner of the competition will be announced during the second half of the football game.

“All of the food collected at Can the Griz remains in the Gallatin Valley, and we’re proud that it is used to support our friends, neighbors, children and MSU students”, said Randi Maiers, community engagement program coordinator with the MSU Office of Student Engagement. “Every year, we beat the previous year’s collection record, and I’m continually in awe of the generosity of our community.”

Organizers of the drive ask that nonperishable food donations be taken to collection locations throughout Bozeman to support those in need in Gallatin County. A list of participating locations can be found at www.canthegriz.com/.

Bobcat supporters can designate their contribution to MSU by telling the Gallatin Valley Food Bank or collection location host that their donation is for the Can the Griz food drive.

Those wishing to donate are also invited to bring cans to the MSU football game on Nov. 3 versus Cal Poly and to the Nov. 10 football game versus Northern Colorado. Collection bins will be located at the Ressler and the XL Country tailgates. Donations will also be collected at the men’s basketball game on Nov. 6. Admission to that game will be only $5 with a donation to the food drive.

Monetary donations may be made directly to the Gallatin Valley Food Bank by visiting canthegriz.com/donate. Each dollar donated counts as 1 pound of food.

Can the Griz will have numerous food-raising events, and many area businesses – including grocery stories and breweries – will be collecting donations and running Can the Griz specials during the two-week competition. Visit canthegriz.com and click “events” to learn more.

Individuals who participate in the drive are invited to take a photo or video of themselves donating and post it on social media with the hashtag #canthegriz.

Maiers urged Can the Griz supporters to get their donations in to the food bank by 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, in order for them to count toward the competition.

Last year, MSU and the Bozeman community donated a record 257,336 pounds of food plus $131,757 to the Gallatin Valley Food Bank. The University of Montana and Missoula community also raised a record amount for the Missoula community's local food bank and won last year’s competition. Donations from UM and the Missoula community totaled 255,070 pounds of food plus $139,008.

Can the Griz proceeds go to the Gallatin Valley Food Bank.

For more information, or to host a collection box, please contact the MSU Office of Student Engagement at 406-994-2933 or email canthegriz@montana.edu.

Can the Griz is coordinated by the MSU Office of Student Engagement and the Gallatin Valley Food Bank.

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Thursday, Oct. 25th, 2018

Bozeman Indecent Exposure - Community Help Wanted

Between July and October, 2018 Bozeman Police Officers responded to four separate incidents of indecent exposure in Bozeman businesses.  In all occasions, an unidentified male exposed his genitals while partially covering himself with various items from the store he was in.  The suspect ran from each store on foot when confronted.  Luckily, two stores were equipped with surveillance cameras which captured the suspect on video.  We ask the public’s assistance in identifying the suspect.  The public is urged to contact the Bozeman Police at 582-2242, Crimestoppers (406-586-1131), or policcetips@bozeman.net  with information leading to the identity and apprehension of the suspect.  Any person with information that helps to solve this crime may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a cash reward.

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