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MSU seeks geocachers for statewide outreach project

Wednesday Nov. 8th, 2017

Montana State University’s Extended University and the Montana Institute on Ecosystems have launched a statewide geocaching project linked to the publication of the Montana Climate Assessment. Through a series of trackable game pieces hidden around the state of Montana and discoverable by GPS coordinates, participants can learn about Montana’s climate zones and the MCA, a statewide scientific report on Montana’s past and future climate trends. The MCA was published in September.

One MCA Geocoin – a special trackable game piece – will be placed in each of Montana’s 56 counties. Each geocoin has a unique tracking code, and geocachers who discover a geocoin can log it online and then move it to another geocache. A map of each coin’s movements can be found on Geocaching.com. Each MCA Geocoin also has an educational moment built into its online description so those who find it can learn about Montana’s climate. All geocachers can join in on the search.

Project organizers are looking for one geocacher in each Montana county who is able to hide an MCA Geocoin in their area. Other geocachers can then discover the coins and move them from geocache to geocache. It’s free to sign up for an account and start playing.

Geocachers who are interested in hiding a coin should visit http://eu.montana.edu/climb/geocaching to access the sign-up form. A geocaching.com user name is required, and experience hiding a trackable is recommended.

Geocaching is an outdoor activity in which participants use the Geocaching® app and GPS-enabled devices (which includes smartphones) to find geocaches, which are containers cleverly hidden around the globe. Millions of people around the world are active geocachers, and more than 1 million geocaches are hidden in the United States alone.

Other partners include MSU Extension, the U.S. Geological Survey Glacier Field Station, Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, Gallatin Valley Geocachers and the University of Montana Department of Mathematical Sciences.

To learn more about geocaching, visit Geocaching.com or download the free Geocaching® app. To participate in the MCA Geocaching Outreach Project, visit http://eu.montana.edu/climb/geocaching.