Intensive Study: Conservation Biology and Wildlife Management in Montana

420.637 Conservation Biology and Wildlife Management

Glacier National Park, Montana

Course Description

In this course, students examine the meaning and implications of biodiversity with a focus on disciplines associated with conservation biology, wildlife conservation, and wildlife management, including taxonomy, genetics, small population biology, chemical and restoration ecology, and marine biology. This includes exploring how conservation biology differs from other natural sciences in theory and in application. Students learn the major threats to biodiversity and what natural and social science methods and alternatives are used to mitigate, stop, or reverse these threats.

The course also includes the economic and cultural tradeoffs associated with each conservation measure at the global, national, regional, and local levels. Prerequisite: 420.611 Principles and Methods of Ecology, equivalent course, or related experience. 

Course Schedule
AAP Summer 2019 semester
May 16, 2019 Preparatory materials made available online
June 16 to June 22, 2019 Intensive study in Glacier National Park, Montana
July 12, 2019 Due date for final project
Aug. 22, 2019  Last day of the summer semester
Al Manville Glacier National Park

Al Manville, PhD, CWB



The on-site portion of this course will take place in Glacier National Park, Montana. We will be staying at The Glacier Institute, 1 mile from West Glacier and about 20 miles from Kalispell, Montana, and will use their classroom and library facilities as needed. Much of the course will take place in the Park itself. We will be sharing cabins and eating buffet meals breakfast and dinner (with special needs accommodated), and each will prepare box lunches for our days in the field.

Tuition $4,091 (subject to change)
Trip fee ~$1,690
This includes transportation from/to Kalispell airport and all transportation during the field portion of course as well as all lodging and food (breakfast/lunch/dinner). Incidentals are not included.
Travel Variable.
Transportation from student home to Kalispell, MT (FCA) is student responsibility. Transportation from Kalispell airport to lodging in GNP and throughout the course will be provided and is calculated as part of the Trip fee.



Registration for the course will open on November 1, 2019, and close February 28, 2019. Students will register for this course in SIS. Payment of trip fee and tuition is due at the time of registration (tuition $4,091 + course fee $1,690 = $5,781). If a student decides to drop this course, $500 of the tuition is non-refundable, regardless of a student’s payment method choice (financial aid, employer assistance, tuition remission, etc.). Please note: this course does not follow the regular tuition refund schedule and ALL tuition and fees for this course are non-refundable after the close closes at the end of February.

The course needs 8 people to run. Refunds will be made if there are not enough people to run the course. The maximum number of people for the course is 16. Registration will be on a first come, first served basis with priority given to ESP degree candidates. Do not purchase travel or make other investments in your trip until you hear from the course Point of Contact that there are enough participants to run the trip. This will be determined by the last of February, possibly earlier.

Course Specifics

We will home base out of the Glacier Institute’s ( rustic but wonderful West Glacier Field Camp (WGFC) one mile north of West Glacier on the banks of the Middle Fork of the Flathead River, just inside the Park, where rooms, meals (including any special needs), a classroom and library, wifi access, daily field instructors specializing in specific conservation disciplines, and transportation are all to be provided. We plan to pick up and drop off students at the Glacier Park International Airport (FCA).

We will use the “living laboratory” of GNP and its surrounding and majestic landscapes to learn about and explore the key concepts and many timely issues in conservation biology and wildlife management. Notable are cutting-edge opportunities to investigate the effects of climate change on ice-dependent species (e.g., wolverine, bull trout, Dipper, and Ptarmigan); climate change impacts on whitebark pine and its effects on grizzly bears and Clark’s Nutcracker; changing environmental conditions and their environmental ramifications (e.g., more intensive and erratic wildfires, effects of pine bark beetle infestations, pika migration, and debris flows from late-season snowstorms); and the status and recovery of rare, Federally listed, and sensitive species (e.g., grizzly bears, wolverines, Canada lynx, gray wolves, bull trout, and long-toed salamanders, among others). With luck, we may see (spotting scope or even up close and personal) a number of these wildlife species. With so many potential study subjects, a key focus of this class will involve teaching students how to apply and use the tools and techniques currently used and practiced, respectively, through wildlife management in the field. Students will learn how to use them specifically to design research studies, to conduct field research projects, and collect and analyze data we anticipate students will perform either during this class (given time and access constraints), later as graduate students while at Johns Hopkins, or through future opportunities (e.g., M.S. theses, Ph.D. dissertations, post-doc investigations, and independent field research projects).

Student Emergency Contact Information

Students must update their emergency contact information in SIS by following these instructions:

  1. Log in to
  2. Hover over the “Personal Information” tab
  3. Select “Emergency Contact”
  4. Complete “Emergency Contact” information

Important Forms

Please visit the Student Travel page for information about waiver, liability, and travel and health insurance. All participants must complete: