courses – daily routine


A standard field day begins with a wake–up bell at 6:30 a.m., and at 7:00 a.m. breakfast is served. Beginning about 6:30 a.m., lunch makings are available.

On most days we depart for the field promptly at 7:45, and normal return time is 5:30 p.m. All travel is in University-owned radio-equipped 9-passenger Suburbans. Dinner is at 6:30.

Most of the field areas in which we work are within a 45–minute drive of the Field Station, and we are typically away from the vehicles until the end of the day. Work is usually done in small groups of 10–15 students with two or more faculty/staff per group, and student-staff ratios are always maintained at a level of about 7:1 or better to ensure extensive one–on–one teaching.

Faculty are typically available in the Lodge to assist you from about 8:00 p.m until 10:00 or 10:30. A few evening lectures are given, but this time is usually devoted to work on the day's field work.


The Saturday schedule is a bit different from the rest of the work week. The day ends early, with a typical arrival at the Station around 4:00 p.m., in anticipation of an evening off. Many opt to go to Whitehall to enjoy a movie, bowling, and other typical Montana Saturday night activities. We’re always made to feel welcome. The relaxation begins with the weekly vehicle washing; it is amazing what is recorded on the sides and wheel-wells of a Suburban as it travels in the field!


Sunday breakfast and lunch are both available in the morning until around 10:00 a.m. Standard Sunday dinner is at 6:30 p.m. Sundays are official "days off," with no planned course activities except for occasional evening orientation meetings, although it is often a good idea to switch back into "work mode" for the evening.

Possible Sunday recreational activities will be discussed and posted at the Field Station, and maps and recommendations for hikes will be available.