Understanding the Montana Climate Assessment

Recently, the Academic Technology and Outreach at MSU partnered with the Montana Institute on Ecosystems to create a citizen-friendly electronic module which breaks down the Montana Climate Assessment (MCA). This new online program helps everyday Montanans better understand Montana’s climate through the specifics of agriculture, forests and water resources.

Anyone can access the free module by registering from a computer with internet access. The interactive experience takes a little more than two hours to complete, and goes at the users pace. Montana teachers can also earn Office of Public Instruction renewal units for going through the module and paying a fee of $25. Similarly, working professionals can gain Continuing Education Units, through which they are able to earn promotions and pay raises within their field. There are quizzes along the way for anyone to test their knowledge if they so choose.

The MCA is a scientific report that describes Montana’s past and future climate trends. The document also aims to provide information of economic help to different sectors of the state’s economy. Both the University of Montana and MSU, as well as state and federal agency researchers, non-profit organizations, resource managers and Montana citizens, have worked together for two years to create the MCA. The MCA describes the goal of the report as cultivating conversation leading to “science informed planning efforts and action in the areas of water, forests and agriculture,” all designed to promote Montana’s right to a “clean, healthful environment,” according to their website.

Register and check out the module at eu.montana.edu/noncredit and search for “Montana’s Changing Climate.”

To see the full Montana Climate Assessment report visit montanaclimate.org.