Clark’s Fork Fish Hatchery

Hi! My name is Abby Vogt and my global theme is Natural Resources and Sustainability. This past summer, for my Beyond the Classroom Experience, I interned at the Clark’s Fork Fish Hatchery. This fish hatchery is located in Clark, Wyoming and has 5 full time employees. I worked to rear fish from eyed eggs to catchable size for stocking. The purpose of rearing and stocking is to maintain sustainable fish populations in public waters while also providing anglers the opportunity to recreate in these waters. My summer experience directly connects to my global theme through the vital management of natural resources in the state of Wyoming.

I learned so much through this experience. Before the internship, I knew I had an interest in fish management, but I didn’t know a lot about the hatchery process. I learned about the entire process of rearing fish. I learned to properly care through feeding, sampling, cleaning, and stocking multiple fish species at once. During my time at the hatchery, we reared Fall rainbow trout, Eagle Lake rainbow trout, Bear River cutthroat trout, Snake River cutthroat trout, Yellowstone cutthroat trout, and Kokanee salmon. Many of these species we received as eggs and by the time I was done, they had grown enough to be transferred into the hatchery tanks and eventually to the outdoor raceways.

I didn’t realize how vital the management of fish species were in the state. Wyoming is a very outdoors focused state and thousands of people take pride in their ability to use its resources, especially fishing. Without the work of the ten hatcheries in the state, the populations of multiple fish species would be extremely diminished and sustainable populations of fish would not be possible. There are a lot of diverse perspectives in regard to natural resources and sustainability, especially in relation to fish hatcheries. There is the environmental perspective of maintaining populations but also the angler perspective of being able to enjoy fishing and the thrill of being in the outdoors. It is clear that many anglers care deeply about the management of natural resources to keep populations thriving in the state.

One of my favorite moments while working at the hatchery was when I was able to go stock a very popular lake in Cody. Beck Lake is a popular spot for families to enjoy fishing as well as swimming. Often during stocking trips, people will come up and ask what we are doing or what types of fish are being stocked. This time there was a family with two little kids that came up and asked about the stocking. These kids were super excited because they had never seen a stocking truck or watched a stocking occur. We often try to engage kids in stock trips to encourage future angling and outdoor experiences. We allowed the kids to drop a net of fish in the lake from the truck. They were very excited to be able to put fish into the lake and see them swim off. It is experiences like this that show kids what they can do in the future and it gets them excited about the outdoors.

These are hatchery tanks that hold fish until they are big enough to transfer outside.
These are egg jars that circulate eggs until they hatch.

The Department of the Interior

My name is Beatrix Frissell and I spent my summer interning with the Department of the Interior in Washington D.C., focusing on my global theme of Culture and Politics. As a native Montanan from Polson, MT, I have been interested in politics since my experience at Girl’s State my senior year of high school, but I have spent little time outside of my home state. In taking the trip to Washington D.C., I was immersed in a city and cohort far more diverse than the one I grew up with, I learned how politics and our country’s management of natural resources have changed over time, and I gained confidence in traveling and meeting others for the future.

Perhaps my favorite part of my experience in Washington D.C. was getting to know my fellow cohort of Demmer Scholars, all of us a mix of students interested in natural resource policy from the University of Montana, Michigan State University, and Mississippi State University. Our weekly weekend field trips became my favorite part of my trip, from seeing horseshoe crabs on the Delaware Bay for the first time to eating dinner on top of the Watergate hotel. Despite the differences and diversity within the group from hometowns to internships, we clicked easily through our shared interest in the environment and policy. One such trip was to Shenandoah National Park, where I witnessed the expansive view of the East coast forests on Skyline Drive. Forests like those in Shenandoah National Park look quite different from those in Western Montana, a fact that is influenced in a large part by the history of our country. Almost everything, from natural resources to food, have been influenced by values and political views within our country. In early United States history, after Indigenous inhabitants were wrongly wiped or pushed off the land, this area was entirely homesteads that were meant for farming and ranching. However, the land has changed in recent decades with factors like poor soil and the emancipation of enslaved peoples, and it is now home to an expanse of rather young and densely populated chestnut and red oak trees. I learned far more about culture and management of policies around natural resources by witnessing their ecological impact directly.

Having grown up in a small town, living in a city as large as Washington D.C. was a stressful experience in many ways, but it was rewarding in that I am now more confident navigating and meeting others in new places. In fact, perhaps the biggest way my experience in D.C. developed my leadership skills was by instilling more confidence in me, like teaching me through my work experience and class experience to ask more questions and allowing me to understand that I can be put in a new environment, be successful, and even thrive. Over time, as I worked on projects from environmental justice to research on implementing a new orphan oil and gas well plugging program, I learned to communicate and connect with my boss, received kudos from the office director, and balanced my busy schedule. My nerves went away. Now, I am excited to continue exploring new places, with hopes to go on an international experience in the coming years to continue to grow as a person and discover how I can best make a positive impact for my local and global community.

The Montana Innocence Project

On day one of my internship at the Montana Innocence Project my supervisor asked to meet at the picnic tables outside of the Alexander Blewett III law school to review my summer assignments. I was eager to help, even though I was unsure what I would be helping with… or where the picnic tables outside the law school were at. With one hand on the handlebars and one wrestling with an americano I rolled my bike to a stop in front of my supervisor, sat down, and by the meetings end I had compiled a list of assignments in my notebook. Now, as I cross the last of those assignments from my notebook in my final week at MTIP, I have a lot to smile about and little to forget. My global theme is “inequality and human rights” and I worked with the development and communications associate at the MTIP, whose mission is to exonerate the innocent and prevent wrongful convictions. During this experience, I have made incredible connections with impressive people, and I have learned a ton including: how to better synthesize expert jargon to write a story that connects with people, how to better research on the internet using tools like google alerts, how to create engaging social media posts and I have learned the difference between journalism and writing as part of an organization’s communications team. But the most impactful and all-encompassing realization that this internship has provided me is that “justice” in our criminal legal system is more subjective than I previously had thought. And the work MTIP is doing is admirable and very closely aligned with my idea of “justice.” It has spurred me to consider law school more seriously. And it has made me more aware of the criminal legal system’s often unknown or misunderstood obstacles that are placed before somebody charged with a crime in the US. I chose this beyond the classroom experience because to entertain my own interests and to explore my global theme of “inequality and human rights” and it did just that. As I wrote in the article I have linked on the picture below: Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “It is better 100 guilty persons should escape than that one innocent person should suffer.” But to MTIP legal director Caiti Carpenter, “That’s not how the system works. We are a system of efficiency, more often than not.”

Washington DC

My global theme is Inequality and Human Rights. This theme means different things to different people, but I use it to explore how the world is shaped by disparities in education, gender equality, and political power. Inequalities are woven into the institutions, norms, and language around us. When enough people find these inconsistencies unacceptable, we have a chance to change. 

This summer, I went to Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. and interned in Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office. I was in the gallery while the historic infrastructure vote was passed, I saw Dr. Anthony Fauci walk down the hallway, and I listened to the Capitol Policemen’s testimonies on the January 6th insurrection. Washington D.C., itself is proof of forward motion, positive change, and history created. 

The most important thing to me was being exposed to different people from different places with different life experiences and world views. I’ve been in Montana for most of my life, often around like-minded people. The internship was in a Minnesota office, where I met with Texas delegations, ate with Maine interns and talked with people from around the United States. We got to discuss different issues, their opinions, and our preferred outcomes. This was worth the trip.

Most importantly, this experience showed me the leader I don’t want to be. Another intern and I were chosen to sign Senators and their staff into a committee meeting our first week. When we got to the meeting, it was set up differently than requested. Without missing a beat, the man in charge started yelling. He was yelling at the catering staff, his own employees, into his phone, at the interns. I had never heard someone talk to people so harshly. The other intern and I left that meeting thankful he was not our permanent boss. If there comes a day when I talk to someone like he talked to those around him, I will rescind my place as a leader. He showed no compassion, sympathy, or patience, three very important traits.

Coming away from this experience, I know that the political world is not for me, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. There are still cultures and environments I haven’t met and problems we haven’t solved.

Sustainable Food Production in Missoula

My global theme is resources and sustainability, and my global challenge is focused on sustainable food production. This theme and challenge emphasize humans’ dependency on the natural world and preserving what limited resources we have left by integrating sustainability practices into humans’ everyday activities. I believe that sustainable food production relates to resources and sustainability because by reducing the amount of resources needed for food growth it can decrease humans impact of the environment. During my Beyond the Classroom experience I participated in an internship through the UM Dining Gardens. I worked with three UM gardens that are associated with the University. I worked at the on campus Lommasson Garden as well as the Microgreens Garden within the Food Zoo. I also had the chance to work at the garden located off South Avenue, a few blocks away from campus. UM Campus Gardens work tirelessly to ensure their food is grown sustainably. In addition, the UM Campus Gardens invest in composting food waste, conserving water and energy, collaborating with other community members and businesses, and pursues the purchase of locally and sustainably produced food.

During this internship, I developed a better understanding of the diverse perspectives related to resources and sustainable food production. I had the chance to experience the hands-on hard work that sustainable food production requires from a farmer’s perspective. While working with the UM Campus Gardens, I learned that patience is not the only essential skill for a successful harvesting season. It also requires time management, and extensive planning. This is what I valued the most from this internship. I gained knowledge about the in-depth planning that garden creation requires. I also learned that what makes a garden successful is the amount of work you put into it. For example, I spent a lot of time this semester weeding the many rows at the South Ave, Garden. This was really time consuming and wasn’t necessarily rewarding at the time, however, when the plants began to grow without being disturbed by weeds it felt incredibly rewarding. This internship has opened my eyes to the hard work that is put into sustainable food growth. More importantly, it taught me that the hard work pays off when the environment around us continues to thrive. I plan to use the knowledge that I gained during this internship in any future careers that I have in environmental sustainably and use it to aid in completing my global challenge in the upcoming year.

This is me after a harvest of fresh garlic from the garden.

Beyond the Classroom: COVID Edition!

My global theme is Inequality and Human Rights. I believe that human rights are so important because it is important to understand that we are all human and deserve the same treatment no matter where a person comes from. My beyond the classroom experience was being a remote intern for CASA of Missoula. CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates and it is a non-profit organization that advocates for children in court who come from abused and neglected homes. I was able to help supervisors organize paperwork, send out court emails, read through case files and so much more. With this experience, I was able to work with an organization that advocated for children’s human rights and helped these children find a safe place to live when they were not being treated well. Abused and neglected children are a group that cannot often speak for themselves, so it is amazing to work with an organization that helps these children have a voice and live a better life. 

When I first signed up for my global theme, racial injustice was the first thing that came to mind when I thought about inequality and human rights, so I did not expect to be working with an organization like CASA. This experience has helped me understand a different population that could also be a part of inequality and human rights. There are many minority groups in society that can identify with being treated unequal to others and are being restricted by their human rights. Working with CASA has opened my eyes to different perspectives of how inequality affects our society but also what other ways we can help break away from inequality in this world. Even though I did not get to work with an organization that worked on racial equality, I was able to gain so much knowledge from an organization that advocated for children’s human rights and it was such a rewarding experience. This internship allowed me to not only gain more computer skills, considering the internship was remote, but to learn about a population I never had much knowledge about and a way I could help advocate for them as well. I understand now that inequality does not just affect people by race, but many factors of society that may separate a certain population from the rest. With this experience I hope to continue to expand my mind to advocate for equality and human rights in other new ways to learn more about populations in society that are also treated unequally.

A Semester at the PEAS Farm

Hi all! My name is Sydney Lang and my global theme is Resources and Sustainability. For my Out of The Classroom Experience I spent my fall semester working at the PEAS Farm. The PEAS Farm is an educational farm nestled in the rattlesnake. The farm has 5 full time staff members and the rest of the help comes from interns on the farm who are students at the University of Montana. The food that we grow goes to many different programs in Missoula. Some of the food grown goes back to community members through a Community Supported Agriculture Program (CSA) where community members invest money in the farm and in turn they get many weeks worth of fresh, sustainably grown goods! The other food we grow goes to the Missoula Food Bank.

View of the Chard and Kale crops at the PEAS Farm

View of the Chard and Kale crops at the PEAS Farm.

The PEAS Farm grows many different kinds of foods! Some of my favorites from my time there were the fresh corn, garlic and carrots. Though we got the chance to eat a lot of local foods, the farm was about a lot more than that. On the farm one of the main things we focused on was how food production is such a key component to sustainability. We learned many different sustainable practices such as cover crops, seed saving and composting.

            I spent every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon at the farm doing a variety of different tasks. Some days we would harvest foods, other days we would prepare food for storage or for the CSA members. As time went on at the farm, my appreciation for local agriculture grew quickly. My eyes were opened to an avenue of sustainability that I hadn’t considered much before. I found my time at the farm to be very grounding. I felt connected to our earth in a new way. I understood food from a whole new lens. I even grew a new appreciation for manure after spending two weeks spreading it on all of the fields!

            This year I have been working on my capstone project for GLI which connects directly into my time at the farm. Our group is working on understanding how to make a local food system sustainable, resilient and accessible. It has been a wonderful experience to go straight from getting my hands dirty in the field to working on connecting with other local farmers for my capstone to understand the importance of local foods at an even deeper level. Through my time getting educated on the farm, I feel more equipped to encourage others and myself to be stewards of the earth. I feel so thankful for this experience and how it has burst open the doors in my world view of sustainability. I now know that great things can be grown with my own two hands!

Castles, Celtics and Culture

Hi! My name is Sami Sykes and I spent the last semester in Cork, Ireland! My global theme that I focused on was Public and Global Health. I took classes like Crime and Deviance, and Women’s Prison Systems. These classes took me up close and personal with the Irish prison systems and the way of life for the average Irish inmate. I found the coursework and education system in Irish very intriguing. There was little homework and classes really relied on the discussions that happened in person. I found this more engaging than standard American schooling and I absorbed more information because everything was discussion based.

School, though interesting, was such a small part of my semester abroad. I made friends with so many different individuals from all over the world and most of which I still talk to! I also traveled all across Ireland and immersed myself within the culture from day one. I think the best way to gain experience and knowledge in a new place is to dive head first into the culture. I met people from Ireland, America, Netherlands, Thailand, and more! Not only did I get to experience Irish culture, but because I met so many people from all over, I also got a taste for their cultures as well. I was lucky to become fast friends with another fellow UM student, Christian, and we were able to explore this country together. I’m lucky to have him because he pushed me to leave my comfort zone and broaden my horizons.

Studying abroad is a gift, a life-changing experience, and overall the best time. From seeing twelve different castles to experiencing the Cliffs of Moher, it was the most enlightening experience. The memories you make while abroad will last a lifetime. One blog post won’t do justice for how amazing it is. It truly is something you need to experience for yourself. I’m glad I had this experience because it made me grow as a student, person, and world traveler.

Mamma Mia! Covid Edition

City view of Arachova, Greece. The architecture is truly incomparable!

Γεια σας! I’m Makayla, a senior studying Organizational Communication with a minor in Media Arts. Through the Franke Global Leadership Initiative, I had the opportunity to spend (most of) my spring semester at the American College of Greece in Athens.

I had no idea what to expect from my abroad experience, having never been out of the country before. My time in Athens was the most rewarding, eye opening, and exhilarating experience of my life. From gyros, to so so many stray cats, I learned multitudes about myself, different cultures, and how differing societies handle environmental challenges.

Taken at the Temple of Apollo featuring one of the many feral cats I was referring to (of whom I think are magical).

My global theme is natural resources and sustainability. Although I wasn’t able to dive as deep as I would’ve liked into my theme during my shortened time there, I was able to observe both the differences and similarities of our cultural and environmental practices. Most of the food in Greece was locally sourced and grown, hence the oranges that I still have dreams about. I also took an environmental studies class at the college, which raised thoughts of how to remain sustainable amidst economic crises. As a country growing through financial decline, they still had an appreciation and value of the land they occupy which I found incredibly inspirational. My class also had a section on Yellowstone where I was able to share my experiences from Montana, which was really fun as they all thought Old Faithful was an insane structure.

The best oranges I ‘ve ever tasted.

At the start, I experienced a tad bit of culture shock. To my surprise, Greece is actually very mountainous, so I felt at home in no time. Getting off the train, which we missed twice, to Meteora felt like the whole city was a green screen. It’s home to the largest complex of Greek monasteries, many isolated on the mountain peaks.

The breathtaking inspiration behind ‘Game of Thrones Eyrie’

Studying abroad was absolutely the best decision I ever made for myself. By being out of my comfort zone, I saw the most incredible views, made the best friends ever, and learned more about myself than I thought was possible in a few short months. The people of Greece are loud, bold, and incredibly friendly which rubbed off on me in the end. The enriching intercultural exchanges I had made me feel better equipped to be a leader and study Communication from a global lens. Overall, the experience not only gave me a greater sense of tenacity and confidence in regard to my studies, but in myself as well.

The girl gang!

Although this was an interesting semester to have an out of classroom experience, I feel so grateful to have lived every second of it. I wholeheartedly believe that seeing unfamiliar sites, being surrounded in a cafe with a completely unfamiliar language, and meeting those who are different than us has immeasurable value that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

OPA! Off to Greece I Go!

The Seaport town of Nafplion. Greece’s water is absolutely stunning!

Hi, my name is Kat and I studied abroad this past semester in Greece. My theme is technology and society. I took a consumer behavior class while I was there that discussed how technology effects consumers in different markets. It was really interesting to see the differences as well as similarities between Greek and American cultures. I was the only one in my class that wasn’t Greek, so it gave me a really fascinating perspective and we all had some really good conversations. I learned a lot about Greece’s government and issues they’ve been having since their economic crisis. While this was in the media, it wasn’t portrayed exactly how they would describe it. It was really interesting to see their opinions versus what the media portrays. It was also incredibly interesting talking to them about American politics because they experience it through what they see on social media and the internet and were really interested in what it was like living there. I think social media and the internet are a great way for different societies to stay connected, but you don’t necessarily always see the full story until you personally know someone living in it or are living in it. 

Greece is also very mountainous which I didn’t really realize. This is Meteora which is home to the largest complex of Orthodox Monasteries.

Going to Greece was hands down the best decision I have ever made. I connected with so many people I would have never been able to connect with. I learned so much about the world and about myself in such a short amount of time. I definitely gained a whole new perspective on life. There are so many places and people to see and cultures to experience. I learned to be more confident in myself and as a leader. In Missoula I am very comfortable, and this really pushed me out of my comfort zone, and I feel like I can do anything now that I set my mind to. Even though this experience didn’t end the way we all wanted it to, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I grew so much as a person in just a few short months. 

My roommate Marissa and me in Budapest, Hungary

I met some of the best people while I was in Greece. My roommate Marissa actually packed up her suitcase and moved across the country from Boston to Montana for the Summer. I wholeheartedly believe soulmates are best friends and I truly met my soulmates during this experience. We had the best girl gang and I know I am going to be friends with them forever.

The best girl gang ever in Delphi!
Until I can go back I will be dreaming of MILF (Meat I Live For) Gyros