Education Program Information


Date: June 15

Time: 7am

Location: Judith Landing

Instructor: Amy Seaman, Conservation Program Manager at Montana Audubon

Spots available: 12

About: The workshop will give an introduction to birding techniques, field ID, ID’ing by song, and recording birds seen.

Amy Seaman has extensive education and experience in avian biology, management, and birding.


Date: June 22,

Time: TBD

Location: James Kipp Recreation Area

Instructor: Noelle Orloff, Associate Extension Specialist at Montana State University

Spots available: 15

About: The Missouri Breaks region offers unique opportunities to explore native plant communities and to discuss emerging invasive plant issues. In this one-day workshop, we will focus on learning plant identification skills including grass and forb identification basics and key characteristics to look for to identify certain plant families. Participants will be introduced to some useful plant identification smartphone apps and have an opportunity to try them in the field. Participants are also encouraged to bring their favorite plant identification resources to introduce to the group. Finally, invasive plant issues specific to the Missouri Breaks will be discussed, and participants will be introduced to potential new invaders to watch for in this region of Montana.

At MSU, Noelle Orloff focuses on weed science in the Schutter Diagnostic Lab. One of her responsibilities in the lab is identifying plants submitted by growers, ranchers and homeowners and providing management recommendations if needed. Another is diagnosing herbicide injury of crops and ornamental plants. Past research pursuits have included investigating the ecology and management of invasive annual grasses, perennial weed control in organic and diversified cropping systems, and exploring rangeland plant community response to weed control measures. She received her M.S. in Land Resources and Environmental Sciences from Montana State University.

Nature Journaling

Date: June 29

Time: TBD

Location: Stafford Ferry

Instructor: Jamie Dwyer, Biomimicry Researcher and Consultant with Biomimicry 3.8

Spots Available: 12

About: A nature journal is used specifically to record our observations of, and thoughts on, nature.

Jamie Dwyer’s educational background is in biomimicry, biology, and architecture. She has extensive experience leading workshops and is an avid outdoorswoman and artist.


Ecology Float

Date(s): July 26-28

Time: 9am

Location(s): Coal Banks to Judith Landing

Instructor: Gina Himes-Boor, Assistant Research Professor with the Ecology Department at Montana State University

Spots Available: 12

About: The instructor will lead ecology-focused lectures and lessons at various parts of the monument. FMB’s Taylor Mudford will lead interested folks on hikes through Neat Coulee and to the top of Hole-in-the-Wall. FMB will provide breakfasts and dinners as well as canoes/paddles/PFDs (secured from Missouri River Outfitters). FMB can provide some dry bags, but if participants are lacking any camping equipment they’ll need to buy or rent them for the float.

Astronomy and Star Gazing

Date: August 3

Time: 5:30pm

Location: Judith Landing/ overnight trip

Instructor: Joey Castle, Central Montana Astronomical Society

Spots Available: 20

About: The Central Montana Astronomical Society is volunteering their time and telescopes to assist in leading this workshop (they’ll be bringing a 30-inch telescope). Joey Castle will be the main facilitator; he has experience teaching and leading astronomy in outdoor settings.

After retiring from the military, Joey Castle worked for the National Park Service for a few seasons. For one of his tours, he was the Lead Night Sky Astronomy Ranger at Organ Pipe Cactus Monument, AZ, where he gave nightly lectures and conducted star parties for up to 180 people. He has also been the featured speaker at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center for the last two years for their annual Star Extravaganza.


Date: August 10

Time: TBD

Location: Stafford Ferry

Instructor: Tom Franzem, Graduate Student –MS in Biology/Entomology– at the University of Alabama

Spots Available: 15

About: Participants will learn about the ecological importance of insects, how to find and capture insects, information on preserving ethically-killed insects, and field ID.

Tom Fanzem has extensive experience and knowledge in insect ecology, insect field ID, and insect collection (his personal collection of insects has grown considerably over the years) across the US, from the northeast to the southeast.