Photo of AIRO program participants
  • MAP (Montana Apprenticeship Program)
  • Bridges (Bridging Tribal Colleges to MSU)
  • IMSD (Initiative for Maximizing Diversity)
  • INBRE (Montana Network for Biomedical
Demographic map of Montana Native American population.

We have a well established relationship with the American Indian Research Opportunities (AIRO) Program here at MSU, which focuses on engaging American Indian students at many academic levels including high school students, B.S. degree students, and students enrolled in tribal colleges.

AIRO is dedicated to providing career opportunities for American Indian students in fields which they are underrepresented, and supports several programs:

Given that Native Americans comprise 6.4% of the population in Montana, we believe there are significant opportunities for improving recruitment of American Indians into fields of science and engineering. The importance of Native American culture and present day tribal activities in our region is perhaps obvious, but it truly represents an important obligation and responsibility at Montana State University to address American Indian student opportunities. Montana has seven Native American Indian reservations encompassing 11 different tribes on nearly 8 million acres of tribal lands. A tribal college is associated with each of the seven reservations and we have well-established faculty contacts at each of the tribal colleges focused on the life or environmental sciences.

Our IGERT Ph.D. students co-mentor American Indian high-school and or B.S. students and give outreach presentations at the tribal colleges or in the tribal communities.

We are always looking for talented Native American students in our program. If you are interested please contact us .

Activities header graphic

Mervin Failing recently received a travel scholarship to present his poster entitled, Response of bacteria to freezing to the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS). While at the meeting Mervin won a best student poster award and a $500 prize.

Dr. Christine Foreman is an Invited Speaker for the SACNAS IPY Forum: The Poles: Harbingers of Global Change as well as the Plenary Presentation: Polar Palooza (www.sacnas.org/confNew/confClient/current/agenda/#828).

Mervin Failing, Ft. Peck Tribal College student working with Christine Foreman on ice samples using a cryostage equipped microscope.
(Photo credit: M. Dieser)

Dan Horn

Daniel Horn, a Ft. Belknap Tribal College student worked with Christine Foreman characterizing Antarctic bacteria.
(Photo credit: M. Dieser).

Bridges students attending the National Leadership Alliance conference in Stamford, Connecticut July 2007 whereDan Horn (front row) presented a poster entitled, Growth Characteristics of a Bacterial Isolate from Cotton Glacier, Antarctica
(Photo credit: AIRO Office)