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Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) are unique fishing raptors, ubiquitous in aquatic areas across the globe. As the top predator in the aquatic food chain, Ospreys are important indicators of ecosystem health, one of many reasons our colleagues at UM have spent more than 10 years conducting a ground-breaking study of their health and behavior. Wings Over Water (WOW) was born of a long-standing collaboration between Osprey researchers Erick Greene and Rob Domenech, and educators at the Montana Natural History Center. The program has grown to include partners from the NASA Montana Space Grant Consortium, spectrUM discovery area, UM College of Education, Montana Audubon, and Five Valleys Audubon.


WOW brings STEM research into middle and high school classrooms, and sparks student interest in biology, physics, chemistry, math, and engineering, through an in-depth, full-year program centered on Ospreys. We start by building STEM capacity for teachers, with an intensive professional development experience. Teachers become Osprey experts during a week-long, interactive, and field-based summer institute at the University of Montana. We send teachers back to their classrooms with our curriculum, which is integrated across STEM subjects, designed for the Next Generation Science standards, and tailored to each teacher’s classroom needs. During the school year, teachers remain part of a supportive co-learning community of STEM experts and educators, and gain the resources and connections to do authentic STEM research with their students. WOW also connects students with expert ecologists, physicists, and engineers, through classroom visits and distance learning experiences.


In the WOW program, we engage students and teachers in inspiring experiences with real-life science, as they interact first-hand with their local Ospreys. In doing so, we help foster student’s life-long interest in STEM fields, and motivate them to pursue careers in STEM.


2018 Program Dates:
June 25th-29th:  2018 curriculum training institute


The 2018 application window is closed. We will accept applications next in winter 2019. Contact Jenélle Dowling at jdowling [at] montananaturalist [dot] org with any questions.


Who’s eligible to apply?
Middle and high school science educators.


See more details on the program HERE.



June 25th-29th:  2018 WOW summer institute


Sample schedule for the WOW summer institute:

This page is under construction – more information coming soon.

This page is under construction – more information coming soon.


The 2018 application window is closed. We will accept applications next in winter 2019.

WOW Program Teacher Application
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