What To Expect

We’re celebrating 29 years of connecting people with nature with MONTANA NATURE WEEK!

Throughout the week, beginning on Monday, October 5  we will release fun, interactive videos that showcase what MNHC does best, nature education!  Nature journaling, a live drawing class, Nature Notes-a special collaboration with Missoula Symphony Orchestra, a behind the scenes look at MNHC’s collections, NatureWebs for kids, and so much more!

Then on Wednesday – Friday the real show begins!  We will be live-streaming special presentations starting at 7:00 p.m. MDT each evening.  We will have more of what you love about MNHC with the unveiling of our brand new fossil exhibit, a nature storytelling night and presentations and Q&A with MNHC’s naturalists.  Join live for a chance to win exciting door prizes.

Wednesday, October 7 | noon – 1:00 p.m. MDT
Painting Fall Fruit with Artist Jenah Mead 
Spend your lunch break painting berries and other fall fruits with Artist Jenah Mead. Jenah will walk you through her artistic process and show you how to use value, color, and details to make your artwork come alive. Choose your subject from a colorful array of Montana fruit, such as a branch of snowberries, serviceberries, or rose hips. Jenah will answer questions and share her favorite materials, tips, and tricks.

Feature Presentations

Your ticket allows you exclusive access to the following:

Wednesday, October 7 | 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. MDT
Exploring Montana’s Ancient Past with Kallie Moore

Join University of Montana Paleontologist Kallie Moore for a sneak peek at Montana Natural History Center’s newest exhibit, Montana’s Ancient Past! Kallie will be sharing a preview of the exhibit, and get up close and personal with some of the fossil specimens on display. Bring your curiosity and wonder, as Kallie will be available to answer questions live via Zoom after the showing!

Kallie Moore has managed the University of Montana Paleontology Collection for over 10 years and has been volunteering with the Montana Natural History Center since 2011.  In 2017, Kallie became a host and content consultant for PBS Eons, a YouTube Channel dedicated to the history of life on Earth.

Thursday, October 8 | 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. MDT
Fascinating Fall Phenomena

As naturalists, it is easy to be excited about spring: leaves emerge, flowers bloom, birds return and start singing, babies are born, the whole world is bursting with life. By the time fall rolls around, we know changes are still happening, but they can be harder to see and perhaps appreciate: birds leave, leaves fall, some plants die, babies grow up. Still, autumn is an important and even exciting time for life in Montana. Join MNHC naturalists Drew Lefebvre, Alyssa Cornell and Ser Anderson to explore a handful of exciting fall events in the worlds of birds, plants and mammals. They will be available to answer your questions via Zoom after the presentation.

Friday, October 9 | 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. MDT

Nature Storytelling Night

We’ve brought together some of MNHC’s friends, volunteers, and founders to share personal stories centered around the natural world. Get ready for an entertaining, humorous and heartfelt night of nature stories!

Meet our storytellers!

Ellen Knight grew up in the countryside of western Arkansas, where her parents treated her with benign neglect, leaving her free to roam afield to her heart’s content. That time yielded a lifelong love of the natural world…and here she is today, still loving it! But in the interim she earned a degree in zoology from Colorado College and an MA in Environmental Ed from U. Michigan. She and her husband Bob moved to Missoula in the dark ages, 1971. They were instrumental in the beginnings of Five Valleys Land Trust and Ellen helped found MNHC. Ellen’s two primary work/volunteer interests were environmental policy and natural history education. Throughout, there were friends and mountains, hiking seriously or ambling and poking about. Now she encourages her grandchildren to be curious and to value the whole earth.

Jackie Wedell is a transplant to Montana via Wisconsin, Minnesota, Oregon, Texas, North Carolina, and Nevada.  Having lived in flat places, she never wants to live far from mountains again.  Jackie spent her career working with children first as a clinical child psychologist and later as a school psychologist.  She has been an MNHC volunteer since shortly after retirement and her move in 2012 with her husband, Edward Monnig, back to Montana, where they raised their two sons.  Jackie’s story is about an early experience in the backcountry with two small children.  She tells us that there are many other stories of adventures with children, but assures us that all serious injuries requiring ER visits were the result of adventures that her children had undertaken on their own – without parents.

Edward Monnig has worked as an ecologist for the US Forest Service and held a variety of positions in the agency including District Ranger on the Kootenai National Forest and Forest Supervisor of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. He enjoys a variety of backcountry activities including skiing, backpacking and hiking, whitewater boating, and just aimless wandering in our wildlands in pursuit of birds, native plants, and geological wonders.   After retiring from the Forest Service, Ed and his wife Jackie returned to Montana where they had raised their two sons.  Ed served on the MNHC Board of Directors from 2012 to 2019.  He now has the privilege of exploring the natural world with his grandchildren.

Larry DePute is a graduate of Stanford University. He lived in Alaska for 39 years before moving to Missoula.  Larry retired after 35 years as a Family Practice Physician Assistant. He is also a commercial pilot, a certified flight instructor, an A&P aviation mechanic, silversmith, lapidary, and jeweler.  While Larry may have set a few bones during his time as a Phyician Assistant, he probably didn’t assemble entire skeletons., but that’s what he does as a volunteer for MNHC. Starting from a box of bones, he painstakingly recreates articulated skeletons of birds. You may have seen his work at the Montana Natural History Center, like the American white pelican soaring over the exhibit hall or the bald eagle that greets you by the front door.

Learn more about MONTANA NATURE WEEK