Montana State University noxious weed specialists have partnered with agencies around the state to update the Montana Invasive Species Education packet, which includes curriculum geared toward students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
The MISE project is aimed at increasing knowledge and awareness about invasive species that can be detrimental to Montana agriculture, recreation, economy and environment.
The original project was completed in 2016, a collaborative effort that included the Montana Noxious Weed Education Campaign, housed in MSU’s Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences; the Montana Agriculture in the Classroom program; Montana Department of Agriculture; Fish, Wildlife & Parks; the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation; and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services. The same partners, along with the Montana Invasive Species Council and the Stillwater Conservation District, partnered to update and produce the new packet.
“Two thousand packets were originally printed and distributed. The need to reprint the packets gave us an opportunity to add emerging species, new curriculum, and updated materials,” said Shantell Martin, Montana Noxious Weed Education Campaign coordinator. “It’s been great to see the interest by educators in delivering this information to students to help protect Montana’s land and waters.”
Lesson plans are designed for grades 6–8 but can be adapted for younger or older classes. Eight new high-priority species have been added to the packet for a total of 35 featured invasive species. The free packets include curriculum guidelines, identification cards, a classroom poster of the 35 species and a series of activities for use in the classroom or in the field.
Educators can visit https://invasivespecies.mt.gov/montana-invasive-species/Educator-Resources for more information, to request supplemental materials for an original packet, or to request a new packet.