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Our Mission

The Glacier Institute serves adults and children as an educational leader in the Crown of the Continent ecosystem with Glacier National Park and Flathead National Forest at its center. Emphasizing field-based learning experiences, the Institute provides an objective and science-based understanding of the area’s ecology and its interaction with people. Through this non-advocacy approach to outdoor education, participants can be better prepared to make informed and constructive decisions which impact this and other ecosystems.

Our Classroom

The Glacier Institute courses take place in a spectacular outdoor classroom throughout the Crown of the Continent ecosystem. Today, the phrase is used to describe the larger ecosystem that boasts millions of acres and spans the U.S.-Canadian border. Besides Glacier-Waterton International Peace Park, the ecosystem includes the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex, the North Fork Valley, the Blackfeet Reservation and thousands of additional acres of public, private and tribal lands spanning from Banff National Park to the Scapegoat Wilderness. The Crown of the Continent is the only ecosystem in the lower forty eight states where all indigenous predator and prey species are naturally occurring including grizzly bears and gray wolves. It is a place rich in biological diversity, Native American heritage and unique geological features. The Glacier Institute is an equal opportunity provider of education.

Academic Credit

Credit, based on a semester system, is available for many of The Glacier Institute adult programs through the University of Montana (UM) and Flathead Valley Community College (FVCC). For Montana teacher recertification, renewal units are available from the Office of Public Instruction (OPI) and credit courses may also apply.  Academic credit fees are separate and are paid upon arrival to the class.  Grades are submitted by course instructors upon receipt of final projects.  Credit availability is listed at the bottom of each course description.

Hiking Level

Each adult field course is rated according to the level of physical activity required. We practice “Leave No Trace” skills and all levels may involve some off-trail travel through brush and/or uneven terrain. Although Institute staff and instructors exercise every caution to prevent mishaps, students must assume full responsibility for their own safety. We ask that you evaluate your own physical condition before making a commitment to participate in any of our programs. We require that you sign a liability waiver at the start of each class.

Photography and Art

We welcome digital photographs or artwork from your Glacier Institute course experience for our use in our catalog, brochures or other marketing publications. Please submit your photographs or artwork with your name, contact information and the course you attended for photo or art credits to The Glacier Institute, P.O. Box 1887, Kalispell, MT  59903 or register@glacierinstitute.org.

Cancellation Policy

Payment in full is due upon booking of adult courses and youth camps. If you cancel at least 30 days before the course/camp begins, you will receive a full refund less a 25% administrative fee per person.

No refunds will be made for cancellations received less than 30 days prior to the course start date.  If The Glacier Institute must cancel a course/camp due to low enrollment, students will be notified one week prior to scheduled date and The Glacier Institute will issue a full refund. Courses are not cancelled due to weather.  **Accident and trip insurance is available through travel agents and may protect you against financial loss in the event of a cancellation.