UM Student Journalism

Make it Missoula has partnered with different teachers in the University of Montana’s School of Journalism to publish the writings of UM students. First Lee Bainville’s  Online News class where the students created a Citizen Journalism feature that was all about local views, stories, and issues. More recently we published the writings of students enrolled in Nadia White’s autumn semester 2014 Adventure Writing class. In this class, each student was assigned a Missoula area trail to explore and write about. Enjoy!

Saint Mary’ Peak Trail

By CHAUNCEY LISTON-How did I get into this fix? It started with my pack... more

MacLay Flats Nature Trail

By MALLORY KERENSA WELLS - It was a quiet Thursday evening and after a ... more

Tower Street Trails: A Bold Dinner Date

By BRENDEN SPERR - I see trees. Trees and squirrels everywhere, squirre... more

Blue Mountain Folf Course: Too Much Fun to Hike Past

By DEVIN SLATER-It seems like if there is anything you want to do outdoors you can find it at Blue Mountain. But honestly, I wouldn’t know those trails. I never get past the folf course. ... more

The Clark Fork River Walk (VIDEO)

By CATHERINE ORFANOS: The Montana campus was quiet. The Oval, empty. Puddles formed across the sidewalk and my path through campus zigzagged between them. ... more

Rattlesnake Valley: Wood’s Gulch to Sheep Mountain

By REBECCA KEITH- I lean up against Jasmine; my red, secondhand mountain bike and stew in frustration. The 11-mile ride from Wood’s Gulch to the top of Sheep’s Mountain was kicking my butt. ... more

Kim Williams Trail: The Unexpected Wilderness in My Backyard

By MARTHA KREBILL- Walking the Kim Williams Trail that night had been a spur-of-the-moment decision, and I was captivated by the natural beauty of what I can describe literally as my backyard.... more

Rattlesnsake Recreation Area

By MEGAN FRANZ - I made it to the Main Rattlesnake Trailhead, locked up the bike, swung my beat up sack over my shoulder and started trekking along the old road that follows the creek. ... more

Greenough Park Trail: A Journey Into Art and Nature

By PARKER BRIXEY - I’m cruising into Greenough Park on my bike, entering the park at its southern end, closest to town. I’ve got my headphones in, and Wiz khalifa bumping loud. ... more

Randolph-Moon Homestead Trail: Pushing Back Against Doubt and Disease

By GARRETT SLADE - It wasn’t until I had topped the final crest in the North Hills that my anxiety about the day fled. From my vantage point over Missoula the stress of the past two weeks began to melt away.... more

Mount Jumbo – Daylight Turns to Dark, Marvel Fades to Fear

By By NICK MERTES- Our eyes locked. He reared back and then quickly struck the ground with his hooves, like he was revving his engine, looking to fight. He was ready to go, but was I?... more

North Hills – Making Peace With the Rural-Urban Medley

By BELLE GASH-GILDER - There are a number of different places to begin to explore the North Hills. I started at Mountain View Trail which literally literally starts in someone’s yard. ... more

Mount Jumbo – Rising Above a Rude Awakening

By HENRY CRIST- Sometimes, little adventures change your entire perspective, and you’re a different person because of them. My adventure wasn’t a heart racing one, but it was just what I needed.... more

Crazy Canyon – An Easy Climb in Nature’s Cathedral

CHARLES EARLY - I decided to hike Crazy Canyon with a friend in early Fall. Although this is a popular hike, we didn’t see another person, which only added to the beauty of the trail.... more

Ch-paa-qn Peak

By KIAN BERTIN - People from all over the world have summited this mountain. “Pride of Britain,” one of the rocks has written into it. Another one reads, “I hate this damn wind.”... more

Crazy Canyon

By LIONE CLARE - I was happy to be back in the woods about to climb a mountain, an activity much more accessible and frequent in my hometown of Sitka, Alaska.... more

Pengelly Ridge

By CARLY STINSON - I love hiking, but as I spun in circles running from class to class this semester, I just couldn’t find time for the Pengelly Ridge Trail hike.... more

Smokejumpers’ Trail

By COLIN BRUST - We trudged up the steep and rocky path, leaving the Kim Williams riverside trail below us. Even though there was a great view of the Missoula Valley behind us, I felt uneasy.... more

Life is One Big Adventure

By NADIA WHITE - This last fall, 21 first-semester freshmen joined me at UM's School of Journalism in a class about adventure writing. We defined adventure loosely, and they wrote stories that described who the... more

Missoula Businesses Tell Dogs to ‘Take a Hike’

By ALLISON BYE - Alpine Canine and Quicks Paws are two local businesses that have come up with a unique way for dogs to get their daily dose of exercise and fun.... more

Would You Like Some Flirting with that Coffee?

By MICHAEL MALLORY - “Hey, Hun! What can I make for you?” says the half-clothed young lady waiting at the window of a bright red coffee stand off South Russell Street.... more

Snowbowl Expansion Delayed as U.S. Forest Service Investigates

By KARL SCHNEIDER - Nearly a decade ago, Montana Snowbowl announced a plan to nearly double the size of the ski hill. The permit process and economics of the plan have been slow to materialize, but that may be ... more

Local Gym Owner Hopes Second Chance Will Make it Work

By AUSTIN GREEN - “We move as a group! Don’t quit! Don’t quit!” His commands were directed a dozen fit young men, the latest guinea pigs in Mike Scialabba’s ongoing fitness experiment.... more

The Zoo’s First (Legal) Still: Montgomery Distillery Opens at Last

By TREVOR REID - Despite many challenges, from missing parts to shipping crates lost at sea, Missoula’s first micro-distillery opened this fall on September 26.... more

Beer Salvation: How a Hobby Changed a Life

By JESSICA STUGELMAYER - For Martha Gergasko, beer was the key to her salvation. Missoula’s home brew club, the Zoo City Zymurgists, has a key role in its beer culture.... more

Missoula Restaurants Offer Thanksgiving Dinner, Without the Work

By MICHELLE BEAHM - If you want a traditional meal without the traditional hassle, a few Missoula restaurants will be open so you can enjoy a traditional food coma.... more

Missoula’s Iconic Top Hat Set to Undergo Major Renovation After Sale

By KELLEN BECK - Although emotions around the sale of the Top Hat in Missoula are high, its former owner has confidence in the new owner and hopes for a bright future.... more

Video: Finding the Source of a Frosty Facebook Fad

By TOM HOLM and MASAKI NAKAGAWA - (VIDEO) The godfather of Frosting explains the story behind the Facebook trend that started in Missoula this past winter and went global.... more

The Naked Truth: How Art Modeling Transformed My Self-Image

By ANNA PENNER-RAY - I knew I would be naked, sketched by strangers for an art class at the University of Montana. I didn't know I would see myself in a whole new way.... more

Missoula Home to World Champion Cribbage Player

By ALYSE BACKUS - The best cribbage player in the world is DeLynn Colvert. He's one more example of the many intriguing, unique people who call Missoula home.... more

City Council Member Has Long Road to U.S. House

By ERIK ANDERSON - City Councilman Dave Strohmaier wants to be Montana’s next congressman, without having to run against his hometown of Missoula.... more

Firm Ground: Black Coffee Makes Its Mark in Missoula

By DILLON KATO - Black Coffee Roasting Company, started in 2010 by Matt McQuilkin and Jim Chapman, has been carving a niche in Missoula's gourmet coffee world.... more

Homeword Aims to Change the Image of Affordable Housing

By ANDREW FISHER - Homeword, a Missoula non-profit, wants to change the image of affordable housing by creating sustainable, community-oriented buildings.... more

Local Vitamin Manufacturer Reaches Global Markets

By JON TWEETEN - In an inconspicuous building on Third Street, Nutritional Laboratories International makes supplements and vitamins that are sold all over the world.... more

Missoula Story of the Week: Missoula Under National Scrutiny

By TOM DIDDEL - A recap of the past week's most talked-about story in Missoula. This week, it's the national investigation of the handling of local sexual assault cases.... more

Missoula Story of the Week: Pertussis Outbreak in the Bitterroot

By TOM DIDDEL - A recap of the past week's most talked-about story in Missoula. This week, it's the pertussis outbreak in Ravalli County that's forced school closures.... more

Missoula Story of the Week: UM Football Harassment Complaint

By TOM DIDDEL - A recap of the past week's most talked-about story in Missoula. This week, it's the federal harassment complaint lodged against the UM football team.... more

Missoula Story of the Week: Medical Marijuana Arrests

By TOM DIDDEL - A recap of the past week's most talked-about story in Missoula. This week, it's the federal arrests of several Montana medical marijuana providers.... more

Missoula Story of the Week: University of Montana Athletics

By TOM DIDDEL - A recap of the past week's most talked-about story in Missoula. This week, it's the dismissal of UM football coach Robin Pflugrad and AD Jim O'Day.... more

Missoula Story of the Week: Info Needed on Burglaries

By TOM DIDDEL - A recap of the past week's most talked-about story in Missoula. This week, it's the recent burglaries in downtown Missoula that need info from the public.... more

Missoula Story of the Week: House Fire Victims Need Support

By TOM DIDDEL - A house fire engulfed a home in Target Range Thursday morning and took the life of an 11-year-old boy. A donation fund has been set up to help the family.... more

Missoula Story of the Week: Wolf Hunting in Montana

By TOM DIDDEL - A recap of this week's most talked-about story in Missoula. This week, it's wolf hunting in Montana and the controversy that surrounds it.... more

Missoula Story of the Week: Montana Judge Richard Cebull

By TOM DIDDEL - A recap of this week's most talked-about story in Missoula. This week, it's Montana judge Richard Cebull's inflammatory email about President Obama.... more

Multimedia Feature: Griz Basketball Team Beats the Bobcats

By PATRICK RECORD - It was a low-scoring grudge match, but the Montana Grizzlies battled to an important win over the Montana State Bobcats on Saturday night.... more

Multimedia Feature: Lady Griz Beat Rival Bobcats

By PATRICK RECORD - The Lady Griz took to the hardwood on Saturday afternoon in hopes of defeating their biggest rivals, the Montana State Bobcats.... more

Missoula Story of the Week: Bitterroot Ski Resort

By TOM DIDDEL - A recap of this week's most talked-about story in Missoula. This week, it's the proposed Bitterroot Ski Resort and the upcoming auction of Maclay Ranch.... more

Swinging at the Downtown Dance Collective in Missoula

By PATRICK RECORD and LEAH GREEN - The Missoula Downtown Dance Collective's recent swing dance workshop put the Garden City in a swingin' mood.... more

Valentine’s Day Lunch at the Missoula Senior Center

By PATRICK RECORD - A multimedia gallery of the Valentine's Day celebration at the Missoula Senior Center.... more

Box Cutting at the Top Hat

By RYAN LANDOLFI - Missoula's blues-rock two-piece, The BoxCutters, played the Top Hat to a loyal local crowd on Thursday night.... more

Missoula Story of the Week: UM Assault Investigations

By TOM DIDDEL - A recap of this week's most talked-about story in Missoula.... more

Living Laboratory: State Arboretum at the University of Montana

On April 4, 1991, the Montana legislature and the Board of Regents designated the arboretum at the University of Montana. Today, three stories of plants reach to the ceiling of the University Center.... more

Tyler Hobbs: Life After Griz Football

By PATRICK RECORD - Former starting defensive tackle and team captain Tyler Hobbs looks back on his years as a Montana Griz football player.... more

Missoula Marijuana Prosecutions Resume, Despite ‘Lowest Priority’ Initiative 2

By DANIEL VIEHLAND - Two months ago, the Missoula County Attorney's office decided to resume prosecuting misdemeanor marijuana offenses. Daniel Viehland examines the impact.... more

Multimedia Feature: Sewing Ministry a Labor of Love, Support, Fabric, and Yarn

By RACHEL A. SEIDENSTICKER - The Martha Sewing Ministry is more than just a charity - it's an outlet for members of Christ the King Church to celebrate, mourn, laugh, cry, and commune with one another. ... more

Missoula St. Pat’s Life Flight Program: We Will Find You

By RUSSELL GREENFIELD - St. Patrick Hospital’s Life Flight paramedics, nurses, and pilots often find themselves in remote corners of Montana. Russell Greenfield takes a look behind the scenes of this elite pr... more

It’s a Funny Thing: Missoula a Starting Point for League of Talented Comedians

By TOR HAUGAN - While Missoula's comedy scene may lack the scale of a larger city's, the Garden City circuit has served as a starting point for a growing group of successful comedians.... more

A Salute to Our Troops: The Remembrance Day Roll Call Ceremony

A group of UM Journalism students filed this multimedia piece about the Remembrance Day Nation Roll Call Ceremony at Montana State University on November 11, 2011.... more

A Salute to Our Troops: Photos of Veterans’ Day Events in Montana

A photo gallery of moments from Veterans' Day ceremonies across Western Montana.... more

Snowbowl Set to Expand, Make Public Freestyle Terrain Park

By BILLIE LOEWEN - Montana Snowbowl ski area is preparing to expand their terrain park to bring freestyle skiing in western Montana to new heights.... more

A Salute to Our Troops: The Fallen Soldier Memorial at the University of Montana

By PATRICK RECORD Last Friday, as the rain began to turn to snow, I stood and watched as a handful of Montana’s military men and women revealed the new Fallen Soldier Memorial at the University of Montana.... more

Are Montana’s Rural Post Offices Expendable?

By KELLYN BROWN. The Postal Service wants to close the doors of many of its rural post offices, if it does, few places will be impacted as much as Montana. On the list released in July of 3,753 post office bran... more

A Marriage of Music: Successful Jazz and Pop Artists Make Missoula Studio Work

By RACHEL A. SEIDENSTICKER - After recording seven jazz CDs and headlining clubs in Chicago, appearing on ABC’s “The Commish,” and performing, acting, and modeling across the world, Eden Atwood found hers... more

Bluegrass Music Growing Missoula Roots

By ALANYA CHERKIS - Last month, Missoula hosted its first ZooGrass festival at the Top Hat lounge downtown. Live bluegrass has recently taken hold of the music scene in Missoula, with its upbeat energy, foot-st... more

Nothing in Common?

By KELLYN BROWN. Like I was saying...Don’t compare the Tea Party to Occupy Wall Street protesters. Don’t do it. They are nothing alike. That’s what I’m told, although the effort of one to distance itse... more

Multimedia Feature: California Street Tag Wall Becomes Home to Missoula Graffiti Artists

By ANNELA ROVA and BILLIE LOEWEN - When Missoula business owner and artist Dan Tabish posted a sign on the gigantic wall surrounding his property, he created the only space in the city free and open to graffiti... more

A Message from Missoula’s MMA Fighters: All Blood Spilled Must Be Wiped Up

By RUSSELL GREENFIELD, UM Student Journalist. On the night of Aug. 13, Jason Zentgraf, a Missoula mixed martial arts fighter, entered the caged ring at the Swinomish Casino in Anacortes, Washington. Across fro... more

Out in Missoula: An Open, Visible, and Generally Accepted LGBT Community

By TOR HAUGAN, UM Student Journalist. In the early ‘80s, people would drive from Helena to Missoula to hang out with the gay bartender at AmVets, Missoula’s now-defunct bar claimed by the LGBT community. Th... more

Urban Bees in Missoula: Neighbors Against Neighbors While Drafting New Rules

By DANIEL VIEHLAND. UM student and citizen journalist Daniel Viehland reports on the conflict between an urban beekeeper and his neighbors in Missoula. Will it prompt changes to local beekeeping laws?... more

Black Bear Hit on I-90 Leaves Orphaned Cubs

By PAUL QUENEAU. Driving my sons to school Monday morning along I-90, a driver in front of me suddenly pulled off on the shoulder between East Missoula and the Van Buren exit. Then I saw the reason: A good siz... more