The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center is an academic unit of the  University of Montana dedicated to enhancing mutual understanding  between the United States and other countries around the world, and to fostering ethical public  policy and leadership. The Center supports this mission by fostering  university and community links with other countries and dialogue on issues facing  the United States and the world on matters of the economy, the  environment, global development, and international relations.

Multidisciplinary Training on Wildlife and Natural Resource Conservation from an Indigenous Perspective 

The Advanced Studies Institute is a 13-day intensive field course in India offering Native American graduate students hands-on, multidisciplinary research and learning opportunities in wildlife management and natural resource conservation sciences. 

Ten U.S. students will be selected to travel to India in January 2022, pending pandemic conditions, to participate in this exchange alongside 10 graduate students from India. All expenses are paid for by the National Science Foundation via the University of Montana. 

Courses focus on addressing complex challenges in biodiversity conservation by integrating Indigenous ways of knowing with western science. Research themes are grounded in social-ecological systems thinking, with dual emphasis on social and biophysical sciences, and include Indigenous and participatory perspectives on conservation, conservation biology, landscape ecology, ecological restoration, and wildlife management.

Students will study each of these themes first in the classroom and then through field experiences by leveraging the unique research facilities and field sites available through partner institution, the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), a global leader in applied research in wildlife management and natural resource conservation sciences.

These ASI’s will create a multicultural, dynamic learning experience designed to train students to conduct multidisciplinary research in an international context, building a network of young professionals who will be at the forefront of world conservation and wildlife management sciences.

If you do not have a passport, we encourage you to begin the process when you submit your application. 


Eligibility Criteria:

  • U.S. citizen
  • Native American 
  • Resident of Montana or an EPSCoR state (enrolled in a Montana or EPSCoR state university/college fulfills this requirement)
  • Graduate-level student in a related field of study (natural, physical or social sciences)
  • Demonstrated maturity, flexibility, adaptability, and open-mindedness
  • Motivation to be a successful cultural exchange participant


Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning August 15, 2021. 

Mansfield Center