Our Environment

Jeannette Rankin Hall

The Environmental Studies program is based in Jeannette Rankin Hall (JRH), at the center of UM's campus. The building served as the library from 1908 to 1923, then as Law School until 1961, then as the Psych building until 1983.

Environmental Studies shares the building with the Social Work program. JRH is on the National Register of Historic Places, and is the University's only example of neoclassical architecture. We're proud of the building, and even prouder of its namesake.

Our building is named for Jeannette Rankin, the UM alumna (1902) who became the first woman elected to Congress. Rankin is shown below, speaking from the balcony of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Standing behind her is suffragette Carrie Chapman Catt. Rankin was greeting a crowd of admirers en route to her swearing in on April 2, 1917. After the ceremony, President Woodrow Wilson asked the new Congress to declare war on Germany. Rankin cast one of the few votes against that declaration and lost her seat at the next election. Ironically, she returned to Congress later, just in time to cast the only vote against the declaration of the Second World War.

jeanette rankin hall
jeanette rankins speaking from a balcony

Montana's Environment

Not only is Montana a gorgeous place to work and play, but it is also home to a conservation community with vast knowledge and deep roots.

Few universities offer a setting with such spectacular beauty and recreational resources. Missoula, population 70,000, is surrounded by mountains and located at the confluence of three major rivers: Clark Fork of the Columbia, the Blackfoot and the Bitterroot.

Both Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks are within easy driving distance, and the Rattlesnake Wilderness Area can be reached by bicycle or city bus. Downhill and cross-country ski areas are located within a few miles of campus.

UM has been named one of the top 10 universities in the nation for canoeing, kayaking and rafting by Paddler Magazine, and SaveOnEnergy includes Missoula in their Top 5 U.S. Cities for Biking list for 2016.

Area Resources and Attractions