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BioRegions International
P.O. Box 6541
Bozeman, MT 59771

(406) 599-7755 Email us »

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The Montana State University BioRegions faculty, staff and students collaborate with local citizens and communities in their bioregions to learn about the way of life and resource base. Resulting partnerships apply local knowledge, science, humanities and management to create proactive solutions to meet local needs.

Mongolia Work Trip 2015: Closing the Circle for Community Development

Coordinated by:

About the Trip

Experience the nomadic culture, lifestyle, and landscape of countryside Mongolia. Work on a multidisciplinary project to improve business, education, environment, health, use of tradition, and veterinary medicine in a rural community.


Application Deadline:
January 30, 2015

Travel Dates:
departure from US between May 23-26, return to US between June 24-27.

More about logistics


This trip starts with several orientation days in Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar, and then travels about 200 miles northwest to Bulgan Province, Orkhon soum (county), for the community work.

Trip Preparation

BioRegions will sponsor extensive preparation during Spring Semester, to include basic language and cultural awareness skills, as well as guidance on project preparation.


Variable, according to the requirements of each team and needs of the participants.

Check with the appropriate team leader.

Faculty & Contacts

Project Teams & Topics


Led by business professor Martha Joh Reeder, the Business Team will assist in development of a geotourism plan for this rural area with a rich equine culture, a large river, and opportunities to experience nomadism. The Business Team will also consult with the health, environment, and veterinary teams on business practices relevant to sustainable projects. The Business Team will be coming to Mongolia from Vietnam, with less time in the field. Dates: May 28 depart US for Vietnam, June 9 to Mongolia, June 20 return to US.


Led by Dr. Cliff Montagne and PhD graduate student from Mongolia, Badmaa Dovchin, the Environmental Team will work with herders to reduce overgrazing and desertification while improving water quality and herder resiliency. The Environmental Team will help the other teams understand the critical role of environmental quality for sustainable business and human and animal health. The Environmental Team has also been asked to create a landscape design for a new park in the center of Orkhon town.


Led by Susan Gibson, the Health Team, including a third-year Resident from the Montana Family Medicine Residency at RiverStone Health in Billings, MT., and MSU WWAMI Medical Educational Program students, will collaborate with local and provincial doctors to provide training for physician’s assistants, conduct basic health screenings, and demonstrate how doctors and nurses can collaborate to improve patients’ welfare. The Health Team will interact with the Veterinary Team on public health education on zoonotic disease pathways, help the Business Team integrate healthy practices into the geotourism plan and collaborate on the importance of environmental health with the Environmental Team.

Led by a faculty from the College of Nursing, the nursing members of the Health Team will participate in the health screening, develop and present to physician’s assistants public health learning modules keyed to a new Mongolian publication THE 21 HABITS OF GOOD HEALTH, contribute to the multidisciplinary team approach to improving patient care, and share details of the nursing profession in the US with Mongolian nurses.

Veterinary Medicine

Led by Dr. Shannon Moreaux, assisted by a veterinarian from California, and including graduate students in the new WIMU Veterinary Program, the Veterinary Team will interact with herding families and Mongolian veterinarians on equine health, nutrition and hoof care, with some emphasis on race horse physiology and performance. The team will work closely with the Health Team on human-animal interactions and assess and give suggestions for basic care of the suite of domestic animals in Mongolian herders’ care, cashmere goats, fat-tailed sheep, cattle, yaks, and sometimes camels. The team will help the Business Team understand the role of animal health as an attractant for geotourists while helping the Environmental team understand the role of healthy soils and pastures for animal health. The Veterinary Team will come at the same time as the Business Team, and then go on to Huvsgul Province after working in Orkhon.

Education & Traditional Knowledge

Education and the role of traditional knowledge will be important facets of each team’s work as each team will engage in back and forth learning with our Mongolian hosts along with learning about the traditional knowledge and skills responsible for the resiliency of countryside Mongolians.


We require that each participant have a project in collaboration with a team leader, with appropriate pre-trip preparation, field notes, journal, and final reports for feedback to the community. In this way, our knowledge base and effectiveness grows, with special emphasis on providing useful feedback and information to our host communities. Many of our projects are continuing from past years, and provide opportunities for participants to engage with our Mongolian collaborators over the winter.


Each team has a Mongolian interpreter who acts as an integral member of the team. Team members and faculty stay in apartments or guest houses in Ulaanbaatar for several days before and after the field trip to Orkhon. In Orkhon, the participants sleep outside in personal backpacking tents and the BioRegions cook provides meals. Countryside travel is by jeep or van. BioRegions has larger tents for health screening and group meetings. We travel as a group from a west coast gateway city, usually Seattle or Los Angeles, to Seoul and then on to Ulaanbaatar. Participants can return to the US the same way or choose other alternatives, such as taking the train to Moscow or Beijing.


Cliff Montagne, Director, BioRegions InternationalCliff Montagne, PhD
Emeritus Professor
Land Resources and Environmental Sciences
College of Agriculture
(406) 599-7755

Teaching activities
  • NRSM 421/521 Holistic Thought and Management
Subject matter interests in regard to BioRegions
  • Holistic Management
  • Application of traditional knowledge and Western Science
Activities in regard to BioRegions
  • Founder and Director, faculty leader of many activities since 1998
Links and Affiliations
Martha Joh Reeder, BioRegions Program FacultyMartha Joh Reeder, MBA
Associate Teaching Professor
College of Business
Reid Hall 325
(406) 994-7745

Teaching activities
  • Developed and teaches course on business sustainability
Subject matter interests in regard to BioRegions
  • Sustainable business practices for rural communities
  • Sustainable tourism development
Activities in regard to BioRegions
  • Business Team leader for 2013, 2014, 2015 BioRegions work trips to Mongolia
Links and Affiliations
Shannon Moreaux, BioRegions Program FacultyShannon Moreaux, DVM
Assistant Professor
Equine Science
109 Animal Bioscience Bldg
Office: (406) 994-7689
Cell: (406) 579-3997

Teaching Activities
  • EQUS 100 Introduction to Animal Science (Team Instructor)
  • EQUS 233 Equine Science and Management
  • EQUS 327 Equine Lameness
  • ARNR 337 Diseases of Domestic Livestock
  • EQUS 347 Equine Form to Function
  • EQUS 346 Equine Reproduction
Subject matter interests in regard to BioRegions
  • Equine nutrition, hoof care, pasture health, people-animal interactions
Activities in regard to BioRegions
  • Veterinary Team leader to Orkhon soum 2014, to Orkhon and Bayanzurkh soums 2015
Links and Affiliations
  • Advisor: Montana State University Horseman’s Club
  • Director: Youth Horsemanship School
  • Director: MSU Extension Annual Equine Conference
  • Board Member: Montana Horse Council
  • Instructor: American Associatoin of Equine Practitioners Veterinary-Farrier Short Courses
Susan Gibson, BioRegions Program FacultySusan K. Gibson
Instructor of Human Anatomy and Microscopic Anatomy
MSU WWAMI Medical Education Program
Cell: (406) 579-2579

Teaching Activities
  • Instructor for the MSU WWAMI Medical Program and the Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience for 32.5 years. Courses taught during my tenure at MSU were Anatomy and Physiology; Human Anatomy of the Torso; Musculoskeletal and Head and Neck; Embryology and Microscopic Anatomy.
Subject matter interests in regard to BioRegions
  • Health care in rural Mongolian communities, public health in Mongolia
Activities in regard to BioRegions
  • Coordinator for Bio-Regions Health Team, 2007-present. The team includes a physician, medical students from the MSU WWAMI Program and the Mongolian medical school, MSU College of Nursing faculty member and nursing students.

Additional Contacts

Study Abroad
(406) 994-7151

Susan Welker, Study Abroad Manager
(406) 994-5719

Kevin Brustuen
Faculty-Led Coordinator for Short Term Programs
(406) 994-7512

Past Trip Reports: