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Old 11-12-2009, 12:39 AM
 
Location: Pluto's Home Town
9,995 posts, read 11,640,398 times
Reputation: 5579

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Hey all,

I am thinking about applying for a teaching position at MSU. My wife is pretty against it, but I want to do my due diligence. It is a potentially great job.

Dear wife thinks Montana is positively arctic, and we will be huddled shivering in our homes all winter. We have lived in Colorado (Fort Collins and Durango) and now have resided about 8 yrs. in Ashland, Oregon. (Yes, I have ended up in a few foofy places over the years....dumb luck and usually poor pay.)

So, two things are on my mind. The weather. How does the winter of Bozeman compare to, say Durango, CO, or W. Oregon. I know it is cold, but I recall the rockies winters being much drier, with more sun than Oregon, which compensates a bit. And the view of sun on snow is just glorious in winter. I love it! I can tell that the temps in Bozeman in January are about 10-15 degrees colder than Ashland (45/29 vs 31/12 or so). How much of the time are you really under super subzero blasts? A few times each winter? How about wind?

Also, a housing report is desired. In all our time in Ashland, housing has been obscene and essentially out of reach. I know Bozeman is also high and for the same reasons, but is it coming down, or are nearby areas more affordable? The job would involve a 5-10% paycut, so need to find a decent value.

Should add we are quite active, and we love to be outdoor doing various things all year. Not super goretex types, just hikers, snowshoers and the like.

That's it for now. Thanks in advance for any tips!
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Old 11-12-2009, 01:02 AM
 
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
1,154 posts, read 3,954,785 times
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Bozeman winters aren't all that cold. Only a handful of subzero arctic blasts per year and generally we bottom out at -20 or -30 or so, sometimes with wind on top of that. But those coldspells don't last long and you'll be back up in the 20's or better within a few days.

Now. It does snow here and it snows a LOT - don't let anyone tell you otherwise. We are getting pounded with snow as we speak. Most of Montana is very arid - Bozeman is not. Bozeman sits at the foot of the Bridger and Gallatin ranges, both of which catch major moisture dumping it all over town. We got two inches of snow in late September, then nearly a foot in early October, then another several inches the following week. Then another 6 inches a couple weeks ago, and now expecting 4-8 inches tonight and tomorrow. And it's still early November. We got 50" of snow last April - which is more than Fort Collins gets over the course of an entire average winter...

Here's the thing - it dumps snow, then the sun comes out. None of this overcast for weeks on end nonsense like Oregon. The sun at this elevation is very intense so it never feels as cold as it actually is (locals say it feels warmer here because the air is dry but it has more to do with the intense high elevation sun actually). Temperature-wise I don't think it's that cold at all but it does snow here. But the snow is gorgeous! Certainly better than looking at ugly brown grass all through winter as some of the dryer Montana towns have to do.
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Pluto's Home Town
9,995 posts, read 11,640,398 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYMTman View Post
Bozeman winters aren't all that cold. Only a handful of subzero arctic blasts per year and generally we bottom out at -20 or -30 or so, sometimes with wind on top of that. But those coldspells don't last long and you'll be back up in the 20's or better within a few days.

Now. It does snow here and it snows a LOT - don't let anyone tell you otherwise. We are getting pounded with snow as we speak. Most of Montana is very arid - Bozeman is not. Bozeman sits at the foot of the Bridger and Gallatin ranges, both of which catch major moisture dumping it all over town. We got two inches of snow in late September, then nearly a foot in early October, then another several inches the following week. Then another 6 inches a couple weeks ago, and now expecting 4-8 inches tonight and tomorrow. And it's still early November. We got 50" of snow last April - which is more than Fort Collins gets over the course of an entire average winter...

Here's the thing - it dumps snow, then the sun comes out. None of this overcast for weeks on end nonsense like Oregon. The sun at this elevation is very intense so it never feels as cold as it actually is (locals say it feels warmer here because the air is dry but it has more to do with the intense high elevation sun actually). Temperature-wise I don't think it's that cold at all but it does snow here. But the snow is gorgeous! Certainly better than looking at ugly brown grass all through winter as some of the dryer Montana towns have to do.

Thanks NYMT Man,

Your observations jibe with my thoughts. When I lived in Durango, I rarely felt really cold, because of the sun. And the fact that it clouded up, snowed, then cleared up was quite a change from the Pacific Northwest. So, although it is quite a bit colder in an absolute sense, in a tactile sense less so, or I would think anyway.
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Old 11-13-2009, 02:20 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,540 posts, read 12,570,254 times
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Lot more like Colorado than like western Oregon, for sure. Tho compared to MT, Colorado is colder at night and doesn't get as warm in the summer (per USGS data).

East-slope-of-the-Divide winters follow a cyclical pattern of 1) overcast/snow (sometimes a fullscale blizzard), then 2) clear sky/deep freeze, then 3) chinook wind, warming, partial to full sun, and often a complete thaw and snowmelt -- then back to #1. This cycle can be as short as 5 days and is seldom longer than a couple weeks. The only exception is the January deep below-zero cold which usually lasts all month (tho it's mostly sunny). And when I lived in MT, we got a blizzard on Thanksgiving and Xmas afternoons, every year without fail! Anyway, the weather changes all winter long. I've seen pheasants nesting in February, just outside of Bozeman.

The last decade or so has been considerably milder (by 20 degrees!), by all reports, than when I lived there (1970s/80s), but don't count on that lasting forever... or future cold lasting forever either. When I was a kid in Great Falls (1960s) we always got enough snow to bury cars and require all streets to be plowed before they could be driven by normal mortals; a few years ago they had a winter with no snow at all!!

So what do you teach? I went to MSU-Bozeman myself.
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Old 11-13-2009, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
1,154 posts, read 3,954,785 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reziac View Post
East-slope-of-the-Divide winters follow a cyclical pattern of 1) overcast/snow (sometimes a fullscale blizzard), then 2) clear sky/deep freeze, then 3) chinook wind, warming, partial to full sun, and often a complete thaw and snowmelt -- then back to #1. This cycle can be as short as 5 days and is seldom longer than a couple weeks. The only exception is the January deep below-zero cold which usually lasts all month (tho it's mostly sunny). And when I lived in MT, we got a blizzard on Thanksgiving and Xmas afternoons, every year without fail! Anyway, the weather changes all winter long. I've seen pheasants nesting in February, just outside of Bozeman.
haha it's funny how true that is. We always get big snows on Thanksgiving and Christmas it seems. And that cycle is very accurate. Right now we're at #2 and next week should be #3, followed by #1 the week after...
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Old 11-13-2009, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Approximately 50 miles from Missoula MT/38 yrs full time after 4 yrs part time
2,293 posts, read 3,326,525 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reziac View Post

So what do you teach? I went to MSU-Bozeman myself.
Pardon my intrusion................From his 'screen-name', I would guess Botany, and/or Biology.

Fiddleheads, Morels and wild asparagas, properly sauted & seasoned and served as a side dish to freshly caught Walleye. The bounty of northern Michigan and northern Wisconsin in the spring.

Excuse the 'hi-jack'.
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Old 11-13-2009, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,540 posts, read 12,570,254 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Griz View Post
Pardon my intrusion................From his 'screen-name', I would guess Botany, and/or Biology.

Fiddleheads, Morels and wild asparagas, properly sauted & seasoned and served as a side dish to freshly caught Walleye. The bounty of northern Michigan and northern Wisconsin in the spring.
Ah! now that you mention it -- I hadn't paid any attention to the screen name, but you're right... gotta be some vegetation in his resume

Never tried fiddleheads, what do they taste like?

Asparagus grows wild in the alleys in Great Falls -- my mom likes it, so I'd cut it and bring it home. Personally I can't stand the stuff, tastes like old grass to me Matures into a pretty plant, tho. Our neighbour in GtF had an asparagus hedge!
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Old 11-14-2009, 05:30 AM
 
Location: Pluto's Home Town
9,995 posts, read 11,640,398 times
Reputation: 5579
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reziac View Post
Ah! now that you mention it -- I hadn't paid any attention to the screen name, but you're right... gotta be some vegetation in his resume

Never tried fiddleheads, what do they taste like?

Asparagus grows wild in the alleys in Great Falls -- my mom likes it, so I'd cut it and bring it home. Personally I can't stand the stuff, tastes like old grass to me Matures into a pretty plant, tho. Our neighbour in GtF had an asparagus hedge!

Reziac, Montana Griz:

You nailed it. Well done! Yes, I am a wetland/plant ecologist. I currently run a long-term monitoring program with the National Park Service in Oregon, and we look at plants, but also lakes, streams, landbirds, and many other things too. I should add I have a secondary interest in blue grass and Irish fiddle music, so double meaning of sorts. In any case, thanks for your interest!

MSU is currently flying a plant community ecologist position that caught my eye. I love mountains and beautiful places and national parks, and by that yardstick Bozeman seems great. However, dear wife does not want to be housebound all winter, and is worried about extreme cold. Here in Ashland, we are out most of the year with our dogs, and they get bouncy without it-a red heeler and border collie. Funny thing is, my 6 y.o. son says he loves winter and would like to move to a place with TONS of snow. I have not even taught the sprout to ski yet, so kinda surprising. I split the difference, can deal with most weather if it changes enough through the year. Generally prefer cold and crisp to mild and gloomy in winter, but I muddle along. Fanatical about summer thunderstorms!

One thing that does put me off a bit is the RE bubble in Bozeman. Here in Ashland, the run up in prices in the last ten years was simply astonishing, from a median of about $185 in 2000 to well over $400k in 2007 or so, with no increase in wages, now in the mid $300s. So many retirees moved in over the last decade, and so few families, that 2 of our five schools closed. Sounds like Bozeman had the same pattern with the same invasion of equity-rich exurban folks, so the cost of living related to salaries seems equally or nearly as out of wack there. Are prices returning to "normal" there?

How did you like MSU? Any tips, pro or con?

Wild Asparagus-Wasn't one of Euell Gibbons books about stalking that..?
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Old 11-14-2009, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Approximately 50 miles from Missoula MT/38 yrs full time after 4 yrs part time
2,293 posts, read 3,326,525 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiddlehead View Post
Reziac, Montana Griz:

You nailed it. Well done! Yes, I am a wetland/plant ecologist. I currently run a long-term monitoring program with the National Park Service in Oregon, and we look at plants, but also lakes, streams, landbirds, and many other things too. I should add I have a secondary interest in blue grass and Irish fiddle music, so double meaning of sorts. In any case, thanks for your interest!

MSU is currently flying a plant community ecologist position that caught my eye. I love mountains and beautiful places and national parks, and by that yardstick Bozeman seems great. However, dear wife does not want to be housebound all winter, and is worried about extreme cold. Here in Ashland, we are out most of the year with our dogs, and they get bouncy without it-a red heeler and border collie. Funny thing is, my 6 y.o. son says he loves winter and would like to move to a place with TONS of snow. I have not even taught the sprout to ski yet, so kinda surprising. I split the difference, can deal with most weather if it changes enough through the year. Generally prefer cold and crisp to mild and gloomy in winter, but I muddle along. Fanatical about summer thunderstorms!

One thing that does put me off a bit is the RE bubble in Bozeman. Here in Ashland, the run up in prices in the last ten years was simply astonishing, from a median of about $185 in 2000 to well over $400k in 2007 or so, with no increase in wages, now in the mid $300s. So many retirees moved in over the last decade, and so few families, that 2 of our five schools closed. Sounds like Bozeman had the same pattern with the same invasion of equity-rich exurban folks, so the cost of living related to salaries seems equally or nearly as out of wack there. Are prices returning to "normal" there?

How did you like MSU? Any tips, pro or con?

Wild Asparagus-Wasn't one of Euell Gibbons books about stalking that..?
.....Fiddlehead......

Re Blue Grass...................

Suggest you Google: Bitterroot Valley Blue Grass Festival.................

About a 4 hour drive. A 2 day event......make motel reservations plenty early, it's very well attended. Griz
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Pluto's Home Town
9,995 posts, read 11,640,398 times
Reputation: 5579
Hi Gang,

Did not get that job at MSU. Drat! Just letting you know I enjoyed "visiting" with folks. Could possibly move to Montana someday, but does not look near as likely without a job! In any case, a great CD board with a nice balance of knowledge, friendliness and wry humor!

All the best,
Fiddlehead
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