The public is invited to a public meeting Thursday to comment on a brucellosis quarantine facility for bison.

The meeting will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the community center in Gardiner.

The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services are running a quarantine facility near Corwin Springs that now holds about 100 bison calves that have tested free of brucellosis.

The plan is to put them through a series of tests. Researchers hope to produce certified disease-free bison after about four years.

However, to complete that process, the agencies must receive permits for stages two and three of the program.

Public comment will be gathered on those stages of the program.

Some bison advocates criticize the quarantine experiment because they say there are no plans outlined for where any disease-free bison would be released and because they say agencies should focus instead on finding bison habitat closer to Yellowstone.

The deadline for accepting written or e-mail public comment has been extended to Feb. 27.

More information is available at FWP's Web site at www.fwp.mt.gov

A scientist from Diversa Corporation of California will discuss everyday applications for heat-loving organisms at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Emerson Cultural Center.

Eric Mathur is vice president of molecular diversity and scientific affairs at Diversa, a company that applies genomic technologies to develop novel products from genes and gene pathways. His lecture, "Hot stuff and how it works," will be preceded by hors d'oeuvres at 6:30 p.m., hosted by Montana State University's Thermal Biology Institute.

For information contact Martha Sellers at marthab@montana.edu, or 994-7039.

Another AARP Driver Safety Program, formerly known as 55 Alive, will be offered Thursday and Friday at Aspen Pointe, 1201 Highland Blvd., Bozeman.

Sequential sessions run from 1 to 5 p.m., each day.

Advance registration is required, along with a $10-per-student class fee. To register, a driver age 50 or above must send a $10 check, payable to "AARP," to Aspen Pointe at the above address, attention AARP; a telephone number must be included on the check. Call 556-2000 or 586-0770 to register, but registration is not complete until the class fee has been received.

The program will also be offered Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 22-23, at the Belgrade Senior Center, 92 Cameron Ave., Belgrade. Participants may send a $10 check, made out to "AARP," to the Belgrade Senior Center at the above address, attention AARP; a telephone number must be on the check. Call 388-4711 or 586-0770 to register, but registration is not complete until the class fee has been received.

Trustees with the Belgrade Board of Education will discuss the guidance-counselor-to-student ratio at their meeting Tuesday night.

For the past two years, the Belgrade school district has experimented with an alternative standard, meaning it used licensed professionals to supplement the work of the district's counselors.

The district's counselors, however, have indicated that they would prefer to hire additional part-time counselors to work in the schools.

The state requires that one counselor be available for every 400 students, but it had granted Belgrade a 2-year exemption.

Trustees will also examine student population projects for next year.

The school board meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday, at the Belgrade School District Office, 312 N. Weaver St.