Environmental Studies Faculty
Fletcher Brown Associate ProfessorOffice: 106 College of Education and Human Sciences
Fletcher Brown holds a joint appointment in the Environmental Studies Department in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Teaching and Learning Department in the School of Education. Brown comes to the University of Montana from Miami University where he received a Ph.D. in Botany and Science Education and from Antioch New England Graduate School were he received a MS in Environmental Education. At the University of Montana he teaches graduate courses in Environmental Education and at the undergraduate level teaches courses in conservation education. His research interests focus on the effects of instruction approaches on students' understanding and attitudes about science and the environment, curriculum development and assessment, characterizing classroom learning environments, and accreditation efforts in Environmnetal Education at colleges and Universities.
Phil Condon ProfessorOffice: JRH 107A
My twin passions seem a single paradox: written language and beyond-human nature. Yet as Rilke said about living the questions, why not live the paradox? Explore a sentence, delighting in its words, tropes, and tensions; watch a plant grow, speechless before the power in its seeds, buds, and blooms; wander a forest, laughing and lost in its trees, shadows, and sunshine. The world is hurt and yet it helps us beyond all pain. Read, write, walk, revise: healing, changing, insisting on the fairer vision. Our voices stutter, even shatter, and yet they still sing strong. Come: let’s talk.
Neva Hassanein ProfessorOffice: JRH 101A, Rankin Hall
Each of us impacts the world every day. What will that impact be? How can we individually and collectively build a more sustainable, resilient, and just world? These questions drive me. I aim to learn answers from interdisciplinary theory and research, and from civic engagement, community practice, and meaningful reflection. In turn, I hope to inspire experiential, participatory, relevant, and self-directed learning. Much of my work revolves around food and agriculture, which are central to all of our lives and to the health of the planet. My students and I have contributed to a variety of regional food and agricultural initiatives through research, internships, and projects. I have written on sustainable agriculture, food democracy, policy, and community-based food systems. I am interested in land use planning, organizational development, environmental policy, and gender studies.
Rosalyn La Pier Associate ProfessorOffice: Jeannette Rankin Hall 017
I am an award winning Indigenous writer, ethnobotanist, and environmental historian. In my writing and public speaking I blend traditional ecological knowledge learned from elders with academic research. My third book project "Plants That Purify: The Natural and Supernatural History of Smudging," explores Blackfeet concepts of purity, purification and traditional ecological knowledge.
Robin Saha Associate ProfessorOffice: JRH 018
Fax: (406) 243-6090
In the Environmental Studies Program, we study and learn, but we also make positive social and environmental change happen while we’re studying and learning. As an EVST professor, I love involving students in real-world collaborative problem-solving using service learning, citizen science, action research and policy analysis. My students and I are actively involved in environmental justice causes, local climate action, and campus and community sustainability initiatives. We use community-engaged participatory research to address pressing environmental problems in an ethical way. And because environmental problems disproportionately affect certain places and segments of society, we seek to understand the causes and consequences of racial and socioeconomic disparities, prompt meaningful industry and government responses, and work to empower communities adversely impacted by problems such as toxic contamination and the effects of climate change, including tribal communities in Montana. If studying and working in these areas is something that you are passionate about too, I invite you to contact me or my colleagues and consider applying to our program where you will expand the boundaries of your knowledge and impact.
Josh Slotnick PEAS Farm Director, LecturerEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a vegetable grower by training, a teacher through practice, and everything I do feels like cooperative community development. I have the great good fortune to spend most of my time working with our students on the PEAS farm, a 9.75 acre vegetable farm, a bike ride from campus. We run the farm in partnership with a local non-profit, Garden City Harvest, and my work with students and the farm often overlap with the mission of the non-profit: education for anyone who walks through the gate and wants to join in, beautiful food for those with the least access to it, and the opportunity for personal growth for all. We operate the farm by the grace of our community and the biological character of this place, learning those parameters is on ongoing project. In the off season I teach on campus, play pond hockey and talk about food and farming wherever I am invited.
Dan Spencer ProfessorOffice: JRH 103
I am a child of the West, but have spent significant time overseas working on human rights and social change issues. I am particularly passionate about three primary areas of interest that inform my teaching and research: community participation in ecological restoration, environmental and social justice issues connected to economic globalization, and the intersection of religion, ecology, and environmental ethics. Giving students first hand experience with peoples in different contexts is particularly important to me, whether that be campesinos in Nicaragua growing fair trade coffee, shrimp farmers in Vietnam combatting the effects of climate change and sea level rise, or ranchers in Montana's Deer Lodge valley engaged in conservation ranching in the midst of a Superfund clean up of the Clark Fork River. I love thinking, writing about, and engaging ethical issues at the intersection of ecological sustainability and social justice. If these are of interest to you as well, please join me in our joint endeavors!
Vicki Watson ProfessorOffice: Natural Science 101
Born on a Texas prairie farm, I grew up watching my parents struggle to protect our creek from upstream pollution--a battle we still fight today. My research, teaching and service focus on watershed CPR (conservation, preservation, restoration). While researching water quality issues for federal, state & local government, I helped develop Montana’s water quality standards and monitoring system and US nutrient criteria . Much of my work focuses on Montana's Clark Fork River Basin which contains wilderness, working lands, and the country’s largest Superfund complex. I monitor the basin for the state, organize Clark Fork Symposia and helped develop the Clark Fork part of the state water plan. While serving as PI on $3 million in grants over the past 30 years, I provide pro bono assistance through the Watershed Clinic. My classes emphasize research and community service. My former students work in government, nonprofits, and environmental consulting.
Theresa Duncan Adjunct InstructorOffice: JRH 016
Two things have held me in their spell since childhood: water and books. Either can mesmerize me in an instant. Letter stacked upon letter, word upon word, the power of the written word is equal to that of the power of water. A calm surface does not always indicate a boring ride.
Written words have always sustained me. I learned to homeschool my three now-grown children from the books of others. I remain captivated by the power of a well-formed question to spark my curiosity, to inspire me to look more closely at the world around me. I learned about gardening, canning, and raising chickens, geese, and sheep on our subsistence farm from the experiences of others written in books. The history of the Bitterroot Valley I call home and other landscapes, both pristine and damaged, are revealed through the lens of the written word. I explore my own relationship to others and to the natural world through reading, writing, and perhaps most importantly, listening and reasoning with others.
I am fortunate to have been mentored by great writers such as Phil Condon, David James Duncan (no relation, sadly), Sharman Apt Russell, and Beth McHugh. Other favorite writers include Annick Smith, Ellen Meloy, Aldo Leopold, Craig Childs, and Terry Tempest Williams. Whether through real-life relationship or one from the written page, all of these writers and so many more inspire me to ask questions, to see through the writer’s lens, to consider a different possibility. That is what I hope to inspire in my students - the wonder and the power of the written word.
Melissa Mylchreest Adjunct ProfessorOffice: Rankin 016
I did an interview with Late Night Library a couple of years ago, and they asked what ingredients go into the recipe of my writing style. This is what I told them, and I think it encapsulates me - and the things I write about - pretty well:
"Wonderment. Woodsmoke. High wind. Compassion. Rural America. Salmon, bears, dogs, horses, and birds of all kinds. Ponderosas and oaks. Trucks, chainsaws, and coffee. Fragility and fierceness. The human animal. Oceans and rivers. Women and men. Old knowledge from around the world."