News and Events

Instructors Needed

The Department of Geography at the University of Montana, Missoula, invites applications for adjunct instructors during any semester(s) as needed from Spring 2017 through Summer 2018 for traditional classroom courses and/or online courses in the following areas: introductory courses in human, physical, and world regional geography; GPHY 385 Field Techniques; special regional courses (North America, Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia); and others. Please read the entire job description.

Our Latest Publications

Dr. Ulrich Kamp is the invited editor of the special issue on the "Cryosphere" for the journal "Geosciences" by MDPI, Switzerland. For more information about this volume and the submission process, check out this webpage.

Nyland, K.E., A.E. Klene, J. Brown, F.E. Nelson, N.I. Shiklomanov, D.A. Streletskiy, and K. Yoshikawa. 2017. Traditional Iñupiat Ice Cellars (Siġ-uaq) in Barrow, Alaska: Characteristics, Temperature Monitoring and Distribution. Geographical Review, Special Issue: Arctic 2017, DOI: 10.1111/j.1931-0846.2016.12204.x.

Kamp, U. 2017. Glaciations. In: Richardson D., N. Castree, M.M. Goodchild, A. Kobayashi, W. Liu, R.A. Marston (Eds.), The International Encyclopedia of Geography: People, the Earth, Environment, and Technology, John Wiley & Sons, DOI: 10.1002/9781118786352.

Spring 2017

Dr. Sarah Halvorson and Dr. Ulrich Kamp received a grant from United Nations Environment (UNE) for their project "Enhancing the Curricula for the Environmental Science Faculty, Kabul University, Afghanistan” as part of UNE’s program “Building Environmental Resilience in Afghanistan” (BERA) that takes a collaborative approach to crosscutting capacity development and intersectoral coordination to building resilience in Afghanistan. Key areas of the project include curriculum mapping, integrating practical components, developing comprehensive course and professional training packages, as well as integrating a quality assurance framework into curricula. The team also includes graduate students Ashley Juric and Meghan Montgomery as well as Ph.D. students Caleb Pan and Kelly Franklin, who also works as Environmental Education Expert for UNE's Afghanistan Country Programme.    

Graduate student Rebecca Kranitz hit the Spotlight for the National Council for Geographic Education. Read about her story and experience in our program!

Geography's famous "Polebridge" field course (GPHY 144 Montana's Mountains) led by Dr. Sarah Halvorson and Lecturer Rick Graetz has been featured in the Missoulian. Check it out!

Polebridge in Winter, 2017 Polebridge Course Group 2017

Graduate student Jonathan Byers received a stipend from the Montana Water Center for his research project "Remote Sensing of Snowpack in the Bitterroot Mountains of Montana Using Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)."

Dr. Ulrich Kamp has been invited to serve on the editorial board of the "Journal of Mountain Science" by Springer.

Fall 2016

Geography graduate student Rebecca Kranitz is the top winner of the 99 Problems Contest this fall. The contest was initiated by UM's Blackstone Launchpad, with a first place prize of $750 to support the student's efforts to address an identified problem affecting the campus community. Rebecca's project "Increasing Geographic Literacy at UM" competed against 10 other project and received 45% of the online votes.

Geography Lecturer Kevin McManigal’s presentation on the Panthera project at the North American Cartographic Information Society meeting received a standing ovation!

Geography Lecturer Kevin McManigal and Shonna Trowbridge won the Great Owl Award for their 'Certificate in GIS Science & Technologies' website in the 'Best Study Page' category of the 2016 UM Pinecone Award competition.

Graduate student Jonathan Byers received for his work "Memories of Ice: The Changing Landscape of Patagonia" the 1st Place Award of the GIS Day 2016 – ArcGIS Online Map Contest, Montana Association of Geographic Information Professionals (MAGIP).

The Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) initiative, funded through USAID and several US Government (USG) supported agencies and administered by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), awarded a grant to Mrs. Fahimeh Salehi from the Green Social Research Organization in Herat, Afghanistan, Dr. Daniel Fagre from USGS, and Dr. Ulrich Kamp for their project "Impact of Climate Change on Runoff from Glaciers, Snow and Rainfall in the Pamir and Hindu Kush Mountains: A Comparison of the Amu Darya and Kabul River Basins". The team also includes Ph.D. student Caleb Pan.

Dr. Fernando Sanchez-Trigueros and Dr. Alan Watson (USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station) received three grants from the US Forest Service"Tribal GIS on the Flathead Reservation: the contribution of local and technical knowledge in adaptation planning for forest management", "Guidance for federal managers in the Bighorn Basin to incorporate local traditional phenological knowledge into climate-related disturbance restoration", and "Land management trends on tribal lands and comparison with values and benefits in federal wilderness areas: national review and case studies in the Northern Rio Grande Basin". The collaboration responds to an increasing attention in government and academia to climate-change resilience of coupled human-environment systems, and focuses on GIS applications for multi-stakeholder problem-solving and adaptive natural resource management. Outreach activities are also planned in partnership with the UM Elouise Cobell Land and Culture Institute, the Little Big Horn College on the Crow Reservation, the Tribal Forestry Department on the Flathead Reservation, and the Taos Pueblo in New Mexico.

Dr. Fernando Sanchez-Trigueros is a new instructor in our department. His background is in GIScience with foci on systems thinking, soft computing, and others. Learn more about Dr. Sanchez-Trigueros on his webpage.

Brendan Hoover graduated with a M.S. in Geography with option in GIS and Cartography in 2013. He is currently a Ph.D. Student at the University of Texas, Austin in the Department of Geography and the Environment, where he is developing new ways to quantify the interaction of Animals using GPS-Telemetry data. Brendan recently received a Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Energy, which allowed him to do research at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). At LANL Brendan worked to develop a software tool that models pipeline networks for CO₂ sequestration.

Summer 2016

Dr. Ulrich Kamp and graduate student Jonathan Byers carried out a fieldwork for their project "Glacier and Snow Monitoring Using Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Flights in the Rocky Mountains of Montana", a collaboration with Empire Unmanned and Dr. Daniel Fagre from USGS.  

Dr. Ulrich Kamp received a grant from the U.S. Geological Service for the project "Snow Avalanche Information System (SAIS) for Glacier National Park, Montana". Graduate student Morgan Voss and Ph.D. student Caleb Pan are part of the UM research team that collaborates with Dr. Daniel Fagre from USGS.

Spring 2016

Dr. Anna Klene was promoted to Full Professor effective Fall semester 2016. 

The UM GIS & T Certificate Committee is happy to announce that the 2016 MontanaView Remote Sensing Scholarship winners are Ms. Rachel Powers, Systems Ecology, project titled "Using NAIP Imagery to Assess Riparian Ecosystem Succession Following Fire Disturbance on the North Fork of the Flathead River"; and Mr. Nicholas Kline, Geography, project titled: "Socio-economic Reorganization in Response to Climate Change: A GIS Application in Vietnam's Mekong Delta". The 2016 Zurring\MAGIP GIS Scholarship winner is Mr. Philip W. Williams, Forestry, project titled: "Autonomous Aerial Systems For Wildfire Management In Montana". Congratulations to Rachel, Nick, and Philip! 

The 60-year celebration of UM Geography (on 4-28) was a great event with fine refreshments, slideshow, and a brief program on our history with highlights of faculty and student awards. The Liquid Galaxy turned out to be a major attraction! Nice to see our students, staff and faculty, administrators and Friends of Geography mix and mingle, chat and laugh.

Geography Open House 2016

Geography 60 years

Verena Henners received the first place award for a Web Map / Application presented at the Montana Association of Geographic Information Professionals 2016 Intermountain GIS Conference in Great Falls. Verena is a student in GIS classes instructed by Lecturers Kevin McManigal and Kyle Balke. Her awarded app is an Esri Storymap about recent refugees to Europe.

Congratulations to Dr. David Shively for receiving the 2016 the Excellence in Teaching across the Curriculum Award of the College of Humanities & Sciences. The award recognizes full-time, tenure line faculty who offer superior teaching at both the upper (300+) and lower (100-200) levels of the curriculum. Student advising and mentoring (especially at the undergraduate level), and accessibility to students beyond the norm is highly valued as well. The award will be presented by the H&S Advisory Board at the Fourth Annual Humanities & Sciences Dialogue event on Thursday, April 14, 7 pm, Interdisciplinary Science Building Room 110. Students and alumni are invited to attend.

Lecturer Kevin McManigal has secured a grant extension from Panthera, the world’s premiere big cat conservation organization. He and his students are working on creating a set of 10 topographic maps of the Manas National Park in India. The paper sheets will be the highest-resolution maps ever created of the park and will help define and secure vital ground for the tigers. Recently, the first version of the maps were used in a very successful Ranger training in India (see pictures below).

Panthera project students and maps

Several UM Geographers shared their research at the 2016 American Association of Geographers national meeting in San Francisco, March 29 to April 2. Dr. Diep Dao presented on Linking Daily Travel Mobility and Pain Experience. Dr. Jeffrey Gritzner served as discussant and panelist in the session Local economy flattening by extractive industries and obstacles to human-environmental resilience: evidence and policy implications from Africa and Latin America. Dr. Ulrich Kamp shared his research on Glaciers and Stream Flow in the Amu Darya and Syr Darya Basins, Pamir and Tien Shan Mountains. Dr. Christiane von Reichert presented the paper Migration and Spatial Patterns of Disability. Sophia Albov spoke about Closing the Biomass Loop: Impacts on the Rural Agricultural Geography in Hyvinkää, Finland. Lillie Greiman displayed the poster The geography of home for people with disabilities. Andrew Myers’ poster focused on Person-Environment Fit in Rural Communities: Toward an Ecology of Disability.
The AAG meeting is the largest gathering of geographers on earth.

Dr. Sarah J. Halvorson, geography professor at the University of Montana, recently received a Fulbright Fellowship to conduct research on climate change perceptions and adaptation scenarios in the south-central European country of Slovenia during spring semester 2016. Her research concentrates on the social, health and policy aspects of water-related problems, including the implications of climate change for the governance of mountain watersheds and community water supplies. While in Slovenia, she will collaborate with other geographers and environmental social scientists to focus on two major projects: an assessment of experiences and observations of climate change risk and vulnerability among Slovenia’s mountain communities; and an analysis of the perceived effectiveness of current climate change policies and planning tools. Dr. Halvorson also will deliver guest lectures in environmental geography courses at the Univerza v Ljubljani (University of Ljubljana) and the Visoka Šola za Varstvo Okalja (College of Environmental Protection), her second institutional host, which is located in Velenje. During her stay, she plans to contribute to field courses and work on geography education outreach activities in collaboration with Slovenian colleagues. (Picture: Dr. Irena Mrak, left, and Dr. Sarah Halvorson tour a gorge in the southeastern Alps while visiting a citizen science site to plan an event there later this year).

Dr. Irena Mrak, left, and UM Professor Sarah Halvorson tour a gorge in the southeastern Alps while visiting a citizen science site to plan an event there later this year.

Kelly Franklin, Ph.D. student in the Systems Ecology program is working for the project “Current Status and Needs for Enhancing the Curricula for the Department of Natural Disaster Management, Kabul University, Afghanistan” of the U.N. Environment Programme. The team also includes her advisor Dr. Sarah Halvorson as well as Dr. Ulrich Kamp and student Shah Faisal Khan. The team will develop several syllabi for new courses.

Caleb Pan, Ph.D. student in the Systems Ecology program, received a research grant of almost $10,000 from the U.S. Embassy in Mongolia for his project "Capacity Building for Environmental Monitoring in the Altai Mountains of Western Mongolia". Caleb is spending ten months in Mongolia as a Fulbright fellow. Part of the project is a 6-day workshop about climate change and snow leopard habitats in collaboration with WWF Mongolia. The project also aims to install weather stations in higher elevations for a long-term monitoring. 

Rachel Powers, graduate students in the Systems Ecology program, received a research grant from the Montana Water Center for her thesis project "Riparian Ecosystem Succession Following Fire Disturbance on the North Fork Flathead River, Montana." 

Paul Paeth, a senior in Geography, recently returned from studying abroad in Chile. Paul benefitted tremendously from this opportunity and highly recommends it to others. Several students studied or are going to study in Argentina, Austria, New Zealand, Schotland, and more. The Geography Department strongly encourages studying abroad and coursework from abroad can be applied toward meeting degree requirements. For details on tranferring requirements or electives, students planning on studying abroad should see their advisor.

During the 2016 wintersession, undergraduate and graduate students from Geography and allied disciplines enrolled in a 2-week workshop on WebGIS, instructed by Geography adjunct faculty Kyle Balke.