Associated Faculty

The University of Montana has numerous faculty with interests compatible with work in environmental philosophy. Some examples of faculty that have served on recent philosophy graduate committees are highlighted below.

Peter Landres

Peter Landres

Peter is an Ecologist at the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute in Missoula, Montana, which is the only group of federal scientists devoted to wilderness research. Peter has been at the Leopold Institute since it was founded in 1993. Peter received a Ph.D. from Utah State University in 1981, and was a university professor at the University of Puget Sound and the University of Colorado at Boulder for five years teaching biology, ecology, evolution, environmental science, and conservation biology before becoming a federal research scientist. Peter works daily with wilderness managers to help him understand and define critical research needs for improving wilderness stewardship. Peter's job is to develop the knowledge, strategies, and tools to improve the ecological management of wilderness throughout the United States. Peter is currently working on 1) Building ways to strengthen wilderness planning, management, and monitoring based on the concept of wilderness character; 2) Developing guidelines to evaluate proposals for scientific activities in wilderness and improve communication between wilderness managers and scientists; 3) Developing guidelines to evaluate whether to use active ecological restoration or a hands-off approach in wilderness.

David L. Moore

David L. Moore

David L. Moore is Professor of English at the University of Montana. His fields of research and teaching at graduate and undergraduate levels include cross-cultural American Studies, Native American literatures, Western American literatures, Peace Studies, Baha’i Studies, literature and the environment, and ecocritical and dialogical critical theory. He has taught previously at the University of South Dakota, Salish Kootenai College, University of Washington, and Cornell University. His book, entitled ‘That Dream Shall Have a Name”: Native Americans Rewriting America, is published by the University of Nebraska Press. He currently is editing a collection of essays on prominent author Leslie Marmon Silko, contracted with Bloomsbury Academic Publishers in the UK. Other publications include an edited volume of American Indian Quarterly as well as numerous articles and chapters. He also co-hosts Reflections West, a short weekly literary program on Montana Public Radio. He lives with his family in Missoula, Montana.

Cara Nelson

Cara Nelson

Cara Nelson is an Associate Professor in the Ecosystem Sciences and Conservation Department at University of Montana, the Director of the University’s Ecological Restoration Program, and Chair of the international Society for Ecological Restoration. Cara’s research and teaching aim to increase knowledge about ecological processes and their application to the restoration of terrestrial ecosystems. Specifically, she and her students study: 1) the effects of abiotic and biotic disturbance on vegetation, 2) the efficacy and ecological impacts of restoration treatments, and 3) the conceptual basis for ecological restoration. Cara is active in efforts to increase awareness among educators and decision makers about knowledge and training needed to improve the quality of restoration practice.

Sara Rinfret

Sara Rinfret

Sara Rinfret is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Montana, Missoula where she teaches courses at the undergraduate and graduate level on regulatory policy, environmental policy, public policy, public administration, and American politics. Her main area of research is focused on environmental regulations. More specifically, she is interested in the interactions between agencies and interest groups during the stages of environmental rulemaking at the federal and state level. To date, her work has been published in Society and Natural Resources, Environmental Politics, Review of Policy Research, Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, PS: Political Science and Politics, and the Oxford Handbook of U.S. Environmental Policy. She co-authored The Lilliputians of Environmental Regulation: The Perspective of State Regulators with Michelle Pautz. And most recently, her environmental policy textbook, U.S. Environmental Policy: A Practical Approach to Understanding Implementation was released in paperback with Palgrave (also co-written with Michelle Pautz). 

Dane Scott

Dane Scott

Dr. Dane Scott is the Director of the Mansfield Ethics and Public Affairs Program at The University of Montana and Associate Professor of Ethics in the W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Vanderbilt University, an M.A. in philosophical theology from the Graduate Theological Union and a B.S. in soil science from the University of California Riverside.  He is currently Principle Investigator on a National Science Foundation project, “The Ethics of Geoengineering: Investigating the Moral Challenges of Solar Radiation Management.” Dr. Scott’s primary research interests are in ethics and technology policy and philosophy of technology. He has published numerous articles and book chapters examining the ethical and philosophical implications of geoengineering and biotechnology. Prior to moving to Montana, Dr. Scott was Associate Dean of the Honors College at Western Carolina University, as well as director of the Humanities program. He has taught philosophy at Western Carolina University, Wake Forest University, and Vanderbilt University.

Dan Spencer

Dan Spencer

Dan Spencer is Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and has taught at The University of Montana since 2002. Some of his areas of teaching and research interest include ecological ethics, ethical issues in ecological restoration, the relationship between religion, spirituality, and the environment, and globalization, justice, and environmental issues in Latin America. He was born and raised in California and Colorado, and received his B.A. in Geology from Carleton College, Minnesota in 1979, and his Master's (1983) and Ph.D. (1994) in Environmental Ethics from Union Theological Seminary, New York. He is the author of Gay and Gaia: Ethics, Ecology and the Erotic, published by The Pilgrim Press (1996).