Since 2005, the Bolle Center for People and Forests has been directed by Jill M. Belsky. Dr. Belsky is Professor of Rural and Environmental Sociology in the Dept. of Society and Conservation in the College of Forestry and Conservation. Dr. Belsky received her Ph.D. in 1991 from Cornell University in Rural and Environmental Sociology with an emphasis on Natural Resources and Agriculture. Her research over the years has been conducted in Asia (Bhutan, Indonesia, Philippines), Belize and Western Montana and has focused on the intersection of livelihood practices and participatory forest conservation strategies, including efforts to create or restore community-owned forests and community-based forest management. Under her directorship the Bolle Center has focussed on three programmatic areas: 1) Conducting participatory research, 2) Supporting collaborative conservation and 3) Building integrated forestry and conservation education. With regard to the first two areas, she (and many of her graduate students) have responded to local watershed and community-based organizations' requests to generate social science information and to build their own research/monitoring capacity on forest conservation, restoration, land acquisition, fuel reduction and sustainable economic development. Most recently they assisted with information on landowners' views and concerns for the Montana Legacy Project and the Blackfoot Community Project. She pursues the third focal area by organizing panels, conferences and other programs on and off the University of Montana campus on timely topics related to the intersection of people and forests, and providing consultation on cross-disciplinary and integrated forest and conservation curricula program development both at home and abroad.
Dr. Alex Metcalf joins the Bolle Center as Assistant Director in January of 2013. He joins The University of Montana as Assistant Research Professor of Society and Resource Management in the Department of Forest Management in the College of Forestry and Conservation. Dr. Metcalf received his Ph.D. in 2010 from The Pennsylvania State University in Forest Resources and the Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment. His research, teaching, and outreach interests center broadly on the interaction of human and ecological systems. Dr. Metcalf uses theories and methodologies from sociology and psychology to address natural resource issues, particularly the effects of social and ecological change on forests, rangeland, and watersheds. He is also interested in spatial analysis and has expertise using GIS to explore the biophysical and social dimensions of natural resource issues. Much of his work has focused on private landowners; understanding how beliefs, values, and attitudes influence behavior and inform outreach and extension efforts. He has worked with forest owner groups, watershed groups, wood products organizations, and other stakeholders and communities to create dialogue and develop collaborative solutions to natural resource issues. Dr. Metcalf is eager to build relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders to understand and help improve the sustainability of resource-dependent communities, human-environment interactions at the wildland-urban interface, the decision-making processes of private landowners, and wildlife and recreation management at the local and statewide scales.
Dr. Nie received his Ph.D. from Northern Arizona University in Political Science. He currently is Professor of Natural Resource Policy in the Dept. of Society and Conservation in the College of Forestry and Conservation. His research and teaching focus on public lands and resources policy, environmental policy, property, and conservation strategies and tools. He has a particular interest in political conflict and public lands governance-the political institutions and decision making processes used to handle difficult policy problems. Dr. Nie assists the Bolle Center by providing policy analyses and briefs which are frequently distributed on the web and as reports, and organizing panels and lectures on current issues related to forest and natural resource policy and governance.
Brianna (Bri) Ewert, received her M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana in 2012 with a focus in sustainable agriculture. Her B.A.is from Harvard University in Psychology. She has previously held numerous jobs related to teaching, writing and editing. She serves as the Assistant Editor of Society & Natural Resources, an international flagship journal pertaining to relationships between social and biophyscial systems which the Bolle Center Director, Jill Belsky, serves as editor-in-chief from 2012-2015 .