Advising

Students interested in the Climate Change Studies minor should meet with the Program Director, Nicky Phear, who will advise students on planning their course sequence, register them into the minor, and sign their application for a minor the semester before they graduate.

Nicky Phear

Climate Change Studies Program Director & Instructor

Davidson Honors College Rm. 116
nicky.phear@umontana.edu | 406-243-6932 
Office Hours: Tuesdays 2:30-4:00 pm and Wednesdays 1:00-2:30 pm, and by appointment

Nicky Phear was instrumental in developing the Climate Change Studies minor, working with more than twenty University of Montana faculty members from across campus to develop the degree program, which began in 2009. She now oversees the program, teaches the introductory Climate Change: Science and Society course, and leads experiential learning opportunities for students through internships, practicums, and field courses. Nicky has advised and mentored nearly 150 students through UM’s Climate Change Studies program, and her support and encouragement have assisted many students in earning prestigious scholarships and national awards.

Nicky’s programming works to inspire student engagement, critical thinking, and creative problem solving. She developed an internship program that empowers students to work on climate and clean energy solutions and leads an Eco-Rep program, which trains students to serve as sustainability advocates and educators within the residence halls. She co-created the innovative Cycle the Rockies course for the Wild Rockies Field Institute, which teaches students about energy and climate change as they bicycle across Montana. She also developed a similar course: the Bhutan Ride for Climate, a cross-cultural bike tour across Bhutan focused on energy and climate. In addition, Nicky works closely with the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center to lead a study abroad course in Vietnam about climate change effects and adaptation in the Mekong Delta, and serves as an Academic Director for the Young Southeast Asian Leadership Initiative.  

Nicky is a founding member of Climate Smart Missoula, has led numerous campus and community climate discussions, is a member of UM’s inaugural Women’s Leadership Initiative, and has served as co-principal investigator on several federal grants. She has a BA in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, an MS in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana, and a PhD in Sustainability Education from Prescott College. In 2016, she won national recognition for her leadership and achievement in education, receiving a Clean Energy Education & Empowerment (C3E) Award from the U.S. Department of Energy in collaboration with the Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy and the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI). This award recognizes mid-career women for outstanding leadership and achievement in driving clean energy projects in various sectors. Hear her talk about the award and her passion for the Climate Change Studies program on the Dept. of Energy podcast "Direct Current."

Program Overview 
Provides a summary of degree requirements and available courses

Upcoming 2018 Courses


Nicky Phear

Sarah Luth

Climate Change Studies Program Assistant

SarahLuth.jpgSarah Luth is a senior in the Davidson Honors College at the University of Montana. She is a community health major with minors in global public health and climate change studies. Her passion for the natural environment stemmed from hiking with her family as a kid in national parks and forests such as Mount Rainier in Washington. She now enjoys hiking, biking, and skiing in Montana as well as playing ultimate Frisbee.

The climate change studies program has allowed Sarah to learn and grow more passionate about climate change as a complex yet solvable issue. Through experiences like hiking to Grinnell Glacier in the intro class, learning about the communication of climate science in Steve Schwarze’s class, and studying global climate issues in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam Sarah has come to realize that climate change will be a major area of focus for her throughout her life. Since joining the climate change studies program she has completed internships with Free Cycles and Environment Montana, and is currently the CCS program assistant. Sarah hopes to go into the Peace Corps post graduation and eventually to graduate school.