Lab Members

Featured Content

Dr. Elizabeth Covelli Metcalf

Dr. Libby Metcalf is an Associate Professor of Recreation & Natural Resource Management in the W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation at the University of Montana.  In 2011, Dr. Metcalf received a dual Ph.D. at the Pennsylvania State University in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Management and the Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment.  Her research interests generally center around recreation management issues, wildlife related issues, and understanding complex social-ecological systems.  Dr. Metcalf’s theoretical approach is based in social-psychology and often includes the examination of attitudes, values, and beliefs.  Dr. Metcalf has worked on statewide studies examining outdoor recreation, hunter recruitment and retention issues, and river management.  Her more recent work has focused on larger social-ecological systems such as the social dimensions of river restoration and wildlife management.  Dr. Metcalf utilizes structural equation modeling in social data analysis and has been working with other researchers to develop models to couple human and natural systems.  Along with her research, Dr. Metcalf is a dedicated teacher where she provides field-based opportunities for her undergraduate students including field trips and internships.  At the graduate level, Dr. Metcalf offers seminar style courses and close mentoring for her advisees.  Libby is also an avid runner and outdoor enthusiast, favoring activities that include sunshine and water.  Her favorite place to recreate is the upper Blackfoot River where she enjoys floating and fishing with her family.

Dr. Elizabeth Covelli Metcalf

Dr. Alexander L. Metcalf

Dr. Alex Metcalf is an Assistant Research Professor of Society & Resource Management in the Department of Society & Conservation in the W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation at the University of Montana where he serves on the Resource Conservation, Wildlife Biology, and the interdisciplinary Systems Ecology faculties. Dr. Metcalf recieved a dual Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University in Forest Resources and the Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment. His research focuses broadly on the human dimensions of natural resources. Dr. Metcalf uses theories and methodologies from sociology- and psychology-related disciplines to address natural resource issues while advancing theory. He employs qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods in his research, including spatial (GIS) techniques, to understand relationships between humans and the environment, and the consequences of conservation behavior across scales. Dr. Metcalf is particularly interested in understanding the factors which drive conservation decisions by private landowners, including the cross boundary realities of many natural resources; using theories of social-ecological system dynamics to inform management toward desired outcomes; improving the use and measurement of attitudes, beliefs, and values in agency and NGO decisions and outreach/extension; and helping ensure people and communities are fairly and meaningfully engaged in natural resources decision-making processes. Dr. Metcalf has oriented his research toward a variety of natural resource contexts and issues including forest management and restoration, private land conservation, fire policy and management, invasive species control, and human-wildlife conflict. Dr. Metcalf enjoys teaching at all levels, including in his freshmen intro to natural resoure conservation class (NRSM 121) and the field compliment (NRSM 215), his upper-division course on natural resource decisions (NRSM 379), and a graduate course on theories used in human dimensions research (NRSM 574). Dr. Metcalf serves on the System's Ecology Graduate Admission committe, the College's Graduate Education committee, the University's Undergraduate Research committee, and the ASCRC General Education subcommitee on Social Science.

Dr. Alexander L. Metcalf

Peter Metcalf - PhD candidate

Peter Metcalf (no relation) is a Ph.D. student in Forestry and Conservation.  His research interests focus on the human dimensions of wildlife management, ecological restoration, public lands management and river conservation with the aim to find socially viable solutions to natural resource issues.  He has TA’d for the Wilderness and Civilization Program and teaches for the Wild Rockies Field Institute.  Metcalf grew up in western Oregon and earned a B.A. in English Literature from Whitworth College.  After graduation he moved to Montana to guide backpacking trips in and around the Bob Marshall Wilderness for a summer and never looked back. His love for wild places later led him to work as a whitewater river guide, first in Alaska and then in Montana and Idaho. Along the way he took time to earn an M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana, work as a journalist and to teach college field courses in Montana and Central America.  Prior to joining the Metcalf Human Dimensions Lab, Peter worked most recently as the Operations Manager for ROW Adventures, Idaho’s largest family-owned adventure travel company. When he’s not researching, teaching or writing about the American West, he enjoys running, telemark skiing, boating, fly fishing, hunting, birding, reading and following the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team. 

CHCB 446 | peter1.metcalf@umontana.edu | Office Hours: By Appointment

Peter Metcalf - PhD candidate

Alice Lubeck, M.S. Candidate, Resource Conservation

Alice Lubeck came to the University of Montana in the Fall of 2016 to pursue an M.S. in Resource Conservation. Her research focuses on collective action among private landowners in Montana, and specifically what cross-boundary variables are considered as landowners to decide whether or not to manage invasive plants. She graduated from Oberlin College in 2014 with a B.A. in Geology and a minor in Environmental Studies. Since then, Alice has roamed the West doing environmental education in Custer State Park and Teton Science Schools in Jackson, WY. She has also lead backpacking trips with the Y out of Seattle, and was the Assistant Director for the Seattle Country Day School after-school program. In her free time Alice enjoys going on long runs, playing Boggle, and cooking nice meals while listening to Beyoncé. 

Alice Lubeck, M.S. Candidate, Resource Conservation

Conor Phelan, M.S. Candidate, Resource Conservation, ICD option

Conor Phelan began to pursue an M.S. in Resource Conservation at the University of Montana in the Fall of 2016. Conor's research is focused on combining geospatial technologies with big consumer data to create efficiencies in environmentally-related outreach efforts. Previously, he attended the University of Richmond, VA where he graduated with a B.S. in Biology and Geography in 2013. Following graduation Conor spent a summer as an SCA intern with the National Park Service in the Alaskan interior before heading off to the Chesapeake Conservancy for 3 years where he worked in the GIS lab applying advanced geospatial and remote sensing analysis techniques to the many conservation issues plaguing the Chesapeake Bay watershed. When not working on maps in an official capacity, Conor can be found poring over them while planning some sort of mountain bike, backcountry ski, backpacking, kayak or trail running adventure.

Conor Phelan, M.S. Candidate, Resource Conservation, ICD option

Julius Metcalf, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Julius Metcalf has been a student at the University of Montana since 2013. Originally from Wisconsin, Julius has a passion for all things “living.” Whether it swims in the water, flies through the air, or walks on land Julius wants to know about it. With a natural love for animals and nature Julius came to the U of M to pursue a degree in Wildlife Biology. Possessing a talent for reading and writing he hopes to one day be a professor, so as to pass his knowledge of the natural world on to future generations. Julius is currently conduction an undergraduate research project investigating potential shifts in wildlife value orientation across generations. Last summer Julius was a volunteer intern at the Montana Natural History Center. When not studying Julius can be found birding, doing archery, playing with his dog, Sirius, or reading. He often manages to do two at the same time.

Julius Metcalf, Undergraduate Research Assistant