Wildfires can have dramatic impacts on Western landscapes and communities, but human values determine whether the changes caused by fire are desired or dreaded. This is the simple – but often overlooked – message from a collaborative team of 23 researchers led by University of Montana faculty.
Congratulation to Hannah Leonard, one of four UM students named a 2019-20 Wyss Scholar for Conservation in the American West.
The same data used by digital marketers to sell products can also help inspire conservation behaviors, according to new research from the University of Montana.
The Lab is looking for qualified applications for a fully-funded, two-year research assistantship (.pdf) to work on our Chesapeake Bay Watershed restoration project. Applicants with expertise in data analytics, behavioral science, agricultural systems, and/or marketing are encouraged to apply.
The fall semester started off with several new faces joining our team. We are continually inspired by this amazing group. Top row from left to right: Charlie, Libby, Lily, Holly, Dan, Haley, Conor, Peter; bottom row from left to right: Alex, William, Ada, Chelsea, Hannah.
Alex Metcalf and Justin Angle, associate pforessor of marketing, won a $1 million grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for a project that will use social science and marketing tools to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the largest on the Atlantic Coast.
Rough Cut Science
On November 7, Lab director Libby Covelli Metcalf presented “Understanding the Human Dimension of River Restoration: Evidence from the Clark Fork River, MT” as part of the Rough Cut Science Series, hosted by the Montana Institute on Ecosystems. The presentation could also be viewed live online via Zoom.
Grad student receives UM award
Peter Metcalf, PhD student, received the prestigious Bertha Morton award at UM. His dedication to research, exceptional teaching, and continued support of his peers make him a stand out recipient. Congratulations Peter!
Grad students highlights
Grad students are busy communicating our science! This month, Conor Phelan and Alice Lubeck presented at the Montana Chapter of Society and Conservation Biology annual meeting in Missoula. In September, Lara Brenner and Peter Metcalf presented at the Pathways Human Dimensions of Wildlife conference in Estes Park, Colo.
The HD lab has been working hard publish findings of our research. Check out these three recent manuscripts: Public Engagement in Social-Ecological Systems Management: An Application of Social Justice Theory; Public Wildlife Management on Private Lands: Reciprocity, Population Status, and Stakeholders’ Normative Beliefs; The business perspective in ecological restoration: issues and challenges
Our latest report examines how Montana landowners feel about and take action against weeds. We surveyed Montana's small to medium landowners and found that everyone seems to agree that weeds are a problem, while landowner actions depend on a combination of individual and collective elements.
Lara Brenner graduates with MS in Wildlife Biology
Lara successfully defended her thesis which investigated "stress physiology and human dimensions of mountain lion management,” earning her MS in Wildlife Biology. Lara heads from Missoula MT to the big city, LA, where she will explore the more urban aspects of human wildlife interactions. Lara is destined for amazing things, and the Lab has been honored to partner with her these past years. Congratulations, Lara!
We are currently recruiting grad students to join the Human Dimensions Lab starting in Fall 2018. We have a variety of active research projects including human dimensions of wildlife, coupled social ecological assessment of riparian buffers and outreach to private landowners, and an investigation of resilience in fire-prone landscapes of the western US. Please visit our Prospective Student page and follow our submission procedures. Please contact Lab Director Alex Metcalf with questions and application submissions.
Fred Lauer graduates with MS in Systems Ecology
Fred successfully defended his thesis "Social justice in social-ecological systems: Resilience through stakeholder engagement" and earned his M.S. in Systems Ecology. Fred now works with Ecology Project International in Missoula. The Lab is proud, but we will miss Fred — Congratulations!
M.S. student Lara Brenner recently joined an episode of SciShow to talk about her research on the public's view of cougars and on cougar stress levels.
Read a new paper by Lab director Alex Metcalf about using a systems approach to conservation of the Greater-Sage grouse in California and Nevada.
Lab member Lara Brenner will use a $20,000 grant to study the effect of hunting on mountain lions.
Read the new paper by Lab director Alex Metcalf and co-authors in the journal Forest Science which used spatially explicit land use and ownership data from Montana to investigate non-response bias in the National Woodland Owner Survey, and provide improved estimation equations.
State agencies are beginning to realize that hunter recruitment and retention will depend on better understanding and engaging female hunters. Read the new paper by Lab director Libby Covelli Metcalf and co-author exploring differences between male and female motivations for deer hunting in South Dakota.
Read the new paper by Lab director Alex Metcalf and co-authors in the journal Society and Natural Resources which explores how private landowners make legacy decisions about their property – and what science and outreach is needed to encourage stewardship.
Read the new paper by Lab director Libby Covelli Metcalf and co-authors in the Journal of Environmental Management helping science and management better consider the connections between the human and biophysical dimensions.