Alexander L. Metcalf

Photo of Metcalf, Alexander L.

Alexander L. Metcalf

Assistant Professor

Curriculum Vitae: View/Download CV

Office Hours:

Fall Semester 2018 Office Hours:

Monday 2:00-3:30

Wednesday 2:00-3:30

by appointment (send me an e-mail at with a few suggested times)

Personal Summary

I am a social scientist in the broad field of human dimensions of natural resources. I apply theories and methods from a variety of psychology- and sociology-related disciplines to understand and address natural resource issues while also advancing theory. I use qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods, including spatial (GIS) techniques, to understand relationships between humans and the environment, and the consequences of conservation behaviors across scales. I am particularly interested in (1) using theories of social-ecological system dynamics to inform management toward desired outcomes; (2) understanding the factors which drive individual private landowner conservation decisions and behaviors (including cross-boundary realities of many natural resources) to better encourage stewardship; (3) improving the use and measurement of attitudes, beliefs, and values to inform agency and NGO decisions; and (4) helping ensure people and communities are fairly and meaningfully engaged in dialogue around natural resource decisions. I orient my research toward a variety of natural resource contexts and issues, including forest management, private land conservation, fire policy and management, invasive species control, and human-wildlife interaction.


Ph.D., Forest Resources & Human Dimensions of Natural Resources; The Pennsylvania State University, 2010

M.S., Forest Resources; The Pennsylvania State University, 2006

B.S., Environmental Science; Juniata College, 2001

Courses Taught

NRSM 121 - Nature of Montana

NRSM 215 - Field Studies in Conservation

NRSM 379 – Collaboration in Natural Resource Decisions

NRSM 398/498 - Resource Conservation Internships

NRSM/PTRM 574 - Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Theory

Teaching Experience


NRSM 379 (3cr) Collaboration in Natural Resource Decisions

NRSM 121 (3cr) Nature of Montana

NRSM 214 (1 cr) Field studies in conservation (field based)

PTRM/NRSM 574 (3cr) Human dimensions of natural resources

FORS 130 (2cr) Forestry Field Skills (field based)

NRSMS 191 (1cr)

Natural Resource Field Techniques (field based)

FORS 391 (3cr) Field Forestry Skills at LEF (field based)

NRSM 595 (2cr) Human Dimensions of Wildlife

NRSM 298/398/498 (1-6cr) Natural Resource Internships


FOR/WFS 497 (3cr) Facilitating Natural Resource Decisions

FOR 203 (3cr) Dendrology (w/Lab)

FOR 366 (4cr) Forest Mensuration (w/Lab)


ESS 100 (3cr) Earth and Environmental Science

EES/RFS 330 (3cr) Geographic Information Systems (w/Lab)

Research Interests

My research focuses on three main areas:

  • Private land conservation
  • Human dimensions of natural resources
  • Novel methods to explore social and ecological systems dynamics

Please visit out our Human Dimensions Lab webpage for more information about our research, current projects and students, and courses we teach:


Keywords: private land management and conservation; natural resources extension and outreach; collaboration; social ecological systems; resilience; fire wildfire; forest and river restoration; human-wildlife conflict; invasive species; social-psychology; sociology; psychology; spatial analysis; GIS; multivariate statistics; sampling and estimation; survey research; mixed methods; phenomenology; qualitative quantitative; market analysis; communication; systematic conservation planning; land use planning; conservation triage; conservation marketing; spatial planning


W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation

Department of Society and Conservation

The Center for Private Forests, Affiliate Faculty

Professional Experience


Selected Publications

Recent Refereed Publications (* indicates graduate student author)

*McIver, C., Metcalf, A.L., & Berg, E. (2018). Procurement contracting and forest communities: Factors affecting local business utilization in the inland Northwest. Journal of Forestry, fvy033.

*Repke, M.A., Berry, M.S., Conway III, L.G., Metcalf, A.L., Hansen, R, & Phelan, C. (2018). How does nature exposure make people healthier?: Experimental and non-experimental evidence for the role of impulsivity. PLoS ONE 13(8), e0202246.*Lauer, F.I., Metcalf, A.L., Metcalf, E.C., & Mohr, J.J. (2018). Public engagement in social-ecological systems management: An application of social justice theory. Society and Natural Resources, 31(1), 4-20.

Metcalf, A.L., Metcalf, E.C., Khumalo, K., Kujala, Q., Gude, J., & Lewis, M. (2017). Managing public wildlife on private lands: Reciprocity, species status, and stakeholders’ normative beliefs. Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 22(6), 564-582.

Metcalf, E.C., Metcalf, A.L., and Mohr, J.J. (2017). “Building social capacity toward restoration success.” In, S. Allison & S.D. Murphy (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Ecological and Environmental Restoration. Routledge.

Duvall, A., Metcalf, A.L., & Coates, P.N. (2016). Collaborative conservation for Greater Sage-grouse and sagebrush ecosystem of the NV-CA Bi-state region. Rangeland Ecology & Management, 70(1), 129-140.

Gruver, J.B., Metcalf, A.L., Muth, B.A., Finley, J.C., & Luloff, A.E. (2016). Factors affecting private forest landowner estate planning and decision making. Society and Natural Resources, 30(1), 47-62.

*Ver Planck, N.R., Metcalf, A.L., Finley, A.O., & Finley, J.C. (2016). Evaluation of National Woodland Owner Survey estimators of private forest area and landowners: A case study of Montana. Forest Science, 62(5), 525-534.

Metcalf, A.L., Gruver, J.B., Finley, J.C., & Luloff, A.E. (2016). Segmentation to focus outreach: Behavioral intentions of private forest landowners in Pennsylvania. Journal of Forestry, 114(4), 466-473.


Recent Management/Technical Reports

*Beckman, C., Metcalf, A.L., & Lubeck, A. (2018). Wildfire risk reduction: Landowners’ perspectives and behaviors across Montana. Summary of research results presented to Montana Natural Resources Collaborative Working Group. 6p.

*Lubeck, A., & Metcalf, A.L. (2017). Landowners’ perspectives on weed control across Montana. Summary of research results presented to Montana Natural Resources Collaborative Working Group. 6p.

*Phelan, C., & Metcalf, A.L., & Metcalf, E.C. (2017). Longitudinal change in wolf tolerance among MT residents. An interim report to the MT FWP. 12p.

*Phelan, C., & Metcalf, A.L. (2017). Priority conservation areas in the Gallatin Valley. Final report to the Gallatin Valley Land Trust. 44p.

*McIver, C.P, Metcalf, A.L., & Dodson, E. (2016). Making every dollar count: Leveraging federal investments in land management to benefit local communities. Rural Connections Fall: 21-24.

*Lauer, F.I., Metcalf, E.C., Metcalf, A.L., & Brown, J. (2016). Understanding visitor experiences at the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument. A report to the Bureau of Land Management. 12p.