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)

Metcalf, A.L., Phelan, C.N., Pallai, C., Norton, M., Yuhas, B., Finley, J.C., & Muth, B.A. (In press). Targeting conservation efforts at the property-level using consumer and remote sensing data. Manuscript forthcoming at Conservation Biology.

Bagavathiannan, M., Graham, S., Ma, Z., Barney, J., Coutts, S., Caicedo, A., De Clerck-Floate, West, N., R., Blank, L., Metcalf, A.L., Lacoste, M., Evans, J., Moreno, C., Burke, I., & Beckie, H., (In press). Addressing weed management social dilemmas: A novel approach to bridge individual & collective interests. Manuscript forthcoming at Nature Plants.

Higuera, P.E., Metcalf, A.L., Miller, C., Buma, B., Metcalf, E.C., McWethy, D., Ratajczak, Z., Nelson, C., Chaffin, B., Stedman, R., McCaffrey, S., Schoennagel, T., Harvey, B., Hood, S., Schultz, C., Black, A., Campbell, D., Haggerty, J., Keane, R., Krawchuk, M., Kulig, J., Rafferty, R., & Virapongse, A. (In Press). The value in resilience: Integrating subjective and objective dimensions of resilience in fire-prone landscapes. Manuscript forthcoming at BioScience.

Metcalf, A.L., Angle, J.W., Phelan, C.N., Muth, B.A., & Finley, J.C. (2019). More “bank” for the buck: Microtargeting and normative appeals to increase social marketing efficiency. Manuscript forthcoming at Social Marketing Quarterly 25(1), 26-39.

Graham, S., Metcalf, A.L., Gill, N., Moreno, C., Bach, T. Ikutegbe, V., Hallstrom, L. Ma, Z, & Lubeck, A. (2019). Opportunities for better use of collective action theory in research and governance for invasive species management. Manuscript forthcoming at Conservation Biology.

*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 116(5), 412-419.

*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. (2017). 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.

Duvall, A., Metcalf, A.L., & Coates, P.N. (2016). Conserving the Greater Sage-grouse: A social-ecological systems case study from the California-Nevada region. Rangeland Ecology & Management, 70(1), 129-140.

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.