UM forestry graduate students

Forestry students publish in international journal

An international, peer-reviewed forestry journal recently published the results of research conducted by a class of students in the University of Montana’s College of Forestry and Conservation – an accomplishment typically reserved for professors and researchers.

Forest Ecology and Management published the paper, “Historical spatial patterns and contemporary tree mortality in dry mixed-conifer forests,” co-authored by graduate students Kate A. Clyatt, Justin S. Crotteau, Michael S. Schaedel and Haley Wiggins and recent undergraduate alumnus Harold Kelley. UM forest ecology Associate Professor Andrew Larson also contributed to the article, which is in the Feb. 1, 2016, edition of the journal and is online at sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378112715006076.

“It’s certainly not common for students to produce published peer-reviewed research in a class,” Larson said. “This demonstrates how the College of Forestry and Conservation is a leader in bringing research and real-world applications into the classroom.”

Last fall, the five students in Larson’s advanced forestry class analyzed historical reconstructions of forest spatial structure across six plots and then measured tree mortality rates. Their analysis provided information about small-scale habitat variation in old-growth forests across the Northern Rockies.

Their research also found that old-growth ponderosa pine mortality rates are very low — less than 1 percent per year, suggesting that these Montana forests have not yet experienced the increase in mortality seen at other sites across the West. The results of the research could help forest managers design forest restoration and climate change-adaptation treatments.

Last week, UM also announced the following:


Experts in foreign policy, culture and history will join internationally renowned artists for a unique Mansfield Center conference that will blend world-class discussions with world-class performances to explore the impact of the arts and cultural exchanges on international relations, politics and societies.

The one-day Art of Diplomacy Conference will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15, 2016, in the University Center Ballroom at the University of Montana. Sessions are free and open to the public, but participants are asked to register online at umt.edu/mansfield/ to ensure space at panels and a lunch reception.

The conference will feature topics such as “The Importance of the Impact of Cultural Diplomacy,” “Bridging the Chasm: How Creative Exchanges Connect Divergent Communities” and “The Power of Art and Statecraft.” Panels and discussions will be interwoven with performances and firsthand accounts from artists who bridge communities and build understanding through their international performances and work.

The Art of Diplomacy is part of the Vienna International Ballet Experience that will be held in the U.S. for the first time in Missoula Jan. 12-16. This multi-day competition and dance festival will bring up to 400 children and adult participants from the around the world and is under the direction of Gregor Hatala and Evelyn Teri from Vienna, Austria. It will be hosted by Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre and Destination Missoula.

The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center at UM promotes better understanding of Asia, U.S. relations with Asia and ethics in public affairs in the spirit of Sen. Mike Mansfield (1903-2001) and his wife and life partner, Maureen Hayes Mansfield.


Montana communities now have the opportunity to invest in their workforce and in the future of radiology. Missoula College of the University of Montana will offer the state’s first online Computerized Tomography certificate beginning spring semester 2016.

CT is an imaging procedure that uses special X-ray equipment to create detailed, cross-sectional scans of areas inside the body. The five-credit CT certificate, which fulfills the new American Registry of Radiologic Technologists certification requirements, will be available to registered and licensed radiologic technologists and current MC radiology students. The AART requirements will take effect in January 2016.

“More and more jobs are beginning to require a CT certificate,” said Anne Delaney, director of MC’s Radiologic Technology program. “This is a perfect solution for rural hospitals that have a CT scanner but are in need of certified CT technologists.”

For more information about MC’s health professions programs, call Delaney at 406-243-7809 or email anne.delaney@umontana.edu.


The First-Year Reading Experience Committee at UM recently selected five freshmen as the winners of the 2015 First-Year Essay Contest: Benjamin Hickey, Ronan Kennedy, Christopher King, Sarah Moen and Jacob O’Neill.

As part of the First-Year Reading Experience at UM, students read “The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival” by John Vaillant. An account of a man-eating tiger in Russia’s Far East, the book invites readers to consider the complex relationships among economic hardship, wildlife management, cultural beliefs, political instability and human greed. The First-Year Reading Experience Committee received several strong submissions.

Hickey’s essay, “Tracks in the Snow: The Importance of Individual and Communal Identity in Primorsky Krai,” argues that individual and communal identity are formed in the context of a particular place and time. Hickey, who is from Stillwater, Minnesota, majors in human biological sciences and plans to pursue a career in medicine.

Kennedy’s essay, “Sobolonyans and the Serfs: Comrades in Suffering,” outlines a historical pattern of economic inequality in Russia, drawing parallels between the 1861 emancipation of Russian serfs and the 1989 enactment of perestroika and glasnost political reforms in the Soviet Union. Kennedy, a history major from Los Angeles, is an avid rugby player, runner and reader.

King’s essay, “Someone to Follow,” examines the conditions that allow authoritative leadership to replace coercive leadership. King, who is from Snohomish, Washington, majors in biochemistry and plans to become a doctor in an under-served community in the Rocky Mountain West.

Moen’s essay, “The Monster Within,” analyzes the concept of monstrosity in the book and demonstrates the potential for humans to transform into “willful destroyers.” Moen, a native of Eureka, majors in communicative sciences and disorders and hopes to become a speech-language pathologist who works with children with disabilities.

O’Neill’s essay, “Bringing History to Life,” argues that the book provides a humanizing perspective on a tragedy that might otherwise be reduced to numbers and nameless characters. O’Neill, of Belgrade, majors in history and journalism. He plans to pursue a graduate degree in history.

For more information call Kelly Webster, director of The Writing Center at UM, at 406-243-2470 or email kelly.webster@umontana.edu.


As representatives from nearly 200 countries and other organizations gather for the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, UM political science Professor Peter Koehn has published a new book called “China Confronts Climate Change: A Bottom-up Perspective.”

As the world’s largest greenhouse-gas emitter, China will play a key role in any movement to stabilize global climate conditions so they are suitable for sustainable development, for its own population and the world. Koehn’s study shows that in China, as in the U.S., impressive and often unrecognized steps to limit emissions are being taken at sub-national levels. His book, published as part of the Routledge Advances in Climate Change Research series and available online at routledge.com, also argues that more can – and must – be done. One promising strategy involves appeals to China’s citizen concerns about the health consequences of living in some of the worst urban air pollution conditions in the world.

Koehn’s book already has garnered praise from academics and policymakers. 


UM’s leading research and programmatic development in big data has gained the attention of a top executive at Salesforce. Peter Coffee, vice president for strategic research, is scheduled to visit UM on Monday to talk about how big data is transforming society.

Coffee is slated to present “Big Data Goes to Work: Liberating Latent Value in a Connected World” from 3:10-4 p.m. in Gallagher Business Building Room 106. A reception will follow from 4-5:30 p.m. in the Davidson Honors College Lounge. Both events are free and open to the public.

The presentation is part of UM’s Mathematical Sciences Colloquium, organized by UM math Professor Leonid Kalachev. It will focus on the ways data helps businesses document past behaviors, seek opportunities and build predictive tools that have the power to change behaviors and create new value.


More than 100 eighth graders from Hamilton Middle School will visit UM to experience a day of STEM, entrepreneurship and higher education on Monday.

During morning lab tours the visiting students will meet UM faculty members and graduate students and learn about research opportunities at UM. Guided by faculty and graduate student lab hosts, students will learn about the health sciences with SimMan, the Skaggs School of Pharmacy’s patient simulator; explore the night sky in UM’s planetarium while learning about undergraduate research through the observatory for exoplanet detection, Project MINERVA; use an electron microscope to study objects far too small to see with the naked eye; explore neurology through fruit fly research; and learn about animal weapons by handling live and pinned insects.

The event is organized by We Are Montana in the Classroom, a program of the UM Broader Impacts Group that places UM faculty members, graduate students and professionals in K-12 classrooms to inspire students about higher education and career pathways. This fall, We Are Montana in the Classroom has reached more than 5,000 students through statewide tours, local classroom visits and distance-learning experiences.

K-12 teachers can learn more about the array of free programs offered through We Are Montana in the Classroom by emailing program manager Nathalie Wolfram at nathalie.wolfram@umontana.edu.


The 18th annual Great UM Christmas Cookie Cook-Off, hosted by UM Dining, is scheduled 2-5:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21, in the Lommasson Center’s Food Zoo Dining Room at the University of Montana. This year’s event, themed “Thee Grinch,” is open to all UM students, faculty, staff and their families.

As event sponsor, Sysco Food Services of Montana will donate 798 pounds of cookie dough ingredients and decorations. Guests may bring home up to half of the cookies they bake, and the other half will be donated to local youth homes, senior homes, group shelters and other nonprofit organizations.

“The only thing participants need to bring is their holiday spirit,” UM Dining marketing director Sam Belanger said.

For more information, call Belanger at 406-243-5089 or email samuel1.belanger@umontana.edu.

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