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Craig Zaspel, Ph.D.

Craig Zaspel teaches Montana Western’s courses in physics, astrophysics, and meteorology. His research focuses primarily on magnets including magnetic vortices, nonlinear excitations in magnets, and solition theory as well as microwave pulses in magnetic thin films. He is also interested in galactic structure. Zaspel collaborates with scientists from across the country and from other countries such as Russia and Ukraine. His work has been funded by the National Science Foundation. Zaspel also mentors undergraduates from Montana Western in their physics research.

Robert Thomas, Ph.D.

During his time at Montana Western, Thomas helped transform the university into a center of experiential learning using the Experience One system. Thomas’ recent research projects have included the geologic history of the northern margin of the Yellowstone hot spot and the assessment of fluvial Arctic grayling habitat restoration on the upper Big Hole River. He also continues to study Cambrian mass extinctions and other sedimentological problems throughout the western U.S. Thomas is currently working on a book of Yellowstone-area geology with City University of New York Staten Island President Bill Fritz and a book on Montana geology with UMW colleague Sheila Roberts.

In 2009, Thomas was named the Outstanding Baccalaureate Colleges U.S. Professor of the Year by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. In 2010 he was named the Montana Regents Professor.

Sheila Roberts, Ph.D.

All of Sheila Roberts' geology and geochemistry courses include real geological research projects. Two of her recent classes conducted research at an archaeological site and presented their results at two meetings of the Montana Archaeological Society. Her current students are monitoring the effects of climate change on the landscape of the Pioneer Mountains and continuing a study on surface and ground waters in Beaverhead County. Roberts has led class trips to a working underground mine, to the Canadian Rockies and she most recently led an honors class to the Galapagos Islands in March 2009.

Stephen Mock, Ph.D.

In Mock’s chemistry classes, students engage in extensive small-group, problem-solving opportunities and frequent lab exercises focusing on chemistry in the context of geology, biology and health sciences. Mock’s own research involves aquatic environmental chemistry of nearby lakes and streams. His students have conducted research projects on the chemistry of Clark Canyon Reservoir and the characterization of three different alpine lakes in southwestern Montana. Mock also teaches rock climbing and other wildlands skills courses.

Linda Lyon, Ph.D.

Linda Lyon is an ethnobotanist and certified environmental interpreter trainer. Lyon worked for many years in Madagascar with local communities to understand traditional land-use systems and encourage the conservation of medicinal plant knowledge. Currently, Lyon is spearheading the UMW community and campus garden that supports the university's sustainability mission by growing organic heirloom vegetables for the cafeteria. In addition to her campus garden and teaching responsibilities, Lyon is the faculty adviser for the campus environmental sciences club, Terra Verde, which sponsors annual Earth Day and Earth Hour events for the campus and local community.