Wendy M. Ridenour completed her Ph.D. at The University of Montana, Missoula in the Organismal Biology and Ecology Program in 2006. Her dissertation research focus was twofold: plant ecology with a biogeographical emphasis and experiential science education. She was a National Science Foundation ECOS (Ecologists, Educators, and Schools) doctoral fellow and had a subsequent postdoctoral appointment at an experiential college preparatory school in Washington, D.C. where she taught biology and environmental science courses and developed experiential science curricula for grades six through 12. This appointment was followed by postdoctoral research conducted in South America, New Zealand and Montana.
Ridenour’s ongoing research concentrates on invasive weed ecology and alpine ecology. She has been published in journals including Ecological Monographs and Ecology. Prior to completing her Ph.D., she was a naturalist at the Montana Natural History Center in Missoula, Mont., where she developed and conducted experiential field programs for local schools and Summer Science Camps for grades K-12. She has also worked as an environmental scientist for an engineering company in the Washington, D.C. area, where she conducted wetlands and water quality assessments and designed wetland mitigation plans.
Michael Morrow is a cell/molecular biologist. His research interests focus on the protein players and mechanisms of protein secretion for which he was awarded two National Institutes of Health grants through the IDeA Network for Biomedical Research program. Several of Morrow's students have conducted theses and internships under his supervision and presented their results at regional and national meetings. The last three winners of the undergraduate poster competition at the Montana Academy of Sciences have come from Morrow's lab. Many of Morrow's students have also gone on to graduate school in biology and veterinary school.
Kirkley is an ornithologist specializing in raptor ecology. He has been studying the nesting and seasonal movements of Northern Goshawks in southwestern Montana since 1993. Montana Western students have worked with him as summer field technicians and have presented their research results at conferences such as the Montana Academy of Sciences and the Raptor Research Foundation in La Paz, Mexico. Kirkley has also conducted field research on Swainson's Hawk migration ecology in southern Mexico and has led numerous birding/natural history trips to locations such as Yellowstone National Park, Arizona and Utah, as well as to several Latin American countries. In the spring of 2009 Kirkley co-led a biology and geology honors course to the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador.
Michael Gilbert is an Assistant Professor of Biology/Biochemistry at Montana Western. His primary areas of research are microbiology, biochemistry and parasitology/vector biology.
Michelle Anderson is interested in all things aquatic, especially fish and amphibians. In her research she explores how ecological and social systems based on marine and freshwater resources respond to natural and human mediated disturbance. Her research has allowed her to work on projects in Glacier National Park, Alaska, California and Russia.
Anderson also actively collaborates with scientists at Montana-Tech of the University of Montana, the University of California-Berkeley, the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to develop educational opportunities that make science accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds.
Coming to Montana Western was part of fulfilling a childhood dream of becoming a doctor for Lindsey Densmore.
Recent Montana Western graduate Taeler Rodriguez has been accepted to the University of Denver’s graduate program.
UMW grad Justinn Marshall was accepted into the University of Washington's regional medical education program.
Marcus Williams came to Montana Western to play football and major in business administration.
Kolby Brown is a literature major at the University of Montana Western.