University of Montana Western logo.
Apply Visit More Info

Here’s what UMW faculty are up to this summer.

June 16, 2016

Steve Mock recently returned from a trip to Alaska where he was serving as a volunteer climbing ranger on a four week patrol on Denali. Mock teaches chemistry at UMW and serves as co-director of the Khumbu Climbing Center (KCC) in Phortse, Nepal along with world-famous climber Conrad Anker. The KCC teaches high-altitude climbing techniques to Sherpas around Mt. Everest.

Erin Zavitz recently spent six weeks in London researching for her manuscript Revolutionary Memories: Celebrating and Commemorating the Haitian Revolution. Her research was supported by a Franklin Grant from the American Philosophical Society and professional development funds from Montana Western. Zavitz teaches history at Montana Western.

Shane Borrowman along with Elizabeth Borrowman, is working on a book with the working title “At the Left Hand of Brigham Young: Seth Millington Blair and the Founding of Utah.” Blair was a cavalryman for the Republic of Texas, associate of Sam Houston, first attorney general for Utah and Borrowman’s great great great grandfather. The book is tentatively set for publication in mid-2018. Borrowman teaches English at Montana Western.  

Wendy Ridenour and Montana Western students Theresa Galhouse and Riley Bailey are conducting research in alpine communities of the Rocky Mountains this summer. Their research focuses on the interplay of alpine community interactions and global climate change. They are assessing how stress-tolerant alpine cushion plants may ameliorate responses of entire alpine communities to future anthropogenic climate change. Facilitation by alpine cushion plants provide food islands for golden-mantled ground squirrels pictured here. Ridenour is a professor of biology at UMW.

Alan Weltzien’s latest book, “Exceptional Mountains: A Cultural History of the Pacific Northwest Volcanoes” was recently published by the University of Nebraska Press. Exceptional Mountains is a cultural history of the Northwest volcanoes and the environmental impact of outdoor recreation in this region. Weltzien has published several other books and poems and is a professor of English at Montana Western.

Olie Else is at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo. with the Montana Western rodeo team. In addition to teaching equine studies, Else is Montana Western’s head rodeo coach.

John Xanthopoulos recently attended a week long seminar in Washington D.C. on the Holocaust, genocide, and crimes against humanity at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in cooperation with the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and the Holocaust Institute for Teacher Educators. Xanthopoulus is a professor of education at Montana Western.

Mike Morrow did some work with Great Northern Brewing Company in Whitefish, Mont. and will continue to work with them later this summer. He was assisting them with microbiology methods for quality assurance. The main focus was on viable yeast cell counting methods in an effort to become more standard in the number of yeast pitched for each fermentation batch. Morrow is a professor of biology at Montana Western.