Meg and Peter Gag
Taylor Wilderness Research Station
College of Natural Resources

Who's Teaching?

Fisheries professor Brian Kennedy

Brian Kennedy, Associate Professor, Department of Fish and Wildlife Sciences

Brian is an aquatic ecologist with interests in the biodiversity, community ecology, and biogeochemistry of rivers systems. He has studied fish in rivers in the jungles of Papua New Guinea and Costa Rica, but perhaps nowhere as remote as the Central Idaho Wilderness. He has been on the faculty at the University of Idaho (UI) since 2005. His laboratory group studies the evolution of migration, predatory-prey relationships, and how changing environmental conditions create energetic challenges for freshwater fishes. Brian studies salmon and their relatives because of the implications that global change has for migratory decisions and the evolution of novel strategies. His research group is interested in exploring interdisciplinary ways of approaching these questions through the application of isotopic and geochemical fingerprints.

Brian Kennedy | Fish and Wildlife Sciences Faculty Profile

Ed Krumpe

Ed Krumpe, Professor, Conservation Social Sciences

I have spent a career of 34 years conducting research and teaching about wilderness and protected area management in Idaho, the United States, and around the world.

Since 1979 it has been my pleasure to teach the longest continuously offered course in wilderness management in the nation. For many of those years I have also served as a faculty coordinator for the university’s Taylor Wilderness Research Station. This is the only wilderness research center located entirely within a federally designated wilderness—the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness—the largest contiguous wilderness in the lower 48 states. Teaching in the out-of-doors has been my passion, and I know of no better place to teach than in America’s wildest classroom.

Ed Krumpe | Conservation Social Sciences Faculty Profile

Gary Thompson

Gary Thompson, Leadership Coordinator, McCall Outdoor Science School

Since 1999, I have been working as a wilderness educator, expedition leader, and university instructor. My career highlights include leading a semester length expedition to Patagonia, proctoring the Brevard College Immersion Semester, river guiding in Peru, and working with the United States Naval Academy. Professionally, I am interested in risk management, snow science, decision-making, and expeditionary learning.

I believe that anyone can become an effective leader. I am currently exploring Ronald A. Heifetz’s Adaptive Leadership model and its application and connection to the theories of Outdoor Leadership. When not working for the University of Idaho, I work as a river guide, instruct for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and NOLS PRO. Since moving to Idaho I have become an avid backcountry skier, and I volunteer with the local avalanche center and the local ski patrol. My current certifications include Wilderness First Aid, Swiftwater Rescue, Wilderness Program Risk Management, Whitewater Kayak Instruction and Avalanche Level 2.

Gary Thompson | McCall Outdoor Science School Profile

Scott Slovic

Scott Slovic, Professor, English

I grew up hiking and climbing in the Oregon Cascades, studied English at Stanford and Brown, and have devoted nearly three decades to the study of environmental literature. In the early 1990s, I was a co-founder of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE) and served as the organization’s first president, and since 1995 I have edited the central journal in the field, which is called ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment. Over the years, I have published more than 200 articles and have written or edited nearly twenty books, including Seeking Awareness in American Nature Writing (1992), What’s Nature Worth? (2004), and Going Away to Think (2008).

Before becoming professor of literature and environment at the University of Idaho in 2012, I taught for seventeen years at the University of Nevada, Reno, where I helped to create the first M.A. and Ph.D. program in the field. I spend much of my time traveling around the world to teach and lecture on literary and environmental topics—in the past year this has included visits to Lebanon, France, Brazil, India, and Finland. As a kid, before I grew up and became a writer and literary scholar, I wanted to be a zoologist, and I still love animals of all kinds—I am thrilled to be teaching environmental writing in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, which I’ve seen described as “the Serengeti of North America”!

Scott Slovic | Department of English Faculty Profile

Adam Sowards

Adam Sowards, Professor, History

Adam M. Sowards is an environmental historian who focuses on North America, especially the West. A prize-winning historian, he has primarily focused on the American conservation movement and forest history. Sowards is interested in how environment and culture affect scientific inquiry and environmental management. He is especially interested in the history of public lands. Sowards has been at the University of Idaho since 2003 and has been active in interdisciplinary teaching, research, and service. He has worked with dozens of graduate students in many academic programs, besides the hundreds of undergraduates who have passed through his classroom.

Adam Sowards | Department of History Faculty Profile

Michelle Thongs

Melanie Thongs, MFA student, Department of English

Melanie is a third-year student in the Master of Fine Arts program for Creative Writing at UI, with an emphasis in literary nonfiction. Prior to beginning her studies she engaged in field ornithology at Bandelier National Monument and in the Santa Fe National Forest in New Mexico, collecting data on avian usage of areas affected by forest fires. She also spent four years at Los Alamos National Laboratory completing the research for her PhD in physics, specializing in laser-based terahertz spectroscopy. Her writing combines the analytical skills of the scientist with the keen eye of the naturalist as she explores human relationships with the natural world and with each other.