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SITW Faculty

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 | Natural Resources and Society Faculty

gary thompson
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

scott slovic
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 more than three decades to environmental writing and interdisciplinary environmental humanities scholarship. 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 more than twenty books, such as Seeking Awareness in American Nature Writing (1992), Going Away to Think (2008), and Numbers and Nerves: Information, Emotion, and Meaning in a World of Data (2015).

I’ve taught Environmental Writing in Semester in the Wild since the beginning of the program, and it’s one of my favorite things about being at the University of Idaho. When I’m not teaching in Idaho, I’m often traveling to distant parts of the world to lecture about topics related to the environmental humanities—recently this included trips to Malaysia, Germany, Bangladesh, China, and Switzerland. In addition to sharing the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness with students from the American West and other parts of the United States, I’m hopeful that we can attract students from far-away countries to join the program and experience this unique and beautiful place and our exciting classes.

Scott Slovic | Department of English Faculty

adam sowards
Adam Sowards

Adam Sowards, Professor, History

Adam M. Sowards is an environmental historian, writer, and professor. Taking the American West as his main focus, Adam seeks to discover how people have understood their place in nature through time and then communicate that history.

Adam Sowards | Department of History Faculty

peter gag
Peter Gag

Peter Gag, Research Scientist and Manager, Taylor Wilderness Research Station (TWRS)

I originally come from the deciduous forests of northern Minnesota where I received a BS in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies from the University of Minnesota. As a fisheries technician in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, I conducted lake and stream surveys for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Since leaving Minnesota I have lived in and explored the remote tundra of Alaska and the mountain west. After returning to school and earning an MS in Forest Resources at the University of Idaho, I worked for a few years with the United States Forest Service as a Biological Technician and Research Scientist focusing on invasive species and the ecological impacts of forest practices.

Since the early spring of 2013 my family and I have been managing the Taylor Wilderness Research Station (TWRS), located in the heart of the Frank Church—River of No Return Wilderness, the largest forested wilderness in the lower 48 states. TWRS gives us the opportunity to be part of and develop fantastic learning opportunities and experiences that can be life changing for students. Some of my topics of interest include climate and its impacts on wilderness ecosystems and large mammal behavior and interactions. Because this wonderful place lacks a significant anthropogenic influence, it is fantastic for examining such ecological influences. One of my goals is to develop research collaborations with agencies, organizations, and students that can bring about a greater understanding of this amazing setting.

Peter Gag | Curriculum Vitae

Semester In The Wild