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Alexander L. Metcalf

Associate Professor of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, The University of Montana

I am a social scientist in the broad field of human dimensions of natural resources. I apply theories and methods from a variety of psychology- and sociology-related disciplines to understand and address natural resource issues while also advancing theory. I use qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods, including spatial (GIS) techniques, to understand relationships between humans and the environment, and the consequences of conservation behaviors across scales. I am particularly interested in (1) using theories of social-ecological system dynamics to inform management toward desired outcomes; (2) understanding the factors which drive individuals' conservation decisions and behaviors (including cross-boundary realities of many natural resources); (3) improving the use and measurement of attitudes, beliefs, and values to inform agency and NGO decisions; and (4) helping ensure people and communities are fairly and meaningfully engaged in natural resource decisions. I orient my research toward a variety of natural resource contexts and issues, including private land conservation, wildfire policy and management, invasive species control, and human-wildlife interaction.

Experience

  • 2021–present
    Associate Professor of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, University of Montana
  • 2018–2021
    Assistant Professor of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, University of Montana
  • 2013–2018
    Research Assistant Professor of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, University of Montana
  • 2010–2012
    Postdoctoral Scholar, Penn State University
  • 2012–2012
    Adjunct Professor of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, University of Montana
  • 2008–2011
    Adjunct Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Juniata College

Education

  • 2010 
    Penn State University, Ph.D., Forest Resources & Human Dimensions of Natural Resources & the Environment
  • 2006 
    Penn State University, M.S., Forest Resources
  • 2001 
    Juniata College, B.S., Environmental Science

Publications

  • 2021
    Journal of Wildlife Management, Collective factors reinforce individual contributions to human-wildlife coexistence
  • 2020
    Frontiers in Psychology, ). Improving healthy and sustainable decision-making: Psychological science meets ecological conservation
  • 2020
    Rangeland Ecology and Management, Western rancher perspectives on social-ecological services provided by flood irrigation
  • 2020
    Environmental Research Letters, Integrated spatial analysis for human-wildlife coexistence
  • 2019
    Social Marketing Quarterly, More “bank” for the buck: Microtargeting and normative appeals to increase social marketing efficiency.
  • 2019
    Conservation Biology, Opportunities for better use of collective action theory in research and governance for invasive species management.
  • 2019
    Nature Plants, Addressing weed management social dilemmas: A novel approach to bridge individual & collective interests.
  • 2019
    BioScience, The value in resilience: Integrating subjective and objective dimensions of resilience in fire-prone landscapes.
  • 2019
    Ecology & Society, Collective factors drive individual invasive species control behaviors: Evidence from private lands in Montana, USA.
  • 2019
    Human Dimensions of Wildlife, Improving non-hunters’ attitudes toward hunting
  • 2019
    Nature Sustainability, Wildfire in the west: Learning to live in increasingly fire-prone landscapes.
  • 2019
    Conservation Biology, Microtargeting for conservation.
  • 2019
    Society and Natural Resources, Engaging landowners in the conservation conversation through landowner-listening workshops.
  • 2019
    Environmental Research Letters, The American West as a social-ecological region: Drivers, dynamics, and implications for nested social-ecological systems
  • 2018
    Society and Natural Resources, Public engagement in social-ecological systems management: An application of social justice theory.
  • 2018
    PLoS ONE, How does nature exposure make people healthier?: Experimental and non-experimental evidence for the role of impulsivity.
  • 2018
    Journal of Forestry, Procurement contracting and forest communities: Factors affecting local business utilization in the inland Northwest.
  • 2017
    Human Dimensions of Wildlife, Managing public wildlife on private lands: Reciprocity, species status, and stakeholders’ normative beliefs.
  • 2016
    Forest Science, Evaluation of National Woodland Owner Survey estimators of private forest area and landowners: A case study of Montana.
  • 2016
    Society and Natural Resources, Making decisions about forestland succession: Perspectives from Pennsylvania’s private forest landowners.
  • 2016
    Rangeland Ecology and Management, Conserving the Greater Sage-grouse: A social-ecological systems case study from the California-Nevada region.
  • 2016
    Journal of Forestry, Segmentation to focus outreach: Behavioral intentions of private forest landowners in Pennsylvania.
  • 2014
    Journal of Forestry, Progress in private forest landowner estimation
  • 2012
    Journal of Forestry, Private forest landowners: Estimating population parameters
  • 2011
    Society and Natural Resources, What do stakeholders add to identification of conservation lands?

Grants and Contracts

  • 2021
    The (emotional) tragedies of environmental conflict: A rural risk and well-being assessment in two acts
    Role:
    Senior Personnel
    Funding Source:
    Idaho NSF EPSCoR GEM3
  • 2019
    Resilience informatics for the convergence of critical capacities to address regional-scale environmental change
    Role:
    Senior Personnel
    Funding Source:
    National Science Foundation
  • 2019
    Human dimensions of grizzly bear management
    Role:
    Principle Investigator
    Funding Source:
    Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks
  • 2019
    Increasing homeowner participation in wildfire risk assessments
    Role:
    Principle Investigator
    Funding Source:
    USDA FS Rocky Mountain Research Station
  • 2018
    Agricultural behavior change for conservation: A watershed-wide approach
    Role:
    Principle Investigator
    Funding Source:
    National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
  • 2018
    Effects of changes in travel management and hunter access on elk distributions in the northern Sapphire Mountains, MT
    Role:
    Principle Investigator
    Funding Source:
    MPG Ranch, Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks
  • 2018
    Co-production of management alternatives to promote social-ecological resilience in fire-prone landscapes
    Role:
    Principle Investigator
    Funding Source:
    Joint Fire Science Program & Aldo Leopold Wilderness Institute
  • 2017
    Human dimensions of working wet meadow conservation
    Role:
    Co-PI
    Funding Source:
    Intermountain West Joint Venture
  • 2016
    Identifying ecological and social resilience in fire-prone landscapes
    Role:
    Co-PI
    Funding Source:
    Joint Fire Science Program

Professional Memberships

  • International Association for Society and Natural Resources
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Society for Conservation Biology
  • American Association of Geographers