Mansfield Center Advisory Board

David BellDavid Bell, Board Chair

President and CEO, ALPS Corporation

Terry WeidnerDr. Terry Weidner, Board Vice-Chair

Professor Emeritus, Political Science; Former Mansfield Center Executive Director


Jon BennionJon Bennion

Government Relations Director, The Washington Companies

Mary ByronMary Byron

Owner, Cloud Nine Quilts; Liaison, Mansfield Foundation Board of Directors

m-georgiouMaritsa Georgiou

National Correspondent, Newsy

Paul LaurenDr. Paul Lauren

Regents Professor Emeritus; Founding Director, Mansfield Center

Tom LopachTom Lopach

President and CEO, Voter Participation Center and the Center for Voter Information

Liz MarchiLiz Marchi

Founder, Frontier Angel Fund and Head of Community Engagement, Two Bear Capital

croppedmikemcfaul.pngMichael A. McFaul, PhD

Director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and a Hoover Fellow at Stanford University

croppedmarcracicot.pngMarc Racicot

Former Governer of the State of Montana


Joanna R. Shelton

UM Faculty Affiliate in Economics and Nonresident Senior Associate in Economics for the Center for Strategic and International Studies

Dana Toole

Dana Toole

Special Services Bureau Chief at the Montana Department of Justice

Kimberlee Visser

Kimberlee Visser

Designer, Community Advocate, Business Advisor

Bryce Ward

Bryce Ward

Founder of ABMJ Consutling, Research Associate at the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities at the University of Montana

Mansfield Fellows

Sarah Halvorson

Professor, Environment and Development in Mountainous Regions, Chair, Department of Geography;


Stone Hall 211
(406) 243-2793
(406) 243-4840
Office Hours

Please contact via email.


  • Ph.D., University of Colorado at Boulder, 2000
    • Geography
    • Dissertation: Geographies of Children’s Vulnerability: Households and Water-Related Disease Hazard in Northern Pakistan (Dr. James L. Wescoat, Jr., Dissertation Advisor)
  • M.A., University of Colorado at Boulder, 1995
    • Geography
    • Thesis: She Who Holds A Bucket Holds A Choice: Evaluating Women’s Range of Choice of Water Supplies in Northern Pakistan (Dr. James L. Wescoat, Jr., Thesis Advisor)
    • Graduate Certifications
      • Interdisciplinary Environmental Policy Program, 1995, University of Colorado at Boulder
      • Graduate Teaching Program, 1995, University of Colorado at Boulder
  • B.A., St. Olaf College, 1990
    • English (with Departmental Distinction and honors) and Asian Studies Concentration
    • Senior Thesis: Women Warriors in the Literature of Maxine Hong Kinston and Amy Tan (Dr. Abigail Werlock, Thesis Advisor)

Courses Taught

  • GPHY 141S - Geography of World Regions
  • GPHY 144 - Montana's Mountains (Field Course)
  • GPHY 335 - Water Policy
  • GPHY 338 - Mountains and Society
  • GPHY 385 - Field Techniques in Geography 
  • GPHY 444 - High Asia
  • GPHY 500 - Geography Graduate Colloquium
  • GPHY 504 - Research Design I 
  • GPHY 505 - Research Design II

Teaching Experience

Other courses taught at UM

  • GEOG 202 - South Asian Cultures and Civilizations
  • GEOG 295 - Peoples and Cultures of Central and Southwest Asia
  • GEOG 479 - Rural, Town, and Regional Planning
  • GPHY 550 - Seminar in Geography: Global Change
  • GPHY 560 - Seminar in Planning

Research Interests

Community water security, environmental risks and hazards, gender and development, geography education, glacier governance, human dimensions of climate change, hydro-social systems, mountain geography, qualitative methods, regional geography (African Sahel, Central and South Asia, Rocky Mountain West), rural livelihoods and resilience, transboundary water governance. 

Field of Study

Water Resource Geography, Hazards and Disasters, Mountain Geography, Gender and the Environment, Central and South Asia.

Selected Publications

Selected Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

  • Caplins, L., Halvorson, S.J. and K. Bosak. 2018. “Beyond Resistance: A Political Ecology of Cordyceps as Alpine Niche Product in the Garhwal, Indian Himalaya,” Geoforum, 96: 298-308.
  • Caplins, L. and S.J. Halvorson. 2017. "Collecting Ophiocordyceps sinensis: An Emerging Livelihood Strategy in the Garhwal, Indian Himalaya," Journal of Mountain Science, 14(2): 390-402.
  • Dunkel, F., Hansen, L., Halvorson, S.J. and A. Bangert. 2017. “Women’s Perceptions of Health, Quality of Life, and Malaria Management in Kakamega County, Western Province, Kenya,” GeoJournal, 82(4): 841-865.
  • Piersall, A. and S.J. Halvorson. 2014. “Local Perceptions of Glacial Retreat and Livelihood Impacts in the At-Bashy Range of Kyrgzystan,” GeoJournal, 79:693-703.
  • Wescoat, James L. Jr. and S.J. Halvorson. 2012. "Emerging Regional Perspectives on Water Resaerch and Management: An Introductory Comment." Eurasian Geography and Economics.
  • Halvorson, S.J., Williams, A.L, Ba, S. and F. Dunkel. 2011. "Water Quality and Waterborne Disease along the Niger River, Mali: A Study of Local Knowledge and Response," Health and Place: An International Journal, 17(2): 449-457.
  • Wall, T. and S.J. Halvorson 2011. "Wildfire Research in an Environmental Hazards Course: An Active Learning Approach," Journal of Geography, 110(1): 6-15.
  • Mohadjer, S., R. Bendick, S.J. Halvorson, U. Saydullaev, O. Abduaziz, C. Stickler, and Z.R. Adam. 2010. “Earthquake Emergency Education in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.” Journal of Geoscience Education, 58(2): 86-94.
  • Halvorson, S.J. and J.P. Hamilton. 2010. “In the Aftermath of the 2005 Qa’yamat: The Kashmir Earthquake Disaster in Northern Pakistan,” Disasters: The Journal of Disaster Studies, Policy, and Management, 34(1): 184-204.
  • O’Reilly, K., S. J. Halvorson, F. Sultana and N. Laurie. 2009. “Introduction: Global Perspectives on Gender-Water Geographies,” Gender, Place and Culture, 16 (4): 381-385.
  • Halvorson, S.J. 2008. “Critical Water Problems in Tajikistan: Inventory and Prospect,” Geographishe Rundschau International Edition, 4(4):12-18.
  • Halvorson, S.J. 2008. “Saffron Cultivation and Culture in Central Spain,” FOCUS on Geography, 51(1): 17-24.
  • Halvorson, S.J. and Jennifer Parker Hamilton. 2007. “Vulnerability and the Erosion of Seismic Culture in Mountainous Central Asia,” Special Issue on Coping with Human Vulnerability in Mountain Environments, Mountain Research and Development, 27(4):322-331. View article as PDF file.
  • Hamilton, Jennifer Parker and S.J. Halvorson. 2007. “The 2005 Kashmir Earthquake: A Perspective on Women’s Experiences,” Special Issue on Coping with Human Vulnerability in Mountain Environments, Mountain Research and Development, 27(4): 296-301. View article as PDF file.
  • Halvorson, S.J. 2004. "Women's Management of the Household Health Environment: Responding to Childhood Diarrheal Disease in the Northern Areas, Pakistan," Health and Place, 10: 43-58.
  • Halvorson, S.J. 2003. "Placing' Health Risks in the Karakoram: Local Perceptions of Disease, Dependency, and Social Change in Northern Pakistan," Mountain Research and Development, 23(3): 271-277.
  • Halvorson, S.J. 2003. "A Geography of Children's Vulnerability: Gender, Household Resources, and Water-Related Disease Hazard in Northern Pakistan," The Professional Geographer, 55(2):120-133.
  • Halvorson, S.J. 2002. "Environmental Health Risks and Gender in the Karakoram-Himalaya, Pakistan," The Geographical Review, 92 (2): 257-281.


  • Halvorson, S.J. and Steven Levine. 2010. “Field Observations from China’s ‘New Frontier,’ Invited article and photography, Ubique ~ Notes from The American Geographical Society, 30(1):1-7.
  • Halvorson, S.J. and Steven Levine. 2010. "A New Frontier in China for The University of Montana." Special issue on "International Education in Asia." IIENetworker Magazine, March: 27-28.
  • Halvorson, S.J. 2009. “Teaching the Crown in Polebridge, Montana.” In Crown of the Continent Initiative E Magazine (, edited by Rick Graetz and Jerry Fetz.. Missoula, MT: The University of Montana Press (pp. 98-105).
  • Halvorson, S.J. et al. 2003. Firestorms 2000: A Bitter Root Oral History. Missoula, MT: Bitter Root Valley Historical Society.
  • Halvorson, S.J. 2002. The Fires of 2000: Community Response and Recovery in the Bitter Root Valley, Western Montana. Quick Response Research Report #151. Boulder, Colorado: Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center, University of Colorado. URL:
  • Wescoat, J.L., Jr. and S.J. Halvorson. 2000. Ex-Post Evaluations of Dams and Related Water Projects: Patterns, Problems, and Potential. Report to the World Commission on Dams, Cape Town, South Africa.
  • Aziz, N. and S. J. Halvorson. 1999. Women’s Involvement: A Switch in Thinking, Hoto, Pakistan. In PLA (Participatory Learning and Action) Notes: Community Water Management. Edited by M.P. Lammerink and D. de Jong. London: International Institute for Environment and Development (pp. 47-51).
  • Halvorson, S.J.; Aziz, N. and K. Alibhoy. 1999. Development of Strategies to Involve Women in Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Interventions in Northern Pakistan: Experiences of the Water and Sanitation Extension Programme, in Proceedings of the 24th WEDC Conference, Islamabad, Pakistan, 1998: Sanitation and Water for All, edited by J. Pickford. Leicestershire, UK: Loughborough University.
  • Halvorson, S.J. 1998. Linking Water, Diarrheal Diseases, and Mothers’ Knowledge: A Case Study from Northern Pakistan. Report to the Aga Khan Health Services Pakistan, Gilgit, Northern Areas.
  • Michel, S. and S.J. Halvorson. 1996. Book Review: Joni Seager’s Earth Follies: Coming to Feminist Terms with the Global Environmental Crisis, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 86 (2): 350-352.
  • Halvorson, S.J. 1994. Women, Water, and Sanitation: Lessons from the Field. Technical Report. Women and Development Section, Aga Khan Rural Support Program. Gilgit, Pakistan: AKRSP.


  • American Geographical Society, 2007-present.
  • American Institute of Pakistan Studies, 1995-present.
  • American Water Resources Association, Montana Chapter, 2008-2011.
  • Association of American Geographers (AAG), 1994-present.
    •      Asian Geography Specialty Group of the AAG, 1998-2018.
    •      Geographic Perspectives on Women Specialty Group (GPOW) of the AAG, 1993-2018.
    •      Hazards Specialty Group of the AAG, 1995-2018.
    •      Mountain Geography Specialty Group of the AAG, 2000-2018.
    •      Qualitative Methods Specialty Group of the AAG, 2000-2018.
  • Association of Nepal and Himalayan Studies, 1996-present.
  • Gamma Theta Upsilon (International Honor Society in Geography), 2000-present.
  • International Geographical Union, 2018
    • Commission on Marginality, Globalization, and Local and Regional Responses (corresponding member)
  • International Water History Association, 2005-2008.
  • Montana Geographic Alliance, 2000-2011.
  • National Council of Geographic Education, 2006-2018.

Specialized Skills

Water Resource Geography, Hazards and Disasters, Mountain Geography, Gender and the Environment, Central and South Asia.

Professional Experience

Dr. Halvorson's teaching and research interests span several broad and diverse areas including: gender and social aspects of water resources and environmental hazards; medical and health geography; gender geography; international development in Central and South Asia and Africa; and water and landscape transformations in the Rocky Mountain West. From 1994 to 1998 she carried out ethnographic fieldwork in mountain communities in the Karakoram of northern Pakistan. This work culminated in a doctoral dissertation entitled, "Geographies of Children's Vulnerabilities: Households and Water-Related Disease Hazard in Northern Pakistan." Since 2000, she has carried out field studies in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana, Royal Kingdom of Bhutan, Republic of Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey and Tajikistan, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of Western China.