Mark Reiser

Lecturer & Planetarium Director


CHCB 120
(406) 243-2074

Personal Summary

I grew up in central Wisconsin (where I ate a great deal of cheese, and watched a lot of Packer games).  As a high school student, I fell in love with astronomy, and I was forever changed.  I did my undergrad work in Wisconsin, where I earned my BS in Physics in 2002.  After graduation, I fulfilled my dream to move out west, where I spent the next 10+ years in Laramie, WY.  While in Laramie, I spent 8 years as a graduate student at the University of Wyoming.  As a graduate student, I gained experience in two different fields:  1) physics & astronomy, and 2) counseling.  In the area of physis & astronomy, I focused most of my energy into astronomy teaching and outreach.  As a counselor, I became trained as a mental health counselor, and then worked as a school counselor for two years.  Ultimately, I had always hoped to find a position that allowed me to combine my love of astronomy & physics with my passion for working with students.  Just a few years ago, in 2013, I began working here at the University of Montana in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, serving as the Academic Advisor - Recruitment & Retention Specialist.  The position is an ideal combination of my background and interests.  Since arriving at UM, I have been thrilled to be working my dream job, and I am grateful every for it every single day.


MST in Physics, University of Wyoming, 2013

PhD in Counselor Education & Supervision, University of Wyoming, 2010

MS in Counselor Education, University of Wyoming, 2006

BS in Physics, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, 2002

Courses Taught

Classes Taught:  HONR 120 - Connection to the Cosmos.   Fall 2015, Fall 2016.

ASTR 132 - Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe.  Spring 2018.

Teaching Experience

University of Wyoming:

2009 and 2010:  Primary instructor of Astronomy 1050 (Introductory Astronomy)

2007 - 2010:  Co-instructed Counselor Education Courses  (including Counseling Theories, Pre-Practicum, Practicum, Doctoral Seminar, School Counseling)

2003 - 2009:  Graduate TA for Astronomy/Physics Labs and Discussions  (Introductory Astronomy, Engineering Physics 1, Engineering Physics 2, Conceptual Physics)

Summers of 2005 - 2010:  Astronomy teacher for Upward Bound/MSIP Residential Summer Program


LCPC - Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

Professional Experience

Through my years in academia (and some times inbetween), I have been extremely fortunate to experience several different professional settings.  As an undergraduate at UWSP, I spent 5 years working in both the university planetarium and astronomical observatory.  Upon completing my BS, I worked at a high school in Wisconsin as a professional tutor and substitute teacher.  After moving to Wyoming for graduate school, I trained to become a counselor while simultaneously teaching for the department of physics & astronomy.  After 5 years as a physics & astronomy TA, a personal highlight was having the opportunity to teach ASTR 1050 (introductory astronomy) at UW for a couple years.  During my summeres in graduate school, I spent 6 years teaching astronomy for high school students in UW's Upward Bound/MSIP program.  Finally, I was also fortunate to work with middle school students in UW's Astro Camp program.  

Regarding counseling experience, after my first year of clinical practicum, I served as an intern at the University Counseling Center at UW.  While with UW's Upward Bound program, I also spent several summers as the professional counselor for the residential students.  For two years, I also had the opportunity to be a coordinator and group facilitator for Wyoming's PhotoVoice Project (working with youth and families with mental health care needs).  Recently, I was the 9th grade school counselor at Laramie Junior High School (in Wyoming) for two years.  Finally, during my last semester in graduate school, I was able to work as a graduate residence coordinator, working with RA's and students in the residence halls at UW.


Having been in Missoula for a few years now, I am astounded by how incredible it is here.  In my free time, I tend to be out hiking, trout fishing, biking, backpacking, or skiing.  So far, I've woven a great number of miles through the local national forest areas, and I often enjoy poring over my maps to plan future adventures.  The beauty here is endless...

After a long day, in the evening, I am often out stargazing.  When indoors, and in the evenings, I have a love for music, reading, good food, and the Green Bay Packers.  All of these activities are best when shared with a good friend or two.