Andrew Larson

Andrew Larson is the Director of the Wilderness Institute. Larson earned bachelor and doctoral degrees from the University of Washington and joined the UM faculty in 2009. He currently is an associate professor of forest ecology and researches forest and fire ecology, forest management, restoration and climate change adaptation. He has a long history of collaboration with leaders in wilderness science. In 2013, Larson was recognized with the U.S. Forest Service National Wilderness Award for Excellence in Wilderness Stewardship Research.

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Andrea Stephens

Andrea Stephens is the Director of Undergraduate and Field Education for the Wilderness Institute. She received a bachelor's degree in geology from the University of Puget Sound and a master's degree in environmental studies from the University of Montana. Andrea has designed, taught and directed undergraduate field programs in western Montana for 20 years. Since moving to Missoula in 1989, Andrea has also taught high school earth science; led trail crews in MT, WY and AK; created her own volunteer field biology program to assist the USFS in surveying roads and culverts and mapping boreal toad breeding habitat; led field crews for six seasons collecting genetic and snorkel survey data on westslope cutthroat trout; and helped coordinate Aerie Backcountry Medicine's Semester in Wilderness Medicine in its inaugural decade. Driving all this work is Andrea's belief in the life-changing impact of experiential, outdoor education.

Andrea Stephens

Heidi Blair

Heidi Blair is the Wildlands Communications Coordinator at the Wilderness Institute. She earned a BA in Latin America Studies from Colby College and a MS in Resource Conservation with an option in International Conservation and Development from the University of Montana, where she studied public lands management in Chilean Patagonia and the western US. She also holds a Graduate Certificate in Natural Resource Conflict Resolution from UM. At the WI, she partners with the Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center and the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Instititute to manage Wilderness Connect, a wilderness education and outreach program for practitioners and the public. She also works on the interagency Wilderness Character Monitoring Database. 

Heidi Blair


Katie Coates

Katie Coates is an intern at the Wilderness Institute and an alum of the Wilderness and Civilization program. She is majoring in Wildlife Biology and minoring in International Development and Climate Change Studies. Katie is passionate about wild lands stewardship and public lands conservation and hopes to study environmental science in graduate school.


Ella Hall

Ella Hall is the Wilderness Connect Social Media Coordinator at the Wilderness Institute. She received a BA in Environmental Studies from Dartmouth College and is currently pursuing a master’s in Environmental Science and Natural Resource Journalism at the University of Montana. Previously, Ella spent two years teaching in France before a desire to return to school and the mountain west brought her to Missoula. 


Julius Marth

Julius Marth is an intern at the Wilderness Institute and a National Exchange Student from Iowa State University. He’s in the process of earning a BA in Multidisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Wilderness and Criminal Justice. He recently participated in the Wilderness and Civilization program in the Fall of 2023. Marth has completed 2 service terms of AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps, earning him a Congressional Award in 2021 and inspiring him to go back to school and pursue an environmental career. 


Madelyne Miller

Madelyne is a Student Recruiter for the Wilderness Institute, working to promote the Wilderness and Civilization program and support student outreach. She is currently working towards a Bachelor's degree in Anthropology with minors in Environmental Studies and Wilderness Studies. Madelyne finds the ways in which people interact with the natural world to be fascinating and important to our society, and thus hopes to continue studying this aspect of human life in her future.