Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Environmental Studies

Other Degree Name/Area of Focus

Environmental Writing

Department or School/College

Environmental Studies

Committee Chair

Phil Condon

Commitee Members

Judy Blunt, Dan Spencer


Boy Scouts of America, New Mexico, Philmont Scout Ranch, Wildfire, Outdoor Education, Fire Ecology


University of Montana

Subject Categories



Ground Fires is a collection of creative nonfiction probing the social and environmental complexities that marked the narrator’s long membership in the Boy Scouts of America. I grew up a Scout, part of a quirky, adventurous troop in a New England college town. After earning Eagle and graduating high school, I moved west, working for seven summers and a few more seasons at Philmont Scout Ranch in northern New Mexico. I led backpacking trips through the mountains and high desert, teaching teenagers about land I knew and loved, land that was changing fast. From bears to wildfire to challenging politics, these stories seek the colorful people and places behind a uniquely American institution, in hopes that Scouting might serve as a bright force in shaping the future of our diverse and wild country.

Included in

Nonfiction Commons



© Copyright 2017 Matthew R. Hart