Year of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Environmental Studies

Department or School/College

Environmental Studies Program

Committee Chair

Phil Condon

Commitee Members

Steven J. Schwarze, Tom M. Roy


Community, Creative Nonfiction, Environment, Land Use, Montana, Ranching, Sustainable Agriculture, Sweet Grass County


University of Montana


This collection of essays revolves around several trips I made to Sweet Grass County and most specifically, Melville, Montana, population approximately 140. I discovered Melville on a class trip to Sweet Grass County and couldn’t get the community out of my mind. Relatively unchanged for the past three to four generations, these people value hard work and all the lessons it brings, neighbors, and the lifestyle of a rancher. But life in the ranching industry is a tough one. Profits are hard to come by and land prices are high where there is a view. And there is a view in Melville: the town is situated between the Absaroka-Beartooth and Crazy Mountain ranges on either side. The community is rich in shared memory, interdependence, and a great identity and pride they take in the land they steward. The stories are sometimes journalistic, sometimes more sketches or stories of the nonfiction kind. Much of the writing is personal, stemming from my own struggles with sense of place.

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© Copyright 2006 Genevieve Jessop Marsh