Environmental Studies alums Mary Anne Hitt (2002), Sierra Club; Souta Calling Last (2007) Indigenous Vision; Betsy Gaines Quammen (1996) Author, American Zion; and David Strohmaier (1999) Missoula County Commissioner discuss the current state of the Environmental Movement as part of the celebration of the Environmental Studies Program's 50th Anniversary in May 2020.
Mary Anne Hitt is director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, working to eliminate coal pollution, stop climate disruption, and repower the nation with clean energy. She previously served as executive director of Appalachian Voices and other grassroots organizations. In 2015, Hitt was named to the POLITICO 50 list of “thinkers, doers, and visionaries transforming American politics.” In 2013, the Washingtonian named her one of “The New Guard: People Who Are Shaping Washington” during Obama’s second term, and SNL Energy named her one of the ten most influential people of the year. She and the Beyond Coal Campaign were featured in the Emmy-winning Showtime climate series, “Years of Living Dangerously.”
Souta Calling Last (Blackfeet/Blood) is the Founder and Executive Director of Indigenous Vision, a national educational nonprofit founded in 2015. Her work on land and water protection started in childhood cleaning beaver ponds. She continued volunteering with streamside clean-ups, restorations, and community water education while obtaining a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Montana in Environmental Studies. She later gained experience with her tribe as a Water Resource Specialist and Drinking Water Operator while obtaining her Master’s degree in Innovative Leadership and Change Management from the University of Phoenix. Before founding Indigenous Vision, Souta served as an Environmental Specialist in a National Tribal Drinking Water Program while she continued to organize lake shore clean-ups at drinking water reservoirs in the Phoenix area. Souta believes the land is a storybook of information filled with ecological and climate knowledge and that honoring ancestral observation will protect the land and water and will promote ideal human health and wellness.
Betsy Gaines Quammen is a historian, conservationist, and author of American Zion: Cliven Bundy, God and Public Lands in the West. She received her MS from the Environmental Studies program at University of Montana and a doctorate in Environmental History from Montana State University. Betsy has studied various religious traditions over the years, with particular attention to how cultures view landscape and wildlife. The rural American West, pastoral communities of northern Mongolia, and the grasslands of East Africa have been her main areas of interest. Betsy lives in Bozeman, Montana, with her husband, writer David Quammen, two huge dogs, an overweight cat, and a pretty big python named Boots.
Dave Strohmaier chairs the Missoula Board of County Commissioners and also serves as chairman of the Big Sky Passenger Rail Authority. He also holds an undergraduate degree from Seattle Pacific University and an MAR in philosophy of religion from Yale Divinity School. He later attended the EVST where he focused on fire ecology and environmental writing, receiving an MS in 1999. Dave worked for 18 years with the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service followed by 13 years in the private sector as a historian with Historical Research Associates where he specialized in environmental and Native American history. He has published two books with the University of Nevada Press—The Seasons of Fire: Reflections on Fire in the West; and Drift Smoke: Loss and Renewal in a Land of Fire. From 2006 to 2014, Dave represented Ward 1 on the Missoula City Council and from 2017 until the present he has served as a Missoula County commissioner. He currently chairs the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Transportation Policy Coordinating Committee.
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Digital File Format
1 hour, 28 minutes, 40 seconds
Hitt, Mary Anne; Calling Last, Souta; Gaines Quammen, Betsy; and Strohmaier, Dave, "University of Montana Environmental Studies Alumni Panel: Celebration of the EVST 50th Anniversary" (2020). Alumni Panels Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the University of Montana Environmental Studies Program. 1.