McWethy, David

Assistant Research Professor
Earth Sciences
Montana State University - Bozeman
Professional Summary: 

I have been an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences since 2009, and prior to this, served as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department since 2007. I received my Ph.D. in Ecology and Environmental Studies from Montana State University in 2007 (A. Hansen, advisor), a M.S. in Land Resources from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1998 (Advisor D. Waller) and a B.A. in Political Science and African Studies from St. Lawrence University in 1992. My research focuses on how past and present human and natural disturbances shape vegetation and influence the structure and function of ecosystems, and it is inherently interdisciplinary, spanning the disciplines of geography, biogeography and paleoecology. Specifically, my research examines the natural resiliency of different ecosystems to natural and anthropogenic fire and how climate change and land-use will alter fire and vegetation in the future. My research activities have been supported by external grant funding since 2005 and total more than $4,688,000 (all grants). At present, I am lead PI on a three-year NSF GSS (Geography and Spatial Sciences) grant and a National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration grant (details discussed below) and a co-PI on a five-year NSF PIRE (Partnership for International Research and Education) grant.


MSU IoE Office

Montana State University
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UM IoE Office

The Universityi of Montana

The University of Montana
Davidson Honors College
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(406) 243-6058
UM Director: Maury Valett


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Montana University System

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