Image of abandoned sign covered in ivy with the phrase welcome on it

Rockfish Gap, Shenandoah Mountains, Virginia. Leif Fredrickson.

Welcome!

You can read about this site here, and details about my research and projects here.

In case you’d like a more personal introduction:

I’m from Missoula, Montana. My parents were public school teachers.

I attended Hellgate High School (yes, that was really the name). I played soccer and tennis, and I sang in a hardcore punk band. According to the Maximum Rocknroll review of my band, I would “make one hell of an auctioneer.” But I didn’t follow that path.

At Vassar College, I studied cognitive science. I did not take a single history class. But obviously I changed my mind on that matter. I met my wife at Vassar. She is awesome.

After Vassar, I returned to Montana where I worked at various jobs for many years before returning to school. I was a hooker, a packer and a farrier, for example. I built homes (including my own). My main gig was working in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, which I did for nine seasons. In that job, we occasionally had to blow up a horse that died in the backcountry so that grizzlies would not be attracted to it. Turns out a lot of labor goes into making wilderness areas work.

I love academics, but it’s just part of my life.

Photo of dead horse covered in explosives

Monture Roadless Area, Ovando, Montana. Leif Fredrickson.