University of Montana ISPAM Staff

The International Seminar on Protected Area Management is a collaborative effort of the University of Montana and the United States Forest Service International Programs. 

Key public agency personnel from the US Forest Service and the National Park Service will join the program and assist with program content development. Leaders in protected area management from non-governmental organizations and private enterprises will provide key insights into seminar topics.

My research is broadly centered in human-environment interactions and the intersection of conservation and development. Within this, my focus is on ecotourism, community development and natural resource management, particularly in mountainous areas and developing countries. The pursuit of these investigations has taken me to a wide range of geographic locations where I have had the opportunity to study a diversity of topics. These include adventure tourism and economic crisis in Argentina, Scientific Tourism in Patagonia, Women’s roles in ecotourism in India and population and development issues in Nepal. Since 2005 I have been conducting field courses with university students in the Indian Himalaya. This experience has been both challenging and immensely rewarding for me and my students. My experiences in India led my wife and I to start a small ecotourism venture called the Nature-Link Institute. We now run several courses a year to the Himalaya. In my free time, I enjoy being outdoors and moving through the landscape. My passions include trail running, rock and ice climbing, snowboarding, high altitude mountaineering and teaching and learning with students in a field setting.

Ever since I can remember, I have had a passion for conservation, wildlife, outdoors recreation, and travel starting with childhood explorations in the woods and my first trip to Africa. I am fortunate that my experiences have led me to a profession where I can research and teach in the field of park, recreation, and tourism management. Bridging my natural science background in wildlife and fisheries biology with my social science background in parks and conservation area management, my research focuses on three main areas: 1) stakeholder collaboration associated with large landscape conservation, 2) sustainable tourism and protected area management, 3) the relationship between human and ecosystem health, and 4) the relationship between environmental learning and pro-environmental behavior.

Charles is a conservation planner and policy specialist with over 20 years professional experience. As a trained planner for national parks and protected areas in the USA, he brought his field experience to global policy jobs with the United Nations, international organizations and national governments. He spent 6 years as the Head of the Protected Areas Programme at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre in Cambridge UK developing and aggregating global information on protected area systems and presenting this to global policy makers. He spent 4 years as a staff member of the Secretariat for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Montreal, Canada coordinating the LifeWeb Initiative that assisted developing countries in leveraging funds to build and strengthen protected area systems, help ecosystems adapt to climate change and manage invasive alien species, among other issues. He has extensive experience in project and program development, proposal writing and fundraising. He has lived in the USA, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Canada and has worked and traveled in over 80 countries. Charles is currently working as a consultant from Missoula, Montana, close to intact ecosystems and scenic beauty.

Sarah Eiden is a graduate student at the University of Montana currently pursuing her master’s in resource conservation with a concentration in international conservation and development. She is interested in the development of agroforestry practices focusing on place-specific diversified systems for ecological resiliency with local community engagement. Sarah graduated from Virginia Tech with a bachelors in international relations. She spent the last three years living and working in Russia. When not on campus, Sarah is an avid rock climber and enjoys getting into the mountains or finding herself surrounded by trees.

Lucille Rice is a graduate student at the University of Montana currently pursuing her master’s in resource conservation with a concentration in international conservation and development. She is interested in integrating sustainable rural livelihoods with landscape conservation efforts. Lucille graduated from Eckerd College with bachelors in international relations and Spanish. She has lived and worked in Central and South America and Western Europe.

Taya Levine has spent more than 27 years as an Organizational Development professional supporting individual and organization success in both the public and private sector. She has extensive experience as a facilitator of key organization change and improvement processes, customized training programs and support to senior leadership and project teams. Her capacity to work with individuals, groups and whole systems has impacted both private and public-sector organizations in over 70 countries.  She has supported USFS International Program Office through facilitation of conferences and with activities in Indonesia, Morocco, Ethiopia and Jordan.  Taya lives in the Russian River watershed in Sonoma County, California where she enjoys gazing at the natural splendor and abundance of the place she calls home.

Chris joined the US Forest Service International Programs in August 2005 as a Program Specialist in the Technical Cooperation unit and currently serves as the Regional Operations Manager for the Africa and Middle East program. In this role, Chris supports activities across the region with special attention to Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment, the Lebanon Reforestation Initiative, and community forestry activities in Cameroon.

Prior to joining International Programs, Chris lived in El Salvador for three years as a Peace Corps volunteer, working with small communities on agroforestry and watershed conservation projects. Chris received a B.S. in Environmental Science with a minor in chemistry from the University of Rochester in New York, and spent one semester abroad as an undergraduate in Costa Rica.

Eric Rosenfield grew up in Los Angeles, California. He received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the George Washington University in Washington, DC, and then joined the Peace Corps in Panama where he served as an Environmental Health Volunteer working on water resources issues in a small indigenous community. After nearly three years in Panama, Eric returned to the US to receive his Masters in Public Administration with a focus in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University in New York. His studies ultimately brought him back to DC where he worked with the White House Office of Management and Budget for over three years, focusing on the Environmental Protection Agency’s research and development programs, as well as those related to children’s health. Eric joined the US Forest Service’s International Programs Office just 10 months ago, where he focuses on activities to combat illegal logging in the Latin America and Caribbean region.