2015-2016 Editorial Board
Hallie Bishop, Conference Editor
Hallie grew up in Billings, MT and is proud to say she has lived in Montana her entire life. In need of new adventure, she decided to venture to the western part of the state where she received a B.A. in History and Political Science from the University of Montana. She often travels to the Pacific NW with her family to swim in the ocean and to watch the Mariners play. Hallie enjoys all outdoor activities, but especially skiing, softball, boating, hunting, and most recently kayaking.
Maresa Jenson, Publication Editor
Maresa grew up Whitefish, Montana, spending her spare time on the slopes of Big Mountain. She then moved to the PNW, earning BA degrees in Economics and Science, Technology, and Society from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. After an extended detour as a restaurant manager in Alta, Utah, Maresa is enjoying being back in Montana for law school.
Kathryn Ore, Editor in Chief
Kathryn discovered her passion for natural and cultural resource issues while studying anthropology and art at the University of Montana. She then spent a couple of years in Eugene, Oregon where she earned her M.S. in historic preservation. After a few years working at the Montana State Historic Preservation Office, Kathryn returned to her hometown to study law. She looks forward to combining a greater understanding of law with her background in historic preservation.
Kevin Rechkoff, Publication Editor
Kevin grew up near Seattle, WA spending most of his time outdoors in the Cascade Mountains. He lived in Colorado for six years, earning his BA from The University of Colorado. Upon graduation, Kevin worked as an Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Consultant in the Denver Metro area. He loves living in Montana, and enjoys hiking, skiing, fishing and running (sort of).
Taylor Rose Thompson, Special Publication Editor
Taylor hails from Alaska, and will happily tell you how lucky she is to live there outside of law school. Aside from the home-state pride, she has had a chance to live Spokane, where she earned her B.A. in Political Science from Gonzaga University. (Go Zags!) She also worked in Washington, D.C. for two years and vows to never go East again. Taylor is a bit of a food policy wonk and one day, she hopes to build greenhouses in the Arctic. Outside of school Taylor likes to paint, garden, row and watch hockey.
Erick Valencia, Managing Editor
Erick grew up in a small town near Durango, Colorado. He graduated from Fort Lewis College with degrees in Spanish and Political Science. Erick has lived in four different states and two countries in the last six years, and is excited to take a break from moving while he is in law school. When he is not doing schoolwork he can be found fishing, hiking, camping, or brewing his next batch of beer with his wife, Casey, and his two dogs.
Lindsay Ward, Business Editor
Lindsay grew up in the heart of the beautiful Bitterroot Valley in Corvallis, Montana. She attended Carroll College, graduating with a B.A. in history. After a few years of seasonal work, she finally decided to put her degree to work and go to law school. She enjoys frolicking with her border collie, practicing yoga, and aspires to someday run an ultra marathon.
Keatan Williams, Managing Editor
Keatan Williams grew up in Fort Wayne, IN. He graduated from Indiana University in 2011 with a B.S. in Environmental Management before immediately moving to points further west. After a few years of travels, Keatan settled down in Montana for law school. He is interested in working in natural resource and water law. When not studying, he enjoys climbing and skiing.
2016-2017 Staff Members
Sarah Danno, Staff Member
Sarah's rooted connection to the outdoors stems from her years growing up in various National Parks across the country. Her transient upbringing led her to attend West Virginia University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. After finally returning to Montana, she vows to remain indefinitely. Sarah is passionate about public service and connecting others to the great outdoors. She loves hiking with her dogs, running Montana’s trails, and exploring its wilderness.
Jake Schwaller, Staff Member
Jake was raised in East Helena, Montana, with a great passion for all-things-outside/Montana. Upon receiving his degree in English from the University of Mary, he went abroad to teach in Jakarta, Indonesia. Jake then obtained an MA in English from the University of Idaho while teaching college composition and rhetoric and serving as an editorial assistant for the ecocritical journal Interdisciplinary Studies of Literature and Environment. Aside from his scholarly adventures, Jake invests his time in the pursuit of fish. He has worked as a commercial salmon fisherman in Bristol Bay, AK for seven summers and as a deckhand on a yacht from Seattle to Sitka, AK. Even in his free time, he is most likely found chasing trout with a fly rod in one of Montana or Idaho’s fantastic fisheries. Jake plans to put his background in language, teaching, and fishing towards becoming a trial attorney and fighting copper mines.
Emily Slike, Staff Member
Emily grew up in Sun Valley, Idaho, where she spent much of her time playing throughout the surrounding mountains. After receiving her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Idaho, she returned home and served with AmeriCorps National and VISTA. While not busy studying, you can find Emily hanging out with her husband and puppies, dancing, traveling, and enjoying all things outdoors.
Jody Lowenstein, Staff Member
Jody Lowenstein Jody grew up in Billings, Montana. He attended Montana State University, graduating with a degree in social studies education. Before attending law school, he taught history and government at Helena High, where his students inspired him to chase after deeper ambitions.
Kirsa Shelkey, Staff Member
Though Kirsa has travelled and worked in various countries and states, Montana has always been and always will be home. Growing up in Bozeman, Kirsa learned early the value of place and how lucky she was to live in such a special one. She earned her B.S. from Missoula in Rural and Environmental Sociology with a minor in International Development Studies. As part of undergraduate school, she had the opportunity to study natural resource management in Cameroon, Africa. It was that experience, in part, that drove her to law school. Outside of school, Kirsa lives for days spent above tree line, exploring long ridgelines and breathing in mountain air.
Lillian Alvernaz, Staff Member
(Dakota & Assiniboine) Born and raised in Montana, Lillian grew up on the plains and attends school in the mountains - the best of both worlds. Lillian received a B.A. in Social Work and Native American Studies from the University of Montana in 2013. Lillian’s passion lies in American Indian law and policy. Lillian enjoys being outside, lifting weights, attending powwows, and spending time with her family.
Arie Mielkus, Staff Member
Arie hails from Colorado where she graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology. Before returning to law school she was a State Park Ranger and is now excited to explore Montana. She is interested in how law affects natural resource use in the west. In her spare time she enjoys biking, hiking, and snuggling with her cats.
Caitlin Buzzas, Staff Member
Caitlin grew up in Bozeman, Montana which gave her a great appreciation for the outdoors. She got her degree in Political Science from the University of Montana despite the fact she spent most of her time abroad doing every study abroad program UM would allow. After working in Washington, D.C. for many years, mostly on science policy issues, she moved back to her home state to study law. When not doing school or work she enjoys traveling, eating, and doing everything and anything outside.
Jonah Brown, Staff Member
Jonah grew up hovering at the margins of vast mountain ranges in Missoula, Montana. After earning a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Whitworth University he spent a year working as a ski bum in Alta, Utah. Jonah has since returned to his hometown to study law and continue exploring Montana’s endless possibilities
Ben Almy, Staff Member
Ben grew up in the green mountains of Vermont. He attended the University of Montana, earning a degree in History and Political Science and a secondary teaching certification. Before returning to Missoula to attend law school, he served on the Board of Directors for the Gallatin River Task Force, and spent year abroad teaching English in southern Chile. Ben enjoys skiing fishing, and biking around Montana.
Professor Michelle Bryan
Professor Michelle Bryan teaches in the Natural Resources & Environmental Law Program and is Co-Director of the Land Use & Natural Resources Clinic, which works on behalf of Montana governments and is among only a few such clinics nationwide. She has been honored to receive the Garlington, Lohn & Robinson Faculty Teaching Award and the Margery Hunter Brown Faculty Merit Award for her professionalism in the classroom, her research, and her public service. Growing up in farming and ranching communities in the West, Professor Bryan was drawn to the fields of natural resources and environmental law. Before joining the law faculty, she worked in private practice representing a variety of clients including local governments, private landowners, non-profits, developers, and affected neighbors and community groups. She brings this diversity of perspective to her scholarship, her teaching, and her work with government clients. Her current research interests include the relationship between land and water use, planning in an age of climate change, the balancing of environmental and land use rights, and the role of public trust in water use. Outside of teaching, Professor Bryan has served as board member and past president of the Montana Justice Foundation. She enjoys hiking, fly fishing, and exploring the vast spaces Montana. Professor Bryan graduated from The University of Montana School of Law with high honors and served as an editor of the Montana Law Review. Prior to law school she was a policy specialist for the Water Resources Center in Bozeman, Montana.
Professor Martha Williams
Martha Williams teaches Introduction to Environmental Law, Wildlife Law and supervises the Public Land and Resources Law Review and is the Co-Director of the Land Use & Natural Resources Clinic. She joined the faculty at the law school after serving as the Deputy Solicitor Parks and Wildlife for the United States Department of the Interior where she oversaw legal issues and litigation for the National Park Service and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Professor Williams also served as Agency Legal Counsel for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, as well as policy analyst for the Environmental Quality Council, and clerk to the Honorable James Nelson of the Montana Supreme Court. Professor Williams received her B.A. from the University of Virginia and her J.D. with honors from the University of Montana School of Law.