2017-2018 Editorial Board
Sarah Danno, Publication Editor
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, Business Editor
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, Conference Editor
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, Managing Editor
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, Managing Editor
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, Conference Editor
(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.
Jonah Brown, Editor in Chief
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, Publication Editor
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.
2017-2018 Staff Members
Lowell Chandler, Staff Member
As a desert born, Montana grown individual, Lowell grew up exploring the wild lands of the west. After receiving his B.S. in Geography with a double major in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana, he travelled east to Washington, D.C., where he worked for three years as a Climate Policy Analyst at an environmental NGO. Wanting to become a more effective advocate for the environment and missing Montana, Lowell decided it was time to move back home to Missoula and study law. If he isn’t studying law, you can find him in the woods, on the river, or strumming his guitar.
Stephanie George, Staff Member
Stephanie grew up on a farm outside of Yakima, WA and studied Agriculture Food Systems and Agriculture Economics at Washington State University. Her passion for agriculture sparked her interest in natural resource issues and her desire to attend law school. Stephanie loves living in Montana, and enjoys riding her horses, hunting, and CrossFit.
Nathan Burke, Staff Member
Nathan grew up in Missoula, Montana, and has lived in Montana his whole life. He decided to check out the state’s biggest environmental disaster, the Berkeley Pit, and spent enough time there to receive a B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Montana Tech, in Butte. Nathan enjoys outdoor activities, namely backcountry skiing, backpacking, floating the river, and most recently fly-fishing.
Ryan Hickey, Staff Member
Born and raised in Great Falls, Ryan attended high school and college on the east coast thanks to Montana’s Cook Scholarship. After graduating from Yale University with a B.A. in history, he spent time in Washington, Montana, and Colorado while working as an editor and product manager before taking the law school plunge. Ryan’s wife, Tory, is in vet school at CSU; together, they currently own four dogs and three cats. When not working, Ryan enjoys fly fishing and following the Seattle Mariners and Sounders.
Molly Kelly, Staff Member
Molly grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico where she grew up hiking, rafting, and exploring the West. After graduating from Northern Arizona University, she worked on local political campaigns in New Mexico before moving to Montana for a joint J.D. and Environmental Studies Masters.
Becky Newsom, Staff Member
Becky grew up in South Bend, Indiana. She earned her B.A. from Purdue University, but spent her summers working in the beautiful state of Wyoming in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. After graduation from Purdue in 2011, Becky moved to Montana and fell in love with all the outdoor activities the state has to offer. She spent summers working in Glacier National Park, and particularly enjoyed her time being an Outdoor Educator with the Glacier Institute. After 5 years of exploring northwestern Montana, Becky decided to return to school and study law with an interest in natural resource and water law.
Peter Taylor, Staff Member
Prior to attending law school, Peter spent the previous fifteen years cattle ranching in Kirby, Montana, which is also where he grew up. Peter earned his B.A. in geology and governmental studies from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, and between geology field trips and his love of outdoor recreation, spent most of his time in New England enjoying its state and national parks. Outside of school, Peter likes to explore the outdoors with his wife and three young daughters. In the summers and on weekends they can be found horseback riding, hiking, skiing, running, biking, or just enjoying being outside together.
Oliver Wood, Staff Member
Oliver cultivated his passion for the wild corners of the American West while growing up in Washington State. A graduate of Whitman College, Oliver came to Missoula to attend graduate school in environmental studies, which morphed into law school. When he's not reading or writing, Oliver is probably chasing his husky, Huck, either on skis or foot.
Jaclyn Vannatta, Staff Member
Jaclyn was born in Missoula and is a third generation Montanan. She grew up in Palm Springs, California, but has always considered Missoula her home. She received her B.S. in Environmental Science from California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo, California so she could study along sider her identical twin sister. Before moving back to Missoula, she lived on the island of Saipan, cycled the width of the United States, and built houses with Habitat for Humanity. She loves travelling, helping others, and plans to be a life-long learner.
Summer Carmack, Staff Member
Summer was born and raised in Iuka, Mississippi, home of the highest point in the state, Woodall Mountain (elev. 806ft). After earning her undergraduate degree in Studio Art from the University of Mississippi, Summer moved to Red Lodge, Montana to work as an artist-in-residence at the Red Lodge Clay Center. Upon her move to Red Lodge, she discovered what real mountains looked like, and spent much of her time hiking outdoors. She later moved to Missoula to attend law school, and has loved her time here and all the friends that she has made.
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.