x = independently organized TED event

This event occurred on
September 19, 2013
12:00am - 9:00pm MDT
(UTC -6hrs)
Missoula, MT
United States

The first TEDxUMontana event will be held September 19, 2013 in the Masquer theater of the Performing Arts/Radio-TV Center. TEDxUMontana will feature some of the best minds, most innovative ideas and engaging speakers from the University of Montana community. Join us to celebrate the power of ideas and innovation!

Masquer Theater, PARTV
University of Montana
32 Campus drive, Masquer Theater- PARTV
Missoula, MT, 59812
United States
Event type:
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Josh Slotnick

Farmer. Founder. Cultivator. Josh Slotnick is a lecturer in the Environmental Studies at the University of Montana. Josh is a co-founder of the nonprofit Garden City Harvest and the PEAS Farm, a partnership between the UM Environmental Studies and Garden City Harvest. He manages the PEAS farm, and teaches students on the farm and in the classroom. Josh has a master’s in Professional Studies in Agriculture Extension and Adult Education from Cornell University, a BA in Philosophy from the University of Montana and a certificate in Ecological Horticulture from University of California Santa Cruz. Josh has been a partner in the family farm, Clark Fork Organics, since 1992. He is also a former Peace Corps volunteer.

Diana Six

Expert entomologist. Writer. Beetle lover. Diana Six, Ph.D., is professor of Forest Entomology and Pathology at the University of Montana, and an editor of four scientific journals. Her research focuses on just about every aspect of bark beetles possible from genomics to evolution, from symbiosis with microbes to management. In recent years her work has expanded to include how global change is affecting these ecologically and economically important insects and the forests within which they live. She is an intense lover of nature and the outdoors, likes to lift big weights for fun and is one of the few people in Montana who thinks bark beetles are cute.

Dale Sherrard

Sound designer. Composer. Artist. Dale Sherrard is an experimental composer, sonic sculptor and sound designer. He teaches sound design as adjunct assistant professor of Sonic Arts in the Media Arts Program at the University of Montana. He holds a master’s degree in sound from The Milton Avery Graduate Program at Bard College in New York. Sherrard’s work ranges in various formats including gallery and museum installation, orchestrated performance, avant opera, scores for film and modern dance and studio recordings for playback. Recent works have exhibited in Missoula and in Austria and also include a series of student orchestra phonography pieces performed locally. Collaborations include work with Italian sculptor and animator Luca Buvoli and as sound designer and co-composer that premiered at The Mattress Factory in Pittsburg, Penn., and was shown at New York's MOMA in January 2009. He has also collaborated with choreographers Ani Weinstein and Anya Cloud in New York. Recent film credits include the soundtrack to the Ken Burns award-winning short film "Foggy Mountains Breakdown More Than Non-Foggy Mountains" by filmmaker Jessie Stead, sound design for Tony Torn's film "The Grand Inquisitor," sound design for “Universal VIP” with Ken White and archival sound for “Winter In The Blood.” After 25 years in New York, Sherrard now resides in Missoula and Seattle, Wash.

Kimber McKay

Anthropologist. Ethnologist. Global researcher. Kimber Haddix McKay is a cultural anthropologist who has studied marriage and family systems in Nepal, East Africa and Central America for 20 years. Kimber works with graduate and undergraduate students at the University of Montana to integrate anthropological research into the international development field. In her research in the Nepalese Himalaya she has worked with ethnic Tibetans since 1994, intermittently living with these yak herding, subsistence farming, polyandrous people before, during and since Nepal's Maoist insurrection. McKay has also worked together with non government organizations including the ISIS Foundation to find ways that research on knowledge, attitudes and practice can improve community development projects on the ground, and make those projects sensitive to local social conventions, hierarchies and traditions. McKay received her bachelor's degree in anthropology from Mount Holyoke College, and her master's and doctoral degrees in the same field from the University of California, Davis. She was a postdoctoral fellow in demography at the University of California, Berkeley, before joining the faculty at the University of Montana, where she is a professor of anthropology.

Mark LoParco

Industry leader. Sustainability crusader. Pioneer. Mark LoParco is director of UM Dining at the University of Montana, and is the executive director of the UM Foodservice Management and Purchasing Consortium. An active member of the National Association of College and University Food Services since 1986, Mark is currently serving as president of the association. As a pioneer in collegiate food service sustainability, Mark frequently presents at regional and national conferences. Mark’s leadership in sustainable business practices earned him the inaugural Greening UM Award in 2004. At the heart of UM Dining’s portfolio of sustainable business practices is the UM Farm to College Program, a revolutionary local food-purchasing initiative which supports Montana’s agricultural economic development. The UM Farm to College Program is the 2013 Gold Medal winner in the NACUFS Sustainability Awards Program – Food Procurement Category.

Neva Hassanein

Gardener. Activist. Locavore. Neva Hassanein is a professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Montana. An activist-scholar, Neva and her students have been involved in many efforts to strengthen Montana’s food system through civic engagement and community-based action research. Neva co-founded the Community Food and Agriculture Coalition of Missoula County, and was a founding partner in Grow Montana, a statewide policy coalition. She is the author of “Changing the Way America Farms,” as well as numerous articles on agricultural policy and on sustainable, democratic food systems. In 2011, she served as president of the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society, an international organization of scholars and practitioners. Neva enjoys gardening, sharing food with friends and hunting wild mushrooms.

Steven Gaskill

Exercise scientist. Coach. Motivator. Steven Gaskill, Ph.D., grew up climbing, skiing and kayaking in the mountains of Colorado. He completed his MA at St. Cloud State and his doctorate at University of Minnesota in exercise physiology. He was head of the U.S. and Olympic Nordic Combined Ski Coach from 1979 to 1985, and also directed the coach education program for U.S. skiing from 1983-85. He ran a successful cross-country ski coaching business in Minnesota. Steven is in his 14th year at the University of Montana where he has taught a variety of courses from medical physiology to coaching. His research topics range across a broad spectrum from fitness and work capacity in wildland firefighters to how physical activity affects health and cognition. His current focus and passion encompasses the arena of how physical activity improves brain function and learning in youth. He is currently working with school administrators and community leaders to increase daily physical activity in Missoula youth during the school day to improve learning and health while decreasing obesity and classroom behavior issues.

Chris Comer

Neuroscientist. Biologist. International instructor. Christopher Comer is professor of Biology and Neuroscience and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Montana. His research is in the area of sensorimotor integration: how visual and touch-sensory information is used to guide behavior. Chris has taught principally in the areas of cellular neuroscience and animal behavior. During the summers he leads an interdisciplinary program in Dublin, Ireland, titled “Brain, Mind and the Literary Imagination.” Chris received a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, was a postdoctoral researcher at Cornell University, and on the faculty of University of Illinois at Chicago. He also served for two years at the National Science Foundation as director of the Behavioral Neuroscience Program. He is married to Linda Gazzola and has five children.

H. Rafael Chacón

Art virtuoso. Historian. Seeker. H. Rafael Chacón is professor of Art History and Criticism in the School of Art at the University of Montana. He studied art at Wabash College in Indiana and received both his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in art history with honors from the University of Chicago. A specialist on renaissance and baroque art, Rafael teaches a range of topical courses on the history of art and art criticism. His academic interests lie in the ways societies articulate their most profound values through art; in particular he researches, lectures and writes about architectural history and historic preservation. He is a recipient of the UM College of Visual and Performing Arts Distinguished Faculty Award and the Dorothy Ogg Award for Individual Contributions to Historic Preservation. He published a book on the life and work of self-taught Montana architect A.J. Gibson and most recently has written articles on the art of Glacier National Park; global, community-based art projects that go viral on the Internet; and modernist architecture in his home state. Rafael also lectures for the Smithsonian Institution Journeys program in art history and when he isn’t leading study groups around the world, he traces medieval and renaissance pilgrimage routes in western and central Europe. For his TedxUMontana talk, Rafael will explore a more personal dimension to his academic interests, discussing what a DNA test reveals about his own family’s migration story, and sharing his understanding of the broader cultural ramifications of genetic testing in our time.

Organizing team


Missoula, MT, United States


Missoula, MT, United States
  • Lance Pellerin
  • Jace (Jorma) Laakso
  • Amy Kinch
    UM Faculty Development Office/Program & Speaker Development Coordinator
  • Rick Hughes
    UM School of Media Arts/Production Coordinator
  • Denise Nelson
    UM Information Technology/Event Management Coordinator
  • Gordy Pace
    UM Information Technology/Marketing & Outreach Coordinator
  • Nick Shontz
    UM Information Technology/Volunteer Coordinator
  • Janet Sedgley
    UM Information Technology/Sponsorship Coordinator
  • Randy Gottfried
    UM Information Technology/Livestream Coordinator