A New Partnership: CFL and UM – Our team gains some impressive conservation muscle


The Conservation Frontlines Foundation and the University of Montana have entered into a welcome collaboration that will broaden our impact on ethical, sustainable and science-based wildlife conservation.

In the fall of 2020, Drs. Jon McRoberts and Josh Millspaugh, of UM’s Wildlife Biology Program, and Associate Professor Nadia White, of the School of Journalism, joined our editorial team.

Their brief is to apply modern conservation principles and practices to emerging issues in wildlife science and management, and then help us communicate these matters to readers. Specifically, our Montana team members will expand and improve North American content for this magazine and for our ever-growing library; they now also monitor the latest in conservation news for our monthly Dispatches.

Jon is the point person for this collaboration—Dr. Jon T. McRoberts, that is, a research scientist and program administrator at UM who is now Contributing Editor North America. Jon’s research background is in gallinaceous birds—prairie chickens and turkeys—in the southern high plains of the US and on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. More recently, he has been involved with white-tailed deer and elk research.

Jon has done wildlife work in Southern Africa, China, Thailand and throughout the western US. A Certified Wildlife Biologist and a Professional Member of The Boone and Crockett Club, he has been an Associate Editor and manuscript reviewer for The Wildlife Society. Jon works closely with us, program supporters and UM faculty as well as our new editorial interns—two Master’s students in Natural Resources Journalism at UM. If you have ideas for North American content (or any story ideas, for that matter) reach out to us at admin@conservationfrontlines.org.

Nadia White joins Conservation Frontlines as the advisor to UM’s graduate program in Environmental Science and Natural Resource Journalism. A veteran newspaper reporter and editor from Wyoming, Nadia’s international work focused on agriculture and wildlife disease. Her work on brucellosis in Kazakhstan earned a top award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a fellowship at the University of Colorado Boulder. Nadia’s specialty now is environmental and public-affairs journalism. In her scant spare time, she can be found floating the rivers of the American West and exploring its vast open spaces.

Dr. Josh Millspaugh rounds out our team from Missoula, where he is the Boone and Crockett Professor of Wildlife Conservation. Josh’s diverse research background has resulted in hundreds of articles and papers, book chapters and books, and the training of a small army of wildlife conservationists. A Certified Wildlife Biologist and a Fellow of The Wildlife Society, Josh is an international speaker on wildlife conservation and management who serves on high-impact advisory boards. Josh’s background provides the big-picture perspective to keep the team focused on the issues that matter most. One of his other passions is preparing wild game meals for his family and friends.

As communicators and scientists, Jon, Josh and Nadia are professionals who have been seasoned by tight deadlines, wrangling wild species for research, conducting leading-edge research and building bridges to zealous stakeholders, all in the name of conservation. This partnership will strengthen our efforts to promote good (effective, scientific, ethical) conservation practices and policy for wildlife and wild lands. As this collaboration expands, you will see new features in Dispatches and improved communication with important target groups on social media. We plan to hand them some interesting assignments for this magazine, too.

The University of Montana “encourages students, faculty, researchers and staff to think critically, live ethically and explore creatively.” Wildlife studies there began in 1936. Since then, members of the program have been among the leading figures in North American and global conservation. In 2016, UM’s Wildlife Biology Program was rated the top among US and Canadian research universities in faculty productivity, and today UM ranks fifth out of 316 institutions for scholarly contributions to influential ecology journals.

From this platform, Jon, Nadia, Josh and their students will bring independent thought and fresh opinion and insight to Conservation Frontlines.

—Silvio Calabi, North American Editor