photo of Irene Grimberg

Dr. Bruna Irene Grimberg (project PI) is an Associate Research Professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience at Montana State University (MSU). She was the principal investigator of projects focused on increasing science literacy and teacher professional development in rural and American Indian communities. Dr. Grimberg has expertise in science outreach, educational research, and evaluation focused on underrepresented groups and women in STEM. Her contribution extends to the areas of online science instruction, culturally responsive teaching methods, need assessments, and farmers’ perceptions of the impact of climate change.

photo of Tracy Dougher

Dr. Tracy Dougher is the Associate Dean for Academic Programs in the College of Agriculture and Professor of Horticulture in the Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology at MSU. She teaches and researches the commercialization of Montana native plants. She is not only passionate about understanding the ranges and limitations of native plant in the built landscape, she enjoys the opportunity to promote and discuss teaching and learning.

Heather Estrada

Dr. Heather Estrada is an Associate Professor and the Agriculture Program Director at Flathead Valley Community College. She holds a full-time teaching appointment and has over five years of experience in course development and delivery. She teaches a diverse array of courses, including plant science, soil nutrient management, field crop production, sustainable agriculture, agricultural literature, and animal science. She also coordinates two student internship programs, and oversees agronomic research and crop production at the College’s Campus Farm. Dr. Estrada regularly interacts with students, agricultural business owners, and ag extension and research professionals across the state.

photo of Jane Mangold

Dr. Jane Mangold is an Associate Professor and Extension invasive plant specialist in the Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences at MSU. Her research and Extension program focuses on the biology, ecology, and management of invasive plants on range and wild lands of Montana and the western U.S. Dr. Mangold received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology from Iowa State University. Her Master’s of Science degree and Ph.D. were both received from MSU in abused land rehabilitation (M.S.) and land resources and environmental sciences (Ph.D.).

photo of Lisa Rew

Dr. Lisa Rew has a teaching and research appointment within the Land Resources and Environmental Sciences Department at MSU. She was the principal investigator of a project focused on partnering graduate fellows with science teachers in rural schools to improve communication skills of graduate fellows, science competence and confidence of teachers, and scientific interest of young students. Dr. Rew is highly engaged in teaching undergraduates about environmental science and biodiversity.  Her research involves understanding and managing weeds and invasive plants in production agriculture, range and wildlands.

photo of Tracy Sterling

Dr. Tracy Sterling is the Department Head and Professor of the Land Resources and Environmental Sciences Department in the College of Agriculture at MSU. Tracy contributed to improving recruitment and retention of STEM women faculty as Director and PI of the NSF-ADVANCE program from 2005-09 at New Mexico State University. She is past-chair of MSU’s first President’s Commission on the Status of University Women, which studies, evaluates, and advises President Cruzado on issues related to diversity and gender equity across faculty, staff and students. Tracy works across Department, College and University levels to mentor faculty and students. Tracy also leads a new online MS Environmental Science program providing access to this curriculum to over 60 students enrolled from across the nation. Tracy’s research and teaching expertise in plant physiology has focused on how stress influences crop and weed productivity.


Advisory Committee

  • Christy Clark, Montana Department of Agriculture
  • Courtney Cowgill, Prairie Heritage Farm
  • Krista Lee Evans, Montana Agro-business Association
  • Jamie Lockman, Kamut International
  • Bobbie Roos , Montana State University Extension


  • Shelly Hogan
  • Martha Peters