Staff

Featured Content

Dr. Melissa Weddell

Director & Research Faculty

Melissa values working with federal, state, and local organizations to develop management plans that educate the public and assist with the responsible development of rural recreation and tourism destinations that benefit users and boost local economic commerce. Through her research, she understands the unique local concerns in developing natural areas, encouraging recreation, and attracting tourism while working collaboratively to provide inclusive recreation that improves the quality of life. She holds a doctorate in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management from Clemson University, an MBA from Southern Illinois University, and an undergraduate degree in Small Business Management & Entrepreneurship from Ball State University. Melissa enjoys mountain biking, paddling, and adventures in the backcountry in her downtime with her husband and furbabies.

Phone: (406)243-2328

melissa.weddell@umontana.edu

Dr. Melissa Weddell

Kara Grau

Assistant Director of Economic Analysis

At ITRR, I spend most of my time immersed in spreadsheets and data files, keeping things up-to-date and available for anyone who wants to know more about the tourism and recreation industry in Montana. When I'm not at ITRR, I enjoy spending time with my girls at their various activities, or taking advantage of local breweries, trails, music events, and whatever else Missoula has to offer. 

Phone: (406)243-5107

kara.grau@umontana.edu

Kara Grau

Megan Schultz

Project Manager and Research Associate

I oversee the daily operation of our Nonresident survey: supervise our data collectors, build all of our forms, clean data on the back-end, run analysis, write reports, and give presentations on ITRR data. I also oversee our Survey Kits utilized by communities across Montana for special events. My personal research interests also include collaboration and collective decision-making regarding natural resources and public lands. In my free time, I can be found with my husband, son and daughter, and two dogs hiking, brewery-touring, river rafting, and enjoying all things Montana!

Phone: (406)243-6454

megan.schultz@umontana.edu

Megan Schultz

Matthew Pettigrew

Data Engineer and Research Associate

 

 

 

Phone: (406)243-5635

matthew.pettigrew@umontana.edu

Matthew Pettigrew

Dr. Elena Bigart

Social Scientist and Research Associate

 At ITRR, I am involved in several research projects focused on national park management and communication. In particular, I conduct background reviews, develop survey instruments, coordinate data collection, and analyze findings. My research efforts are aimed at helping park managers and tourism industry make informed decisions. I also teach classes in park management, outdoor recreation, interpretation, and human geography. In my free time, I am usually outdoors enjoying Montana’s beautiful nature.

Phone: (406)243-6210

elena.bigart@umontana.edu

Dr. Elena Bigart

Carter Bermingham

Social Scientist and Research Associate

 My work at ITRR focuses on visitor use management and socioeconomic monitoring research for the National Park Service. I’m involved in everything from research design, to data collection and final reporting. I also assist in ITRR’s research efforts across Montana, covering subjects like resident attitudes towards tourism, the outfitting and guiding industry, and gateway communities to national parks. When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time outdoors and being on the water. In Montana, there’s always something new to see. 

 Phone: (406)243-2872

carter.bermingham@umontana.edu

Carter Bermingham

Glenna Brown

Program Assistant and Qualitative Specialist

At ITRR, I help examine any qualitative data that is gathered on various projects as well as assist with National Parks and State Parks projects which includes helping with data collection and analysis. When not working, I enjoy running and adventuring with my two energetic dogs and exploring all that this beautiful state has to offer!

 Phone: (406)243-2425

glenna.brown@umontana.edu

Glenna Brown

Dr. Norma Nickerson

Professor Emeritus

Norma P. Nickerson, Ph.D., was a Research Professor and Director of ITRR for 25 years from 1995 to January 2021. She authored three books, Snapshots: an Introduction to Tourism 6th Ed. ( 2014),Quality Tourism Experiences (2006), and Foundations of Tourism (1995). Dr. Nickerson wrote hundreds of research reports and journal articles and speaks throughout Montana as well as nationally and internationally about tourism. She has served on the international board of the Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA) and is past president of the Greater Western Chapter of TTRA. She sat on the editorial board of the Journal of Travel Research and served on the Missoula Parks and Recreation Board appointed by the Mayor from 2010-2015. Dr. Nickerson served on the board of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank Board, Helena Branch, as a tourism and recreation expert for 4 years (2017-2020) and served as Chair of the Helena Branch Board of Directors for one year.

norma.nickerson@umontana.edu

Dr. Norma Nickerson

Dr. Jeremy Sage

Former Research Assistant Professor; Former Economist & Interim Director

Jeremy has begun working with RRC Associates as Director of Tourism & Visitor Research

jeremy@rrcassociates.com

Dr. Jeremy Sage