Pat Munday

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Pat Munday is an environmentalist, writer, and college professor living in Butte, Montana. Notable achievements include an international award for scholarship in the history of chemistry, and contributions through environmental activism.


Munday graduated from Drexel University in 1978 with a double BS in Engineering and Humanities. He went on to study at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and graduated in 1981 with an MS in Science, Technology and Values. Munday continued his education at Cornell University receiving his MA in History in 1987. In 1987 and 1988 he was a visiting researcher and Fulbright Scholar at the Universität Hamburg, Institut für Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften, Mathematik und Technik. After that Munday went on to receive his PhD from Cornell in the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology in 1990 where his dissertation was titled Sturm und Dung: Justus von Liebig (1803-73) and the chemistry of agriculture.

Environmental activism[edit]

After graduating from Cornell Munday took a teaching position with Montana Tech of The University of Montana where he teaches courses on Technology & Society; Professional Ethics; Politics of Technical Decisions; and Culture, Technology & Communication. It was in Montana that he took an interest in contemporary environmental issues. He continued this interest in activism with the Big Hole Foundation and the George Grant chapter of Montana Trout Unlimited.

Notable achievements as an environmental activist include:

  • As President of the George Grant Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Munday successfully applied for more than $1 million in funding for a restoration & land acquisition project on German Gulch—a primo westslope cutthroat trout fishery near Butte. Josh Vincent, an environmental engineer with Water & Environmental Technologies, was co-writer and is project manager.
  • Charter member and governor's appointee to Montana's Upper Clark Fork River Basin Remediation and Restoration Advisory Council (1998–2002). The Council advises the Governor and takes a leadership role in encouraging public involvement, promoting educational activities, and developing policy involving the State of Montana’s $215 million settlement for damages to natural resources caused by a century of mining and smelting activities. Dr. Munday helped establish the Council's newsletter and educational mission NRD School Resources, an effort that culminated in the establishment of the Clark Fork Watershed Education Program hosted by Montana Tech.
  • Regular radio commentaries on KUFM for the Clark Fork River Technical Assistance Committee, an EPA Technical Advisory Committee for the Clark Fork River Superfund process. Radio commentaries available at KUFM, Montana Public Radio.
  • As Big Hole Foundation, representative in the Big Hole River Conflict Resolution Committee, a state-appointed committee to resolve recreational conflicts through deliberative dialogue and policy suggestions to the state. The Big Hole River is very popular with anglers; there are nearly 100,000 angler-days of use each year. As the level of use rose sharply in the late 1990s, local anglers found they were being displaced by professional guides and outfitters. Following a collapse of the state-appointed committee, a group led by Dr. Munday created a novel plan that was accepted by the state; the Seven Day Rest-Rotation Rule minimized conflict between the angling public and outfitters/guides. See also River Recreation Management.
  • As Big Hole Foundation interim Executive Director, wrote a successful grant application to Resources for Community Collaboration/William & Flora Hewlett Foundation to inaugurate land use planning in the four counties governing land along the Big Hole River. This effort culminated in a 4-county plan to better manage riverine habitat, see Big Hole Land Use Planning.

Notable publications[edit]

Munday is the author of Montana's Last Best River: The Big Hole and its People. (Lyons Press, 2001). He published a number of related articles such as "George Grant and the Conservation of the Big Hole River Watershed" Montana the Magazine of Western History.

The publication Montana's Last Best River: The Big Hole and its People (Lyons Press, 2001) is the only major published work on this 2,800-square-mile (7,300 km2) watershed.

An earlier phase of Munday's publications stemmed from his PhD thesis, "Sturm und Dung: Justus von Liebig (1803-73) and the Chemistry of Agriculture," completed under the direction of his Doktorvater Dr. L. Pearce Williams of Cornell University's Science & Technology Studies program. This early series of publications began with "Social Climbing Through Chemistry: Justus von Liebig's Rise from the niederer Mittelstand to the Bildungsbuergertum, Ambix 37 (1990): 1-19 and culminated with "Politics by other means: Justus von Liebig and the German translation of John Stuart Mill's Logic British Journal for the History of Science 31 (1998): 403-18. Munday's work on Liebig was cited heavily in the authoritative Liebig biography by University of Leicester professor William H. Brock, Justus von Liebig: The Chemical Gatekeeper (Cambridge University Press, 1997).

Honors and awards[edit]

Munday's work on Liebig resulted in his being awarded the inaugural Liebig-Woehler Freundschaft Preis in 1994—an honor he shared with Dr. Emily Heuser.

External links[edit]