UM professor to give prestigious lecture

Griffen Smith

Years of data-combing and traveling to America’s most beloved national parks has paid off for Will Rice.

The assistant professor of outdoor recreation and wildland management at the University of Montana has inked several deals to run assessments of access to federal, state and local parks, and was recently featured in the New York Times.

But for the first time, Rice will present a virtual talk to the National Academy of Sciences Distinctive Voices lecture series on Wednesday. The lecture focuses on his specialty of finding equitable access in the outdoors.

“I just got incredibly lucky,” Rice said. “We are really sought out.”

Rice specializes in research on wilderness and recreation spaces. His job helps find a balance between park managers who see a high demand for recreation and the growing number of people interested in the outdoors.

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He most recently published a study unearthing the exclusionary effects reservation systems have in highly sought-after camping spots in national parks.

The study found white, higher-income ZIP codes are more likely to secure reservations to places like Glacier National Park and the Grand Canyon. Rice attributed the inequity to the

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