Carroll College, Helena Montana


Dr. Patricia Heiser

Patricia HeiserAssociate Professor of Earth Science

Phone: 406-447-4341


Ph.D. University of Alaska Fairbanks

B.S. University of Vermont

Areas of Interest:

Geomorphology, Landscape Dynamics

Courses Taught:

Environmental Science, Earth Science, Geomorphology, Senior Seminar

Dr. Heiser completed her undergraduate degree in geology and ecology at the University of Vermont and was soon off to Alaska to pursue her Ph.D. in earth science. Her graduate work focused on the glacial sediment history of the Bering Straight and included research in both Russia and Alaska. During a post-doc position at the University of Madison Wisconsin, she studied the permafrost features of northern Wisconsin. Her first teaching position was at Ohio University Athens where she taught geology, geomorphology, soil science and climate change. She was soon drawn back to Alaska and began a joint position with the University of Alaska Anchorage teaching geology and integrated science programs for education majors. She then moved on to the University of Alaska Fairbanks to help develop a geography program and continue research on tundra-forest ecotone dynamics in Southwestern Alaska. We are now lucky to have her at Carroll College as the Director of the Environmental Studies Program. Her teaching in earth and environmental science is well loved by students and she continues to involve students in field research ranging from forest fire dynamics using dendrochronology techniques to paleoecology using lake sediment cores. She loves skiing, hiking and about any activity outdoors.

Dr. Willis D. Weight, P.E.

Willis Weight

Dr. Weight earned his Ph.D. from the University of Wyoming in Mathematical Geology. He is a practicing hydrogeologist, a registered Professional Engineer in Montana and Idaho, and a licensed Monitoring Well Constructor. Dr Weight leads the Environmental Engineering track of Carroll's Civil Engineering department.

He has over 15 peer-reviewed articles and is most recently recognized for his newly released Hydrogeology Field Manual (2nd edition) published by McGraw-Hill. He teaches courses in Energy and Environment, Environmental Engineering, Hydrogeology, and Groundwater Modeling. He has also taught over 60 professional short courses, including some in international settings.

He enjoys racquetball, snowboarding, flyfishing, and hunting.

Contact Willis

Dr. Grant Hokit

Dr. Grant HokitAssociate Professor of Biology
Phone: 406-447-4460

Ph.D. Oregon State University,
B.S. Colorado State University

Areas of Interest:
Ecology, Conservation Biology, Herpetology

Courses Taught:
Biological Principles, Ecology, Comparative Anatomy

After completing his B.S. in Wildlife Biology at Colorado State University, Dr. Hokit worked as a park ranger for 4 years for the U.S. National Park Service. Returning to graduate school, he completed a Ph.D. in Zoology at Oregon State University studying the behavioral and population ecology of amphibians in the Pacific Northwest including a 4-year study on population declines. A two-year post-doc at the University of Florida examined the effects of landscape structure on the demography of populations of reptiles and amphibians. He has been a biology professor at Carroll College for the past 20 years. While at Carroll, his research has mainly focused on distribution patterns of amphibians and reptiles from Alaska, to Montana, to Ecuador. More recently, he is studying infectious disease ecology in an effort to construct an infection risk model for West Nile Virus in Montana. He has published over 30 peer-reviewed articles in journals like THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCE, ECOLOGY, and CONSERVATION GENETICS. He loves biking, hiking, skiing and long megatransects in remote regions around the world.