Keith Montgomery

Keith Montgomery's picture

Keith Montgomery

Regional Executive Officer and Dean
Office of the Dean

RM 226
(715) 261-6223

I am originally from Scotland (B.Sc. Glasgow) and I lived in Canada for over 13 years (M.A., Ph.D. Waterloo) before joining the UW Colleges in 1991.

I teach at UW Marathon County (UWMC) in Wausau. The courses I teach include physical geography, meteorology, geology, and conservation. I teach occasionally in the Colleges online program. My research investigates the history of geology and the relationship between science and religion in the 17th and 18th Centuries. In addition to scholarly publications, I have written several Op-Ed features in the Wausau Daily Herald on this relationship in connection with modern-day "intelligent design." Until recently, I was Chair of the Department of Geography and Geology of the Colleges; presently I Chair UWMC's Steering Committee.

Outside of school, I am on the Wausau School District Board of Education, where I serve on the Operations and Finance Committee and the Policy and Legislative Action Committee. I also serve on the District's negotiating team with the WEA-Wausau Educator's Association.

My hobbies include golf (more practice than play) and listening to jazz and classical music (the latter two best done with a glass of malt in hand).

Above all else, I like Bach choral music: St. John Passion (Auh! Auh! Amazing performance! If this doesn't make your hair stand on end then I don't know what will. The entire performance is playlisted on the right side of the YouTube page). I also like the Mass in B minor (try the "Kyrie" in this characteristically syrupy Richter version), and the occasional cantata such as "Gottes zeit" (first half; beautiful second half) or "Lass, Furstin" (the beautiful tenor aria "Der Ewigkeit Saphirnes").

BTW, the Monteverdi Choir in this St. John Passion must be the best-looking choir in the business -- see if you don't agree. It is interesting to compare this choir, orchestra, and John Eliot Gardiner to an earlier iteration of both (is it just dress, or has physical type actually changed since the 70s and 80s? I think they look better fed nowadays).

I am also a huge fan of the late classical pianist Glenn Gould and Bach's "Goldberg" Variations (comparisons here also; full performance of the best ever Goldbergs here -- by Gould, of course). Other performance extracts here -- great view of Gould in his younger years; and a highly idiosyncratic "Emperor" concerto here -- he did like foolin' around with the phrasing! And then there'sthat little seat from childhood he used all his career  . . .

I enjoy Wagner's "Ring Cycle" and reading whatever I can that relates to it (which includes some classical Greek drama in addition to the Norse legends of the Volsunga Saga and the Voluspa). For cheap thrills, try a couple of selections from the end of Act 1 of Die Valküre: "Schläfst du Gast..." (starting at 1:00) and "Siegmund heiss' ich" (long live Walsung blood!). And the great finale as Wotan sadly takes his leave of his Valküre daughter, Brünnhilde: "Leb Wohl, du Kühnes" (you've got to listen to the whole thing). Beyond "Der Ring," I am also somewhat partial to Lohengrin and Tristan und Isolde.

Jazz-wise I tend to like blues (Jackie McLean, Booker Ervin -- nothing on U-Tube yet worthwhile).

Movies: totally chick flicks (anything Jane Austin) -- don't ask me why  

In addition to golf (above), I work out every day at the local "Y" in the winter and cycle outside in the summer.

I am married and we have two children, both girls -- one a college junior (Grinnell IA)  and the other a grad student in Eng. Lit. at U. Iowa. We have two dogs (both Shelties -- Maisie, a sable, and Esha, a tri-color), and a cat (Pip, a grey-striped tabby).

  • "Using a historical controversy to teach critical thinking, the meaning of ‘theory,’ and the status of scientific knowledge."  2009 Journal of Geoscience Education v.57(3) p.214-221.  
  • "WIKIs as a tool in creating collaboration in a large-lecture science class." 2nd Annual Best Practices in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Teaching Conference, UW Baraboo, May 29, 2008
  • "WIKIs as a tool in Freshman Seminar." 2008 Engaging Students in the First Year (ESFY) Spring Conference, UWMC, March 8, 2008
  • "Judging sides in a controversy: theory choice as applied to Earth Expansion and Sea Floor Spreading." Paper given at The Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Denver CO, 10/28/07 (Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 39, No. 6, p. 87).
  • UW Colleges Colloquium panelist, "Intelligent Design in the class; where it belongs and why."  May 24, 2007, UW Marshfield
  • "Beyond FYE." Presentation  Engaging Students in the First year (ESFY) Spring conference, March 10, 2007, UW Fox Valley.
  • "Variation in temperature with altitude and latitude" Journal of Geography v.105, pp.134-136 (June 2006)
  • Poster presentation “Long-term planning and time management,” Engaging Students in the First Year (ESFY) Spring Conference, UW Marshfield, March 11, 2006.
  • "A question of values. Using the Perry scheme to help students assess theories" Paper given at The Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City UT, 10/16/5 (Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 37, No. 7, p. 84).
  • "Religion and Science in Seventeenth Century England: Robert Hooke's Theory of the Earth." UW Barron County "History of Science" Lecture Series 8 April 2005
  • "The geology and physical geography of Robert Hooke (1635-1703)." The Wisconsin Geographer, v.20 (Fall 2004), pp. 66-72.
  • "Siccar Point and teaching the history of geology." Journal of Geoscience Education, v.51(5), p.500-505 (Nov.2003).
  • "The abyss of history." Review of "The man who found time -- James Hutton and the discovery of the Earth's antiquity," by James Repcheck. The Wisconsin Geographer v.19, pp.48-50. 2003
  • "Science and religion: The life of Nicolaus Steno." Review of "The seashell on the mountaintop: a story of science, sainthood, and the humble genius who discovered a new history of the Earth," by Alan Cutler. The Wisconsin Geographer v.19, pp.51-53. 2003
  • Presentation on Freshman Seminars at UW Colleges Freshman Year Experience Conference, 29 March 2003, UW Fox Valley
  • "The Demographic Transition" 2000
  • "A geological history of Rib Mountain, WI" 1998
  • "The Baraboo Ranges and the Devil's Lake Gorge, a geological tour" 1999
  • "Freshman Seminar WWW Resources at UW-Marathon County" (Teaching With Technology Today, v.III(3), September 21 1998).
  • "Developing HyperTextBook Materials for Geography and Geology courses at UWMC" (Teaching with Technology Today, v.II(7), 1998).
  • "Freshman Seminar //HyperTextBook//" 1997 
  • "Sinuosity and fractal dimension of meandering rivers" (Area v.28 p.491-500, 1996).
  • "Sinuosity and intricacy of meandering rivers" (Association of American Geographers, Mankato MN, 29 September 1995).
  • "Non-linear dynamics and river meandering" (Area v.25 p.97-108, 1993).
  • "The age and origin of valley terraces in the Paris-Brantford area, Grand River Valley, Ontario" (Ontario Geographer v.37 p.1-13, 1993).
  • "Scientific theories: connecting students, connecting facts" (UW Faculty College Seminar, 4 June 1993).
  • "Spatial chaos in river meanders" (Symposium on Systems Theory and Geomorphology, Miami OH, 27 September 1992).
  • "Methodological and spatio-temporal contexts for geomorphological knowledge: analysis and implications" (The Canadian Geographer v.35 p.345-352, 1991).
  • "Concepts of equilibrium and evolution in geomorphology: the model of branch systems" (Progress in Physical Geography v.13 p.47-66, 1989).
  • "The origin of micro-relief on till sheets of the Conestogo Lake area, Ontario" (The Canadian Geographer v.33 p.108-117, 1989)
  •  "Happy birthday to the Earth – sort of" UWMC "College View" column,  Wausau Daily Herald, 10/24/8.
  • "Keep God out of science class" UWMC "College View" column, Wausau Daily Herald, 5/13/8.
  • "Don't mistake weather for climate" UWMC "College View" column, Wausau Daily Herald, 3/19/8.
  • "Test scores don't tell the full story" Wausau Daily Herald, 7 June, 2006. "Be Our Guest" column concerning the interpretation of standardized state test scores.
  • "Future of America rests upon science, not faith" Wausau Daily Herald, 27 December, 2005. "Be Our Guest" column.
  • "Teaching ID dangerous to society, young minds" Wausau Daily Herald, 18 August, 2005. "Be our guest" column.
  • "Creation theory is a wedge issue" Wausau Daily Herald, 15 July, 2005. "College Views" Op-Ed Column.
  • "Letter writer as inaccurate as his source." Wausau Daily Herald 3 June 2004
  • [Letter commenting on the current geographic and cultural aptness of Marco Polo's observations in the Middle East.]
  • "Try reading the Qur'an before criticizing it." Wausau Daily Herald 27 July 2004, "Be our guest" column
  • "Biggest fish gone." Op-Ed Column on ocean over-fishing, Wausau Daily Herald, 23 September, 2003.
  • "Agriculture no longer dominates." Op-Ed Column on Wisconsin's economy and the choice of state quarter, Wausau Daily Herald, 15 October, 2003
  • Wrote "Be our guest" column for the Wausau Daily Herald, January 10, 2002, "Religion columnist confuses science and astrology."
  • Wrote short column for the Wausau Daily Herald, February 23, 2002, "McManus column illogical, divisive."
  • Opinion article: "Muslims' central beliefs are similar to Christians'" Wausau Daily Herald, 12 October 2001, p.6A
  • Opinion article: "Us and them, now and then" City Pages, November 15 2001, p.10-12 (full version also published in the Anthropology/Sociology Newsletter, May 2002).
  • 2000 Spoke at a press conference to publicize power plant pollution, Fern Island, Wausau, 21 June 2000, organized by the "Clear the Air Campaign" of the organization "Environmental Decade".
  • Op-Ed Wisconsin State Journal: "Energy efficiency: It's like a bet we can't lose" (12/19/99)

Ph.D. University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada (1986) 
M.A. University of Waterloo, Ontario Canada (1980) 
B.Sc. University of Glasgow, Great Britain (1978)

Awards & Associations


  • UW-Centers Arthur D. Kaplan Teaching Fellowship, 1996-1997
  • UW-Centers Summer Research Grants 1992, 1995
  • UW-Center Marathon County Foundation Summer Research Grants 1993, 1996
  • University of Wisconsin Teaching Fellowship 1992

Professional Associations

  • Geological Society of America
  • National Council for Geographic Education
  • National Association of Geoscience Teachers
  • Wisconsin Geographical Society
  • Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters