Borrie Elected as Fellow by the Academy of Leisure Sciences

January 14, 2019

Bill BorrieMISSOULA – University of Montana Professor Bill Borrie recently was selected as a Fellow by The Academy of Leisure Sciences.

Founded in 1980, TALS is a leading professional organization for scholars who study recreation, parks, tourism, outdoor adventure, health and sport. The distinction honors outstanding scholars who are renowned in their respective fields.

“It’s a real honor,” Borrie said. “It’s a mark of where you’ve gotten as a scholar. These are the giants in our field and the folks who steer the direction of our field. I’m honored to be among them. It’s also a validation for the University of Montana that our program ranks among the best.”

New Fellows are nominated by current TALS Fellows and voted in by a two-thirds majority. Nominees must show direct engagement in the field, possess at least a decadelong track record of teaching and scientific publications, hold leadership positions in professional organizations and demonstrate excellence in teaching.

Borrie, a professor of park and recreation management in the W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation, has taught at UM since 1995. He describes leisure sciences as the place where recreation meets the human dimensions of natural resources.

Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Borrie earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in forestry from the University of Melbourne and a doctoral degree from Virginia Tech. He specializes in wilderness and protected area management.

Borrie has taught and conducted research worldwide – from Yellowstone National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex to Alaska, Germany and Australia. He said he is intrigued about the role wilderness plays in American society, both in terms of recreation and in the ideological ways wilderness is connected to U.S. leadership and identity.

His recent work includes studying wilderness as a sanctuary in a modern world – as a place to unplug and escape the pressures and expectations of society. Other current work includes quantifying different values people have for their public lands.

 “This is a huge honor for Bill and one that is exceptionally well-deserved,” said Tom DeLuca, the forestry college dean. “Bill follows in the footsteps of some of the very best in the field.”

Borrie was nominated as a TALS Fellow by Daniel Dustin of the University of Utah, whom Borrie calls one of his heroes. Additional TALS Fellows include UM Provost Emeritus Perry Brown; Alan Watson, a U.S. Forest Service research social scientist at the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute located on the UM campus; and Dan Williams, a social scientist with the USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station and a UM faculty affiliate.

Borrie will be inducted as a TALS Fellow during a ceremony in February held in conjunction with the TALS Research and Teaching Conference in Greenville, South Carolina.


Contact: Bill Borrie, UM professor of park and recreation management, 406-243-5521,