Sarah J. Halvorson
Office: Stone Hall 211
Phone: (406) 243-2793
Fax: (406) 243-4840
Faculty & Staff
- Professor of Geography
I am a population and economic geographer with research interests in rural communities. My research focuses on what draws people to rural places and how communities and landscapes change as populations grow or decline. I use both quantitative (survey-based) and qualitative (interview-based) research methodologies.
With prior research, I examined migration to areas with high natural amenities. I have also a strong interest in rural areas experiencing population loss, such as many smaller communities of the Great Plains.
Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, I studied rural return migration: I traveled to numerous rural communities nation-wide to conduct interviews and gain an understanding of why people move back to their rural home town and how their return impacts their community.
I currently collaborate with the University of Montana’s Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities (previously: Rural Institute on Disabilities) to better understand the spatial distribution of disability, in particular the concentrations of persons with impairments in rural areas.
Much of my research stems from a concern for geographic inequality, for instance by how the location of a place affects access of people to services and quality of life.
- Ph.D., Geography, University of Idaho, 1992
- M.S., Economics and Regional Science, Christian-Albrechts Universität Kiel, Germany, 1981
- B.S., Economics, Bayerische Julius-Maximilians Universität Würzburg, Germany, 1976
- Ruffatto Memorial Award 2013
- Visiting Research Scholar - Economic Research Service 2011
- International Visiting Scholar, Georgia, Caucasus 2006
- Faculty Development Award 2003
- Engagement Award 2002
- Diane A. Haynes Award 1992
- Faculty Excellence Award 1989
Field of Study
Rural Communities, Socio-demographic Analysis, U.S. Migration/Rural Return Migration, Economic Geography, Transportation GIS.
Rural Communities, Socio-demographic Analysis, Community Change and Planning, U.S. Migration, Return Migration, Marginalized Populations, Rural Economies, Qualitative and Quantitative Methods, Transportation GIS
- Geography of Disability: Senior analyst of competitive research grant to the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities (formerly: Rural Institute on Disability), University of Montana (funded by NIDRR, 2013-2018)
- Return Migration to Geographical Disadvantaged Rural U.S. Communities: Principal Investigator of competitive research grant to the Department of Geography, University of Montana (funded by CSREES/USDA, 2007-2011)
- Northern Great Plains Population Project: Analyst (funded by congressional appropriation, 2001)
- Population Dynamics in Montana: Analyst (funded by Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation, 1998)
Department of Geography
Area of Expertise
Return Migration; Rural Areas; Socio-demographic Analysis
- GPHY 121S - Introduction to Human Geography
- GPHY 323S - Economic Geography of Rural Areas
- GPHY 423 - Migration and Population Change
- GPHY 468/469 - Community and Regional Analysis (with laboratory)
- GPHY 486/489 - Transport, Planning, and GIS (with laboratory)
- GPHY 497 - Workshop in Teaching Geography
- GPHY 500 - Colloquium
- GPHY 504 - Introduction to Geographical Research
- GPHY 505 - Research Design
- GPHY 515 - Advanced Human Geography: Migration
- GPHY 515 - Advanced Human Geography: Rural America
With my teaching, I support the Community and Environmental Planning option, the Cartography & GIS option, and the General Geography option of our programs
I was born and raised in Germany and have traveled extensively (Europe, Southeast Asia, the South Pacific/Oceania, Central and South America, Turkey and its neighbors. I spent Fall 2006 as a Visiting Scholar in Georgia, Caucasus, to offer workshops on 'Teaching Geography.'
- von Reichert, Christiane, John Cromartie and Ryan Arthun. 2014. "Impacts of Return Migration on Rural U.S. Communities." Rural Sociology. 79(2), 200-226. DOI: 10.1111/ruso.12024
- von Reichert, Christiane, John Cromartie and Ryan Arthun. 2014. "Reasons for Returning and Not Returning to Rural U.S. Communities. The Professional Geographer. 66(1), 58-72. DOI: 10.1080/00330124.2012.725373
- von Reichert, Christiane, John B. Cromartie and Ryan O. Arthun. 2013. "Intergenerational Relationships and Rural Return Migration." Pp. 251-71 in Rural Aging in 21st Century America, edited by N. Glasgow and H. E. Berry. Dordrecht,The Netherlands: Springer.
- Wall, Tamara and Christiane von Reichert. 2013. "Divorce as an Influence in Return Migration to Rural Areas." Population, Space and Place 19(3):350-363 doi: 10.1002/psp.1719.
- von Reichert, Christiane, John B. Cromartie and Ryan O. Arthun. 2011. "Returning Home and Making a Living: Employment Strategies of Return Migrants to Rural U.S. Communities ". Journal of Rural and Community Development 6(2):35-52.
- von Reichert, Christiane. 2006. "Community Evaluation and Migration Intentions: The Role of Attraction and Aversion to Place on the Northern Great Plains” " Pp. 333-56 in Population Change and Rural Society, edited by W. Kandel and D. L. Brown. Berlin: Springer.
- von Reichert, Christiane. 2002. "Returning and New Montana Migrants: Socio-Economic and Motivational Differences." Growth and Change 33(1):133-51. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2478.2001.00283.x.
- von Reichert, Christiane, William H. McBroom, Fred W. Reed and Paul B. Wilson. 1995. "Access to Health Care and Travel for Birthing: Native American-White Differentials in Montana." Geoforum 26(3):297-308.
- von Reichert, Christiane and Gundars Rudzitis. 1994. "Rent and Wage Effects on the Choice of Amenity Destinations of the Labor Force and Non-Labor Force.". Journal of Regional Science 34(3):445-55.
- von Reichert, Christiane and Gundars Rudzitis. 1992. "Multinomial Logistic Models Explaining Income Changes of Migrants to High-Amenity Counties." The Review of Regional Studies 22(1):25-42.
Edited Chapters, Monographs, Proceedings, Reports
- Cromartie, John, Christiane von Reichert, and Ryan Arthun. 2015. Factors Affecting Former Residents Returning to Rural Communities. Economic Research Report 185. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service
- Spielman, Kimberly and Christiane von Reichert. 2009. Food Supply Chains and Food Miles. An Analysis of Selected Conventional, Non-Local Organic, and Other-Alternative Foods Sold in Missoula, Montana. : Thesis published by VDM Publishing.
- von Reichert, Christiane. 2007. "U.S. Population Dynamics: Heartlands-Mountains Contrasts." Pp. 348-55 in IIIrd International Scientific Conference on American Studies, November 3-5, 2006. Akaki Tsereteli State University, Kutaisi, Georgia.
- von Reichert, Christiane. 1998. "Who Are the Migrants and Why Do They Come? Analysis of Survey Data Focusing on Return and New Migrants to Montana." Research report commissioned by the Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation. Department of Geography, The University of Montana, Missoula, MT.
- von Reichert, Christiane. 1998. "Montana’s Changing Migration Patterns.". Research report commissioned by the Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation. Department of Geography, The University of Montana, Missoula, MT.