Climate Change and Human Health in Montana

Wed, Feb 27, 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm
126 Barnard Hall
Speaker Name: 
Special Seminar - Multiple Speakers


Please note that this seminar will be from 12pm to 1:30pm, versus the regular 12pm-1pm time.

Montana’s climate is changing in ways that will profoundly affect our state. The 2017 Montana Climate Assessment provided detailed analyses of the expected impacts from climate change on Montana waters, forests and agriculture. These three sectors were identified by stakeholder groups as topics of high concern for our economy’s well-being as well as the very essence of Montana. Another sector, one that was not addressed in the first Assessment, unites us even more and potentially has great economic and social consequences: the impact of a changing climate on health. The impacts of climate change on health are many, including increased mortality related to cardiovascular and respiratory conditions and heat stress, increased premature births, spread of infectious disease, and higher morbidity and mortality due to extreme weather event-related gastrointestinal disease, to name but a few. The Montana Climate Assessment suggests that future climate changes in Montana will include more frequent and longer heat waves, minimal changes in average precipitation but more extreme precipitation events alternating with droughts, and reduction in both surface waters and soil moisture from increased evaporation. While the impacts of climate change on human health have recently been discussed at the national level, no effort has yet focused on the health implications for Montanans.

Speakers will discuss the health effects from things like wildfire smoke exposure and extreme heat; the communities most impacted and how they’re responding; how research and data being done in Montana might help minimize risk; and the need for more research, coordination, and policy action to get ahead of this growing public health crisis. Co-hosted by the Montana Institute on Ecosystems and American Lung Association.

Speakers include:

 Dr. Cathy Whitlock, MSU Department of Earth Sciences

 Laura Williamson, Montana Department of Health and Human Services

 Dr. Robert Byron, Bighorn Valley Health Center

 John Doyle, Little Big Horn College

 Christine Martin, Little Big Horn College

Additional information can be found at


MSU IoE Office

Montana State University
605 Leon Johnson Hall
Bozeman, MT 59717
(406) 994-2374
MSU Director: Bruce Maxwell

UM IoE Office

The Universityi of Montana

The University of Montana
Davidson Honors College
Missoula, MT 59812
(406) 243-6058
UM Director: Maury Valett


Montana University System

Montana University System

Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education
2500 Broadway Street
Helena, MT 59620