Creating Climate Resilient Communities

Wed, Oct 16, 12:00 pm
126 Barnard Hall
Speaker Name: 
Amy Cilimburg, Paul Lachapelle, Kate McMahon, and Natalie Meyer

This seminar will offer a discussion of current and anticipated climate change impacts in communities across Montana with an emphasis on how communities can begin to consider and implement climate resiliency efforts.  Led by members of a new team, Climate Smart Montana, we will provide an overview of community climate assessment and planning strategies well as specific examples of climate resiliency planning efforts in Bozeman, Whitefish and Missoula.    

Speakers will include: 

  • Amy Cilimburg; Amy Cilimburg is the Executive Director of Climate Smart Missoula where she develops local climate solutions and works to build networks and community resiliency. Amy helped launch Climate Smart in 2015 following efforts to develop Missoula's municipal and community Climate Action Plans and has worked on climate and energy policy and conservation for over a decade. Amy has an MS degree in Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana and worked at UM as Assistant Director of the Avian Science Center. She’s presently Board Chair of the Missoula’s Mountain Line Transit System and was recently appointed to the Governor’s Climate Solutions Council.  
  • Paul Lachapelle; Paul Lachapelle is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at Montana State University-Bozeman. His teaching and research spans many disciplines and practices; from community climate change resiliency to social impact investing to diversity, inclusion and social justice topics.  His most book is titled, “Addressing Climate Change at the Community Level in the United States” (Routledge 2019).  He earned a Ph.D. in Forestry at the University of Montana's College of Forestry and Conservation and serves as a member of the Board of Directors (and past-President) of the International Association for Community Development.
  • Kate McMahon; Ms. McMahon is a planning consultant from Whitefish, MT and has over 35 years of experience in community planning.  She has prepared growth policies, park plans, plans, trail plans, housing needs assessments and economic development plans. She is a Board member of Climate Smart Glacier Country and serves on the City of Whitefish Climate Action Committee where she contributed to development of the City’s Climate Action Plan.   Ms. McMahon was the lead author of the North Central Montana Regional Sustainability Plan and is currently developing a Sustainable Tourism Plan for Whitefish. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Illinois and a Masters Degree in Technology from George Washington University.     
  • Natalie Meyer; Natalie Meyer is the Sustainability Program Manager for the City of Bozeman where she has worked Climate Action Plan implementation since 2008. She monitors energy use and community emissions, advises on policy issues, and develops diverse programs and partnerships to advance sustainability, community resilience, energy efficiency and renewable energy. Natalie earned a MS in Land Resources & Environmental Sciences from Montana State University. She serves on the board of Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities and is a LEED Green Associate.  


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