News Archive

Here you can find the latest news about the Institute on Ecosystems

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MCA Public Comment Period Happening Now!

The Montana Climate Assessment (MCA) invites all stakeholders to engage with the draft of its first assessment report (MCA1) through the public comment process, which is now live! Public comment is an opportunity for the community to provide input and feedback to the draft report before it is finalized for publication. The MCA team welcomes comments from the public on the content of the draft report with regard to its clarity, extensiveness, and usefulness.

Graduate Student, Matthew Weingart, awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Matthew Weingart, first-year M.S. student in Earth Sciences, has been awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) fellowship in the area of Earth Sciences – Paleoecology, specifically for his research “examining the relationship between climate, fire, and humans over the last 15,000 years in diverse forests where people have been living for at least 13,000 years on the Flathead Indian Reservation.” 

MSU Extension and student-run SNOW : Climate Science and Outreach Forum


UM Professor and Chapter Author of the MCA is Published in Journal "Nature"

UM Professor of Forestry and author of the Forests chapter of the Montana Climage Assessment, Ashley Ballantyne, has recently had an article published about carbon uptake and climate change.  The article, featured in the journal "Nature" is titled, "Accelerating net terrestrial carbon uptake during the warming hiatus due to reduced respiration."  This article was contributed to by fellow IoE faculty members Dr. Steve Running (UM) and Dr. Ben Poulter (MSU/NASA).

"Montana's Changing Climate" Webinar Course - Videos Online!

Authors of the Montana Climate Assessment, due out in August of this year, are giving a preview into their emerging findings.  You can sign up to see the webinars live, or check them out online after the fact.  We will update this post as the videos get posted online!

Video 1: Kelsey Jencso, MT Climate Office 

Video 2: Wyatt Cross, MT Water Center 

Video 3: Bruce Maxwell, MSU Agroecology and LRES

Viedo 4: Ashley Ballantyne, UM Forestry and the MT Climate Office

Whitlock, Menalled, and Maxwell Talk Climate With Sen. Tester, Bozeman Public

MSU professors Cathy Whitlock, Fabian Menalled, and Bruce Maxwell talked to an audience of roughly 300 on Friday, Feb. 10th, about climate change in Montana.  U.S. Senator Jon Tester listened closely, and added his take on the subject, as did Montana rancher and Farmer Erik Kalstra.  Read about it here.  

The Social-Ecological Resilience and Changing Landscapes Webinar Series

Spring 2017: Explore activities and tools that facilitate effective adaptation and build social-ecological resilience in the context of changing landscapes. See additional information below or contact IoE affiliate Laurie Yung at the University of Montana W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation.

Dr. Ric Hauer's research featured in New York Times

Univeristy of Montana researcher Dr. Ric Hauer has been part of an interdisciplinary group of researchers who have identified gravel-bed river floodplains as some of the most important ecological habitats in North America.  Working with a team of scientists to study the Yellowstone to Yukon ecoregion, Hauer has stated that gravel-bed river floodplains support more than 70% of the ecoregion’s bird species, and that large mammals need the floodplains for habitat, food, and migration corridors. 

MSU and IoE faculty research on Yellowstone Lake featured in Billings Gazette

MSU IoE Director and Earth Science faculty member Dr. Cathy Whitlock joins MSU LRES faculty member Dr. William Innskeep and several MSU graduate students to conduct research in Yellowstone National Park regarding historic events in the area.  Read here to learn more about the project and the coring going on in Yellowstone Lake. 

Greg Page Retired Cargill Executive Urges Farmers to Join Talk About Climate Change

Headline from Yellowstone Public Radio: "Retired Cargill Executive Urges Farmers to Join Talk About Climate Change".  Montana Rep. Zach Brown has organized an interview of former Cargill CEO Gregory Page prior to his keynote address to the Montana Farm Bureau Federation's annual convnetion in Billings on Nov. 15.

New Zealand speaker Dr. Kepa Morgan to speak at MSU

New Zealand professor, engineer, and Maori native Dr. Kepa Morgan will be visiting MSU on November 9.  His visit it co-sponsored by the IoE and MSU's Native American Studies department.  His inspirational, holistic themes will be communicated twice on the day after US elections--in the IoE Rough Cut series at noon, and again during the Phyllis Berger Memorial Lecture.

Dr. Dave McWethy selected as Assistant Professor at MSU, IoE joint appointment

Dr. Dave McWethy has changed his position at MSU and become an assistant professor in the Department of Earth Sciences.  As a new hire with an IoE/Earth Sciences joint appointment, Dr. McWethy will continue his research and work at MSU while also teaching classes.  McWethy's research centers on understanding drivers of ecosystem diversity and change across multiple spatial and temporal scales.  He is particularly interested in identifying the mechanisms responsible for dynamic, disturbance-mediated vegetation transitions that are increasing worldwide.

MSU and IoE welcome new faculty member, Dr. Hongyi Li

MSU has hired a new faculty member as a joint appointment between Land Resources and Environmental Sciences (LRES) and the IoE.  Dr. Hongyi Li joined the MSU community this fall.  Dr. Li earned his PhD. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his M.E. from Tsinghua University. His main areas of research are hydrological and biogeochemical modeling and analysis at the watershed and larger scales in view of land as hierarchical watersheds and river systems with intertwined natural and societal functions.

Dr. John McCutcheon Did you see this? UM lab upturns 150 years of biology belief about lichen

Dr. Toby Spribille, working in a lab in conjuction with IoE affiliate Dr. John McCutcheon, has discovered groundbreaking new relationships between fungus and alga.  If you missed it, take a look at this enjoyable read in the Atlantic, published in July!   

Science Action Club on MSU campus Oct. 20

After-school educators from 16 sites around Montana will be at MSU on Thursday, Oct. 20 to complete training for Science Action Club, a hands-on STEM program from the California Academy of Sciences and the National Girls Collaborative Project. Montana's Girls STEM Collaborative was chosen for the program and recruited educators from all areas of the state. They will be implementing the program, called Bugs in Your Schoolyard, over the coming months. The program incorporates citizen science, Nature observations, and outdoor education for middle school youth.

Dr. Diana Six, UM Scientist, Gets National Attention

Dr. Diana Six, an IoE fellow, University of Montana Professor of Forest Entomology/Pathology, and Chair of the UM Department of Ecosystems & Conservation Sciences, was just funded to do work by the National Park Service in Devil's Tower National Monument, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, and Wind Cave National Park.  Her work with the NPS will focus on ponderosa pine adaptation to climate change.  She has also been funded by the Climate Science Center (part of the USGS) to do similar work on whitepark pine.

IoE Partner Zach Brown Gets "25 Under 25" Nod in Montana

Rep. Zach Brown is one of the most loyal supporters and partners of the Montana IoE.  At 25 years old, he has been elected to be a representative in the Montana legislature, is a program manager at One Montana, contributes to the Montana Climate Assessment process, volunteers at an elementary school in Bozeman, and generally serves his community on a daily basis.  Somehow, he still manages time on the rivers.  Read more here.  

IoE Researchers Receive Award From Prince of Monaco, Assert Importance of Interdisciplinary Research

Three MSU researchers have received $100,000 for their work preserving artifacts found in ice patches and using these findings to make climate connections.  Awarded by Prince Albert II of Monaco, and sponsored by the Buffalo Bill Historical Center’s Draper Natural History Museum, the University of Wyoming’s Biodiversity Institute and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation-USA, the award will assist in research aimed at discovering if humans and animals more heavily used alpine areas during drought and other warm periods.

Valett near stream Dr. Maury Valett Named UM IoE Director

Dr. Maury Valett, professor of Systems Ecology at the University of Montana and IoE Fellow, has accepted the position of IoE Director at UM.  Bringing a passion for research and a range of knowledge about ecosystems across the United States, Valett will lead the UM IoE as it furthers its mission to advance integrated environmental sciences and related fields.  Learn more about Dr. Valett here.  

Dr. Ric Hauer published in Science Advances

Univeristy of Montana researcher Dr. Ric Hauer has been part of an interdisciplinary group of researchers who have identified gravel-bed river floodplains as some of the most important ecological habitats in North America.  Working with a team of scientists to study the Yellowstone to Yukon ecoregion, Hauer has stated that gravel-bed river floodplains support more than 70% of the ecoregion’s bird species, and that large mammals need the floodplains for habitat, food, and migration corridors. 

MSU IoE Graduate Student Receives NSF Award

Kristen Emmett, a PhD student in the Ecology Department at MSU, has received an award from the National Science Foundation.  The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship will be used to help support the remainder of Emmet's PhD research and program.

Read along as IoE faculty and students study in Iceland

IoE Faculty member and Water Center Director Dr. Wyatt Cross and some his students are conducting research in Iceland this summer.  You can read about their work on the blog, "Hengill Diaries", and be inspired by gorgeous landscapes and photos of research happening in the field.  This is an international team of ecologists studying streams in the Hengill region of Iceland whose research is focused on understanding the effects of global warming on stream food webs and ecosystem processes.  Click here to learn more! 

UM IoE affiliate Dr. Nicky Phear wins national award for women in energy

Dr. Nicky Phear, an IoE affiliate and Director of UM's Climate Change Studies Program, gains national recognition as the 2016 recipient of the Clean Energy and Empowerment Education (C3E) Award from the U.S. Department of Energy.  To read more, please visit the University of Montana's news page here.  


MSU IoE Office

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

UM IoE Office

The Universityi of Montana

The University of Montana
Davidson Honors College
Missoula, MT 59812
(406) 243-4848
UM Director: Ric Hauer

Montana EPSCoR

Program Director:  Ray Callaway
Project Administrator: Todd Kipfer
University of Montana
Missoula, MT 59812
(406) 243-2617

Montana University System

Montana University System

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