News Archive

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

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Public Release of 2017 Montana Climate Assessment

The Montana Institute on Ecosystems is excited to announce the public release of the 2017 Montana Climate Assessment.

The Montana Climate Assessment (MCA) is a product of the Montana University System's Montana Institute on Ecosystems, in collaboration with the Montana Climate Office, Montana Water Center, and MSU Extension.The MCA, the first in a series of assessments, focuses on climate trends and their consequences for three of Montana's vital sectors: water, forests, agriculture. 

Montana Wheat and Barley Committee to Host Roundtable Focused on Ag Technologies

The Montana Wheat and Barley Committee (MWBC), in partnership with the German American Chamber of Commerce (GACC), will host a farmers' roundtable discussion on September 14th from 1pm to 5pm at the GranTree Inn in Bozeman. 

Bruce Maxwell takes over as IoE co-Director at MSU

Dr. Bruce Maxwell, Professor of Land Resourcs and Environmental Sciences assumed the role of Director of the IoE at MSU on Sept 1, 2017. Bruce has been invovled with the IoE since inception and has extensive experience with interdisciplinary programs as MSU. He replaces Dr. Cathy Whitlock who will remain with the IoE focused on the Montana Climate Assessment.

MSU Undergraduate Interns Post Blogs

Take a look!  MSU's IoE undergraduate interns are starting to post blogs about their summers.  Their research is cool, and their dedication is inspiring.  Read Here.  

IoE Participates In Community Dialogues

"The Resilience Dialogues program provides resources and expertise to help communities build individualized plans for resilience in the face of climate change." -AGU News

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.


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) 243-6058
UM Director: Maury Valett


Montana University System

Montana University System

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