MT Drought & Climate Team

Laurie Yung

Laurie Yung — Project Director

Laurie Yung is a Professor of Natural Resource Social Science in the Department of Society and Conservation.  Her work focuses on how rural communities, agricultural producers, and federal land management agencies respond to environmental change.  Yung is particularly interested in the relationship between science, practice, and policy, and how decision-makers handle scientific uncertainty.  Her current research examines the intersections between rural livelihoods, drought, and resource management.

Kelsey Jencso

Kelsey Jencso — Montana State Climatologist

Kelsey Jencso is an Associate Professor of Hydrology and the Montana State Climatologist. His research focuses on forested mountain terrain and the factors that influence the redistribution of water, nutrients, and sediment across hillslopes and entire watersheds. Kelsey’s current funded research focuses on the role of landscape topography for regulating forest productivity through differences in microclimate and plant available water. In his capacity as the Montana State Climatologist Dr. Jencso also places strong emphasis on bridging the gap between basic research in hydro-climatology and the extension of information to the public and managers for user specific decision making.

Libby Metcalf

Libby Metcalf — Social Science Lead

Libby Metcalf is an Associate Professor of Recreation Management & Human Dimensions of Natural Resources in the W.A. Franke College of Forestry & Conservation. Libby's research interests center around recreation and wildlife management, and understanding complex social-ecological systems. Libby has worked on statewide studies examining outdoor recreation, hunter recruitment and retention issues, and river management. She utilizes structural equation modeling in social data analysis and has been working with other researchers to develop models to couple human and natural systems.

Michael Sweet

Michael Sweet — GIS Specialist

Michael Sweet is a Research and Information Systems Specialist with the Montana Climate Office. Mike has been at the University of Montana since 1983 as a forest researcher. In 2010 he accepted the task of reviving the Montana Climate Office, and joined the staff in 2012 during its first year of operation at the University of Montana. Prior to arriving at The University of Montana, he was employed with the Forestry Division of the Montana Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Forest Service’s Aerial Fire Depot, Ninemile Range District, and the Rocky Mountain Research Station. Mike’s primary interest is working with Montanan’s from all walks of life that see opportunity in collaboration.


Kyle Bocinsky — Climate Science Lead

Kyle Bocinsky is a research associate in the Montana Climate Office, and the climate science lead for the Montana Drought & Climate project. Kyle is a computational anthropologist interested in human responses to environmental change; climate change adaptation; and more generally how we can learn from the human past to plan for the future. Kyle's archaeological research has focused on the Ancestral Pueblo in the American Southwest. Kyle is leading the development of innovative climate information technologies for the MT Drought and Climate, including maps and figures for the MT Drought & Climate newsletters and website.


Adam Snitker

Adam Snitker — Graduate Assistant

Adam Snitker is a Master’s student in the University of Montana’s College of Forestry and Conservation. He serves as a research assistant for the Montana Drought & Climate project. As a current UM BRIDGES trainee, Adam’s research interests include the intersection of food and water within a changing climate. His current research project focuses on the use of local knowledge among Montana agricultural producers during periods of drought.


Carly Kuske

Carly Kuske — Research Assistant

Carly Kuske is an intern at the Montana Climate Office and is currently an undergraduate studying Resource Conservation and Hydrology. Carly is also part of the Montana Drought & Climate project with her focus being on impacts of major events, such as drought, and the potential responses to these events in the agricultural community. Carly’s overall studies emphasize on agricultural impacts of water amount and quality available in streamflow or for agricultural purposes. Carly also focuses on drought related events through multiple definitions: agricultural, hydrological, and meteorological.