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Libby Khumalo

PhD in Forestry, University of Montana

MS in Environmental Mgmt., University of Pretoria


Libby manages the culturally-driven conservation program at CLLC, with most of her work focused on building partnerships in the Blackfeet Nation and to bringing many different voices into regional conservation planning and adaptation. In partnership with Pikuni colleagues, she helped facilitate a first-ever Blackfeet Climate Change Adaptation Plan and the new Blackfeet Country & Climate Change website. She is currently partnering with the Blackfeet Fish and Wildlife Department, Blackfeet Community College, the Blackfeet Environmental Office, and Blackfeet Agriculture Resource Management Planners to increase natural water storage by protecting beavers and restoring riparian areas. She is committed to mentoring young professionals through participation in the Big Sky Watershed AmeriCorps Program.

Prior to joining CLLC, Libby coordinated the 2016 Hands Across Borders workshop, helping to bring 50 transboundary conservation leaders from 6 different continents to Glacier National Park. Other accomplishments include completing an impact assessment for Helena Community Gardens and co-directing the University of Montana’s International Seminar on Protected Areas. She has taught several university courses, including Community-Based Forestry and Conservation, Environment and Development, and Wildland Recreation Management.

Libby has a PhD in Forestry from the University of Montana and a Master’s degree in Environmental Management from the University of Pretoria. For her dissertation, Libby assessed how community-based conservation in Namibia impacted women’s empowerment, looking specifically at the spread of conservation benefits (for example, conservation-based jobs) and costs (for example, crop damage by elephants) within a rural community. Her ethnographic research has equipped her to work with diverse groups of people on conservation efforts in Montana and abroad.

In her spare time, Libby loves to hike, garden, sing, dance, and explore.