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Libby Khumalo

PhD in Forestry, University of Montana

MS in Environmental Mgmt., University of Pretoria


Libby manages the Climate Resilience Program at CLLC. She seeks to support the growth of resilient communities, committed to restoring and protecting the natural world with people in it. She facilitates climate preparedness planning that is rooted in science and integrates psychology and social science to infuse hope and spark motivation in the midst of daunting challenges. In partnership with Blackfeet colleagues, she helped facilitate a first-ever Blackfeet Climate Change Adaptation Plan and the new Blackfeet Country & Climate Change website. She co-wrote a guidebook for Montana communities preparing for changing climate, found here. She is currently co-facilitating the Fort Belknap Indian Community’s climate resilience planning process and assists with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes’ climate preparedness planning. Libby also partners with the Ksik Stakii Project, a partnership between the Blackfeet Fish and Wildlife Department, Blackfeet Community College, the Blackfeet Environmental Office, the Blackfeet Agriculture Resource Management Team, and CLLC which is designed to increase natural water storage by protecting beavers and restoring riparian areas. Libby also mentors young professionals participating 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.

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