Biographical Sketches


Aspens, Caribou-Targhee National Forest, near Driggs, Idaho. Photo courtesy of Scott Bischke.


Jay Alder, PhD, is a Physical Scientist based in Corvallis, Oregon with the Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center. He received a BS in Computer and Environmental Sciences from the University of California, Riverside and his MS and PhD in Geography from Oregon State University. Jay’s research interests span climate modeling, climate visualization, hydroclimatology, and paleoclimatology. He is interested in helping to make climate model information accessible and useful to other scientific disciplines seeking to incorporate future climate change projections into their own work.

Scott Bischke of MountainWorks Inc. served as Science Writer for this report, as well as for the 2017 Montana Climate Assessment and for the 2021 Climate Change and Human Health in Montana: A Special report of the Montana Climate Assessment. Scott is a BS (Montana State University), MS (University of Colorado) chemical engineer who has worked as an engineering researcher at three national laboratories: the National Bureau of Standards (now National Institute of Science and Technology), Sandia, and Los Alamos. He worked for 11 years as lead environmental engineer for a Hewlett-Packard business unit. Scott has authored, co-authored, or edited two environmental impact statements, book chapters, technical papers, five popular press books, and successful grant proposals totaling tens of millions of dollars.

Ryan Cruz, Montana Conservation Associate for the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, is a community organizer focused on the lands and waters of Greater Yellowstone. His work centers around fostering personal connections that drive progress. Ryan has educated communities on controversial fossil fuel projects in the Pacific Northwest, collaborated to conserve wild spaces amidst booming outdoor recreation demand, and found common ground to preserve some of Greater Yellowstone’s last, best free-flowing rivers. His experience is bolstered by a degree in biology and fueled by his passion for the outdoors.

Charles Wolf Drimal, Waters Conservation Coordinator for the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, manages issues related to river protection and stream stewardship, climate change, and Tribal conservation. He has led efforts to procure Wild and Scenic River designations in Montana and administrative protections for public lands and waters in Wyoming. He uses his two Masters Degrees in Environmental Science and Ecopsychology to work effectively with stakeholders on a daily basis. Charles is a backcountry skier, climber, packrafter, husband, and father. He is grateful to call the mountains and rivers of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem home.

Steve Hostetler, PhD, has been a research hydrologist with the US Geological Survey for over 30 yr. His research focuses on developing and applying global and regional climate models and surface process models to quantify and explain interactions between the atmosphere and lakes, vegetation, glaciers and ice sheets, hydrologic systems, wildfire, and land-use change over timescales of millions of years. In addition to basic science, he and his colleagues focus on synthesizing climate data sets to provide and disseminate information to other researchers, agencies, resource managers, and the public. Steve is on the scientific staff at the USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center in Bozeman, and an Affiliate Scientist in the Department of Earth Sciences at Montana State University and the Oregon State University College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences.

David Liefert, PhD, leads the Water Resources division of the Earth Sciences program at Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, San Francisco Bay Area. While earning his PhD in geoscience at the University of Wyoming, David studied how climate changes since the end of the last glacial period influenced Rocky Mountain hydrology and water availability across North America. His work now focuses on natural resource management of public lands and applying paleoclimatological perspectives to environmental issues presently affecting California’s ecosystems and water resources.

Allison Michalski, Idaho Conservation Associate for the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, works to protect public lands and safeguard clean waters in southeastern Idaho. She devoted both her studies and her career to environmental conservation, first earning her Master of Environmental Law and Policy and Juris Doctor from Vermont Law School and then immediately going to work for a local conservation nonprofit. She soon became a member of the Idaho State Bar, and ultimately joined the Greater Yellowstone Coalition team in 2017. When she is not working for our land and water resources, you can find her out and about hiking, skiing, skating, and floating with her two dogs.

Gregory Pederson, PhD, is a Research Scientist with the US Geological Survey Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center. His research addresses basic and applied questions focused on the development of water resource related paleoclimatic records, primarily from tree-rings, but also high-elevation ice cores and lake sediment records. Most work has focused on the common era (past 2000 yrs) and historical observation period, though some spans the Holocene (past 12,000 yrs), producing data sets and analyses relevant to understanding variability and change in snowpack, streamflow, and drought along with the associated influence on other natural resources (e.g., geyser activity, forest fires, glaciers, and snow avalanche activity).

Jennifer L. Pierce, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geosciences at Boise State University in Idaho. She studies how climate, vegetation, and wildfires have interacted to shape landscapes over millennia. Dr. Pierce also leads Idaho Climate Literacy Education Engagement and Research (i-CLEER), which empowers Idahoans and their communities to take action to address the causes and consequences of, and solutions to, the Earth’s changing climate.

Emily Reed is a research scientist and multimedia science communicator at the University of Wyoming. Her work focuses on ungulate migration research and public outreach for the Wyoming Migration Initiative. She has worked as a biology field assistant and has contributed to several conservation-based social science projects in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. In addition to her work at the University of Wyoming, Emily also writes and photographs for popular online and print outlets such as Western Confluence, Modern Huntsman, and BESIDE. Emily holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Bachelor of Science in Environment and Natural Resources from the University of Wyoming.

Bryan Shuman, PhD, is a Wyoming Excellence Chair in Geology and Geophysics at the University of Wyoming where he has taught since 2007. He currently serves as director of the University of Wyoming-National Park Service Research Station at the AMK Ranch in Grand Teton National Park. Shuman’s research focuses on long-term changes in climate and their consequences for water, ecosystems, and people. This work has involved studies of the geological record of hydrologic and ecological change since the last ice age in the Wind River Range and Beartooth Mountains, as well as elsewhere in Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, the Midwest, and New England.

Rob Van Kirk, PhD, is Senior Scientist with the Henry’s Fork Foundation, a nonprofit conservation organization in Ashton, Idaho. He served as its founding Research Director from 1994-1998, establishing a widely recognized program of watershed research and monitoring. He then spent nine years on the faculty of Idaho State University and five years at Humboldt State University before returning to the Foundation. Dr. Van Kirk has been active in collaborative fisheries and water-resources research and management in the Intermountain West since 1994, specializing in streamflow provisions for fisheries, groundwater-surface water interactions and conjunctive water-rights administration.

Cathy Whitlock, PhD, is a Regents Professor Emerita of Earth Sciences and a Fellow of the Montana Institute on Ecosystems at Montana State University. She is recognized nationally and internationally for her scholarly contributions and leadership activities in the area of long-term environmental and climate change, with much of her research focused on the Greater Yellowstone Area. Whitlock has published over 200 scientific papers on this topic. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a Fellow of the Geological Society of America. Whitlock is lead author of the 2017 Montana Climate Assessment and co-lead author of the 2021 Climate Change and Human Health in Montana: A Special report of the Montana Climate Assessment.


Steve Gray, PhD, is the Director of the USGS Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center in Anchorage, AK. He served as the director of the University of Wyoming Water Resources Data System and as a climatologist for the state of Wyoming. His research explores the interplay between climate variability and climatic change and natural resource management.

Greg McCabe, PhD, is a research scientist with US Geological Survey in Denver, CO. His research interests include hydroclimatology, climate variability and change, synoptic climatology, climate teleconnections, and hydrologic modeling.

Tom Olliff, MS, is the National Park Service regional program manager for landscape conservation and climate change. His work focuses on helping parks work across boundaries toward science-based climate change adaptation. He previously worked in resource management at Yellowstone National Park and has lived in the Greater Yellowstone Area for 40 years.

Adam Terando, PhD, is a research ecologist with the US Geological Survey’s Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center in Raleigh, NC. His research focuses gaining insights into impacts of climate and land use change to inform adaptation efforts by public and natural resource managers.