Laurie Yung

Photo of Yung, Laurie

Laurie Yung

Professor of Natural Resource Social Science; Chair, Department of Society & Conservation

Personal Summary

My teaching and research focus on the social aspects of conservation and natural resource management, with an emphasis on agricultural communities and public lands in the Northern Rockies. I’m interested in the ways in which private landowners, rural communities, and land management institutions navigate change. I examine the intersections between ecological change, scientific information, natural resource management, rural livelihoods, and governance innovations. My current work focuses on wildland fire governance, climate adaptation and agriculture, using scenarios in climate decision-making, and the food-energy-water nexus. 

My current research projects include:

  • Improving the Efficacy of Climate and Water Information for Montana Agricultural Producers (funded by USDA NIFA Water for Agriculture program)    
  • The Co-Management of Cross-Boundary Fire Risk Transmission (funded by the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station)
  • Scenario Planning as a Tool for Climate Adaptation Planning and Governance (funded by the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station)
  • Natural Resource Management Decision-Making under Climate Uncertainty: Building Social-Ecological Resilience in Southwestern Colorado (funded by the North Central Climate Science Center)
  • Futures Thinking, Uncertainty, and Governance at the Food-Energy-Water Nexus (funded by the Luc Hoffmann Institute)

I currently direct the Resource Conservation and Environmental Science and Sustainability majors, and the NSF-funded UM BRIDGES graduate training program. 


2003: Ph.D. Forestry, University of Montana

1993: M.S. Environmental Studies, University of Oregon

1991: B.A. Psychology and Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

Courses Taught

NRSM 326 Climate and Society

NRSM 370S Wildland Conservation Policy and Governance

NRSM 500 Conservation Social Science Methods

NRSM 540 Food-Energy-Water Nexus

NRSM 570 Political Ecology

Research Interests

The Use of Climate Information in Adaptation Decisions

Drought Adaptation on Working Ranchlands

Social and Political Aspects of Climate Adaptation

The Food-Energy-Water Nexus

Wildland Fire Governance

Decision-Making Under Uncertainty and the Efficacy of Futuring Tools

Co-Production and Translational Skills

Interdisciplinary Teaching and Research

Selected Publications

Clifford, K., Yung, L., Rondeau, R., Neely, B., Rangwala, I., Burkhart, N. and C. Wyborn. 2020. Navigating Climate Adaptation on Public Lands: How Views on Ecosystem Change and Scale Interact with Management Approaches. Environmental Management 6:614–628.

Wade, A.A., Grant, A., Karasaki, S., Smoak, R., Cwiertny, D., Wilcox, A.C., Yung, L., Sleeper, K. and A. Anandhi. 2020. Developing Leaders to Tackle Wicked Problems at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems. Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene 8:11.

Yung, L., Louder, E., Gallagher, L.A., Jones, K. and C. Wyborn. 2019. How Methods for Navigating Uncertainty Connect Science and Policy at the Water-Energy-Food NexusFrontiers in Environmental Science 7:37.

Lubeck, A., Metcalf, A.L., Beckman, C.L., Yung, L. and J.W. Angle. 2019. Collective FactorsDrive Individual Invasive Species Control Behaviors: Evidence from Private Lands in Montana, USA. Ecology and Society. 24(2):32.

Carr, W.A. and L. Yung. 2018. Perceptions of climate engineering in the South Pacific, Sub-Saharan Africa, and North American Arctic. Climatic Change 147:119–132

Murphy, D., Yung, L. Wyborn, C. and D. Williams. 2017. Rethinking Climate Change Adaptation and Place through a Situated Pathways Framework: A Case Study from the Big Hole Valley, USA. Landscape and Urban Planning 167:441-450.

Lawson, D.M., Hall, K., Yung, L. and C.A.F. Enquist. 2017. Building Translational Ecology Communities of Practice: Insights from the Field. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 15(10):569–577.

Enquist, C.A.F., Jackson, S.T., Garfin, G., Davis, F.W., Gerber, L.R., Littell, J., Tank, J.L., Terando, A., Halpern, B., Hiers, J.K., Morelli, T.L., McNie, E., Stephenson, N.L., Williamson, M.A., Woodhouse, C.A., Yung, L., Brunson, M., Hall, K., Hallett, L.M., Lawson, D.M., Moritz, M., Nydick, K., Pairis, A., Ray,  A.J., Regan, C., Safford, H.D., Schwartz, M.W., and M.R. Shaw. 2017. Foundations of Translational EcologyFrontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 15(10):541–550.

Murphy, D., Wyborn, C., Yung, L., Williams, D.R., Cleveland, C.C., Eby, L.A., Dobrowski, S., and E. Towler. 2016.  Engaging Communities and Climate Futures with Multi-Scale, Iterative Scenario Building (MISB) in the Western US. Human Organization 1(75):33-46.

Yung, L., Phear, N., DuPont, A., Montag, J. and D. Murphy. 2015. Drought Adaptation and Climate Change Beliefs Amongst Working Ranchers in Montana. Weather, Climate, and Society 7(4): 281-293.

Murphy, D.J., Wyborn, C., Yung, L. and D.R. Williams. 2015. Key Concepts and Methods in Social Vulnerability and Adaptive Capacity. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-328. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 24 p.

Yung, L., Chandler. J. and M. Haverhals. 2015. Effective Weed Management, Collective Action, and Landownership Change in Western Montana. Invasive Plant Science and Management 8(2): 193-202.

Metcalf, L., Mohr, J., Yung, L., Metcalf, P. & D. Craig. 2015. The Role of Trust in Restoration Success: Public Engagement and Temporal and Spatial Scale in a Complex Social-Ecological System. Restoration Ecology 23(3):315–324.

Khumalo, L. and L. Yung. 2015. Women, Human-Wildlife Conflict, and CBNRM:  Hidden Impacts and Vulnerabilities in Kwandu Conservancy, NamibiaConservation and Society 13(3): 232-243.

Hobbs, R.J, Higgs, E.S., Hall, C.M., Bridgewater, P., Chapin III, F.S., Ellis, E.C., Ewel, J.J., Hallett, L.M., Harris, J.A., Hulvey, K.B., Jackson, S.T., Kennedy, P.L., Kueffer, C., Lach, L., Lantz, T.C., Lugo, A.E., Mascaro, J., Murphy, S.D., Nelson, C.R., Perring, M.P., Richardson, D.M., Seastedt, T.R., Standish, R.J., Starzomski, B.M., Suding, K.N., Tognetti, P.M., Yakob, L. and L. Yung. 2014. Managing the Whole Landscape: Historical, Hybrid and Novel Ecosystems. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 12(10):557–564

Wyborn, C., Yung, L., Murphy, D. and D.R. Williams. 2014.  Situating Adaptation: How Governance Challenges and Perceptions of Uncertainty Influence Adaptation in the Rocky Mountains.  Regional Environmental Change.

Carr, W., Yung, L. and C. Preston. 2014. Swimming Upstream: Engaging the American Public Early on Climate Engineering. Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 70(3).

Carr, W., Preston, C., Yung, L., Szerszynski, B., Keith, D. and A. Mercer. (in press) Public Engagement on Solar Radiation Management and Why it Needs to Happen Now. Climatic Change.

Yung, L., Schwarze, S., Carr, W., Chapin III, F.S., and Marris, E. 2013. Engaging the Public in Novel Ecosystems. In R.J. Hobbs, E.S. Higgs, and C.M. Hall (Eds.) Novel Ecosystems: Intervening in the New Ecological World Order. London: Wiley-Blackwell.

Bridgewater, P. and L. Yung. 2013. The Policy Context: Building Laws and Rules that Embrace Novelty. In R.J. Hobbs, E.S. Higgs, and C.M. Hall (Eds.) Novel Ecosystems: Intervening in the New Ecological World Order. London: Wiley-Blackwell.

Cacciapaglia, M. and L. Yung. 2013. Participatory Place Mapping in Fire Planning. In Stewart, W., Williams, D. and L. Kruger (Eds.) Place-Based Conservation: Perspectives from Social Sciences. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.

Carr, W., Patterson, M.E., Yung, L., & Spencer, D. 2012. The Faithful Skeptics: Evangelical Religious Beliefs and Perceptions of Climate Change. Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture 6(3):276-299.

Craig, D.R., Yung, L. and W.T. Borrie. 2012. “Blackfeet Belong to the Mountains:” Hope, Loss, and Blackfeet Claims to Glacier National Park. Conservation and Society 10(3): 232-42

Cacciapaglia, M.S., Yung, L., & Patterson, M.E. 2011. Place Mapping and the Role of Spatial Scale in Understanding Landowner Views of Fire and Fuels Management. Society and Natural Resources 25(5):453-467.

Watson, A., Matt, R., Knotek, K., Williams, D., and L. Yung. 2011. Traditional Wisdom – Protecting Relationships with Wilderness as a Cultural Landscape. Ecology and Society 16(1):36.

Yung, L., Patterson, M.E., and W.A. Freimund. 2010. Rural Community Views on the Role of Local and Extra-Local Interests in Public Lands Governance. Society and Natural Resources 23(11):1-17.

Cole, D.N. and L. Yung (Eds). 2010. Beyond Naturalness:  Rethinking Park and Wilderness Stewardship in an Era of Rapid Change. Washington D.C.: Island Press.

Hobbs, R.J., Cole, D.N., Yung, L., Zavaleta, E.S., Aplet, G.A., White, P.S., Landres, P.B., Chapin III, F.S., Graber, D.M., Higgs, E.S., Millar, C.I., Parsons, D.J., Randall, J.M., Stephenson, N.L., Tonnessen, K.A., and S. Woodley. 2010. Guiding Concepts for Park and Wilderness Stewardship in an Era of Global Environmental Change. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 8(9).

Yung, L., Freimund, W.A. and J. Chandler-Pepelnjak. 2008. Wilderness Politics in the American West:  Rural Community Perspectives on the Development of Roadless Lands. International Journal of Wilderness 14(2):14-23.

Yung, L. and M. Haverhals. 2008. Landowner Views on Weeds:  Moving Forward on Invasive Plant Management. Extension publication by Missoula County and the University of Montana. (pp. 1-16)

Yung, L. and J. Belsky. 2007. Private Property Rights and Community Goods: Negotiating Landowner Cooperation Amidst Changing Ownership on the Rocky Mountain Front. Society and Natural Resources 20(8):689-703.

Yung, L., Freimund, W. and J. Belsky. 2003. The Politics of Place: Understanding Meaning, Common Ground, and Political Difference on the Rocky Mountain Front. Forest Science 49(6), 855-866.