The Illinois State Climatologist provides weather and climate data, maps, and information for Illinois farmers, government agencies and policymakers, and all citizens. The State Climatologist also conducts research on past climate events, monitors current conditions, and studies possible future climate change and acts as the state’s authoritative spokesperson on climate science. By state statute, this position is based at the Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois. Previous Illinois State Climatologists were Dr. Jim Angel (1996–2018), Wayne Wendland (1981–1996), and Stan Changnon (1972–1980).

Contact the State Climatologist’s office via email at statecli@isws.illinois.edu or via phone at  (217) 244-1330.

Dr. Trent Ford – Illinois State Climatologist

 (217) 244-1330

Dr. Trent Ford has been the Illinois State Climatologist since 2019. Trent is an expert in climate and climate change and its interactions and impacts, especially as they relate to water. Trent leads climate monitoring and data collection and provision for the state of Illinois. He and his team provide information online, through traditional and social media, and by speaking to interested groups across the state.

A native of Roanoke, Illinois, Ford earned a bachelors in geography from Illinois State University before completing his masters and PhD at Texas A&M University. Before joining the Illinois State Water Survey, Ford was an assistant professor in the Department of Geography & Environmental Resources at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

Bridgette Mason – Graduate Student Researcher

Bridgette Mason is a first year Master’s student in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign. She is working with Trent and collaborators from The Ohio State University on a NSF project investigating soil moisture-precipitation feedbacks in the central U.S.

A native of Spring Grove, Illinois, Bridgette received her Bachelor’s in Atmospheric Sciences with a minor in Crop and Soil Management from UIUC. She is particularly interested in agriculture impacts from extreme weather and climate change. Bridgette is excited to apply her knowledge and expertise of of atmospheric sciences to help to improve Illinois agriculture.