FLBSCollage

Facilities Overview

The Flathead Lake Biological Station facilities include the Schoonover Freshwater Research Lab; the Morton J. Elrod Building; the Lakeside Building Complex; the G.W. Prescott Center; cabins, apartments, showers and restrooms; a caretaker's home; the Director's residence; storage, maintenance, and fire prevention sheds; a wastewater treatment plant; many research vehicles, vessels and more.

Elrod Building

The Elrod Building, named for FLBS's first director and UM Professor of Biology Morton J Elrod, was constructed in 1967. This 8500 sq ft facility houses faculty and staff offices, as well as a research library, lecture hall, student computer lab, conference room and two small wet labs supplied with spring and lake water.

Freshwater Research Laboratory

The 4500 sq ft Schoonover Freshwater Research Laboratory has an elemental analysis lab, optics room, zoobenthos and plankton museum, wet lab, sample prep facility, and offices. It is equipped for state-of-the-art ecological research and graduate education.  The laboratory is an advanced facility housing a variety of technical instruments used in water research.  Researchers conduct ongoing leading-edge studies, many through international relationships, within the field of limnology, which is the study of physical, chemical, meteorological, and biological conditions in fresh waters.

Full-time researchers coordinate their sampling work with an onsite lab manager who oversees daily analyses, as well as assisting graduate students with their samples and research. The Flathead Lake Biological Station maintains a fully instrumented 30' research vessel along with  an array of field equipment and vehicles.  Named after Jessie Bierman, the Jessie B was purchased with a grant from the National Science Foundation.  It is equipped with high-speed winches for deep-water sampling and for collecting lake-bottom sediments.  An A-frame can lift heavy nets or samples aboard after they have been winched to the surface. A hydraulic fire pump allows the boat to double as a firefighting pumper vessel.  This equipment allows the Flathead Lake Biological Station to assist volunteer fire departments around the lake, where steep shorelines can complicate lakeshore fire protection.

G.W. Prescott Center

The G.W. Prescott Center, named after long-time FLBS researcher Gerald W. Prescott, consists of both an Apartment/Dormitory (South) building and a multi-level Dining and Conference room (North) building. The North building contains a full kitchen and indoor dining room, a covered outdoor dining deck with views of Flathead Lake, and a quiet conference room. The South building houses four all-season apartments, dorm rooms, and laundry facilities for the campus.

Lakeside Building & Limnology Lab

The Lakeside building provides classrooms and conference rooms with full views of Yellow Bay, as well as the campus limnology lab. It is available for conferences throughout the year. Graduate student offices are also located in this building.

Sewage Treatment Plant

Increased use of the Flathead Lake Biological Station brought the need to address wastewater treatment to a forefront in the 1960s.  The nearby Yellow Bay State Park was also getting more use.  Managers decided to combine wastewater from both places and treat them in one facility.  As a result, in 1973 a highly advanced treatment plant was built.  The three-stage plant was the first of its kind built in Montana. An activated sludge treatment process uses a tank of micro-organisms to "eat" all of the nutrients in the wastewater.  All harmful organisms and phosphorus are removed so the water sent into Flathead Lake is clean enough to drink.  The plant can treat 33,000 gallons of wastewater a day.  This facility will handle from 300 to 350 people at the Flathead Lake Biological Station.

Cabins, Apartments, and Dormitory Rooms

Housing is available for up to 90 people in the summer, and 30 in the winter.  Long-term residences are available for visiting researchers and graduate students. Winterized housing is available in the G.W. Prescott Center apartments, or in winterized two bedroom houses. During the summer, students and faculty stay in three-season cabins that dot the peninsula.  These cabins feature wood paneling, electric lights and heaters, and are furnished with two beds, closets, and desks. 

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