Monitoring Montana Waters (MMW)

About Monitoring Montana Waters

Monitoring Montana Waters mountain stream lake logo
Monitoring Montana Waters (MMW) is a program at FLBS that provides scientific expertise and guidance to citizen-led watershed monitoring groups.

The objective of MMW is to support water quality monitoring efforts in Montana by providing scientific, technical and financial support to citizen-led watershed groups to help ensure that groups are using scientifically sound methodologies in all aspects of their monitoring efforts (e.g. study design, sample collection, handling and chain of custody, instrument calibrations and associated documentation). MMW offers assistance and consultation in designing monitoring plans, selecting analytes for analysis, and providing on the ground training in methodologies. Small grants help support the cost of sample analyses in the FLBS Freshwater Research Laboratory. MMW provides guidance and support to citizen-led groups for water quality data analysis as needed. MMW hopes our efforts will assist and amplify efforts to monitor Montana’s waters as we engage collaboratively with relevant federal, state, tribal, local government agencies and watershed groups. Through our efforts MMW will help ensure that samples collected and data generated meet accepted standards and maximize utility and benefit to the waters of Montana.

MMW primarily focuses on rivers and streams in Montana, due to the highest data needs, but lake monitoring groups are included as well. The overarching goal is to help better understand and protect the world-renowned waters of Montana by providing assistance for increased information and understanding through monitoring efforts.

The program is led by Dr. Rachel Malison. Brianna Elizondo is our new Big Sky Watershed Corps Member (BSWC) for 2024. Jared Glass was our BSWC member for 2023. Keaton Martin was our 2021 BSWC member and Claire Kirk was our BSWC member in 2022. Tom Bansak, the Associate Director of FLBS, and Erin Sexton, a Senior Research Scientist at FLBS, serve on the MMW oversight and application review committees.  Please feel free to reach out with questions at (406) 872-4518, by emailing, or by using the contact form under Contact MMW.