Monitoring Montana Waters


About Monitoring Montana Waters

Monitoring Montana Waters mountain stream lake logo
Monitoring Montana Waters (MMW) is a new FLBS program providing 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-science watershed groups to help ensure that citizen groups are using scientifically sound methodologies in all aspects of their monitoring efforts (e.g. study design, sample collection, handing 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 will help support the cost of sample analyses in the FLBS Freshwater Research Laboratory. MMW provides guidance and support to citizen 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 (lotic systems) in Montana, due to the highest data needs, but some lake monitoring (lentic system) 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 being developed and managed by Dr. Rachel Malison. Keaton Martin, a Big Sky Watershed Corps Member, is assisting with the program for 2021. 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. Dr. Jim Elser, Bierman Professor and Director of FLBS serves on the MMW oversight committee. Please feel free to reach out with questions at (406) 872-4518, by emailing mmw@flbs.umt.edu, or by using the contact form under Contact MMW.
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