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UM Bio Station launches water monitoring program for civic groups

by UM News Service
| February 15, 2021 12:00 PM

The University of Montana’s Flathead Lake Biological Station is launching a new program that will provide scientific expertise, guidance and funding to citizen-led watershed groups in Montana to build capacity for freshwater monitoring and ensure the use of scientifically sound methodologies.

The new program, Monitoring Montana Waters, is funded by PlusFish Philanthropy, a U.S.-based private organization dedicated to protecting healthy aquatic ecosystems and the benefits they provide. While the bio station has conducted water quality monitoring for over 40 years – providing assistance to numerous volunteer and watershed groups – the funding from PlusFish allows it to formalize the program and increase the breadth and amount of assistance provided.

MMW provides assistance for monitoring efforts throughout the state through a variety of opportunities, many of which come at no cost to participating groups. This includes help designing effective monitoring plans and developing written sampling and analysis, one-on-one training in sampling methods with FLBS researchers and help with data analysis and reporting.

The program also offers small grants that can be used to purchase monitoring gear and supports the costs of sample analyses at the FLBS Freshwater Research Lab. Participating groups are required to provide a cost match for MMW grants.

Any groups interested in participating in the program are asked to complete the MMW online contact form or send an email to mmw@flbs.umt.edu. For more information about the program and funding opportunities visit https://flbs.umt.edu/newflbs.