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Richard (Ric) Hauer
UM Director of the Montana Institute on Ecosystems and Professor of Limnology
Campus: University of Montana - Missoula
Department(s) and Affiliation(s): Academic Program - Systems Ecology in Division of Biological Sciences and Research Program - Flathead Lake Biological Station
Hauer received his BS and MS degrees from Michigan State University and PhD from the University of North Texas. He joined the University of Montana faculty in 1986 and was located at Flathead Lake Biological Station over the next 25 years. In 2000, he was named recipient of the Limnology Professorship Chair, and in 2011 was awarded the UM’s Distinguished Scholar Award. He is currently the UM Director of the Montana Institute on Ecosystems, a statewide Institute with a shared office between UM and MSU. He is also Program Director of UM’s interdisciplinary graduate program, Systems Ecology. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed publications in international scientific journals including: Science, BioScience, Ecology, Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Canadian Journal of Zoology, Oikos, JNABS, and more. He is senior author and editor of the premier book in stream and river ecology worldwide and in the top 5 among freshwater textbooks internationally (Methods in Stream Ecology by Hauer and Lamberti, 1996, 2006). Hauer is past-President (2004-5) of the Society for Freshwater Science (previously North American Benthological Society).
Research focus: Hauer’s research interests encompass the broad interdisciplinary field of landscape ecology with specific focus in stream and river ecology, which by nature and scope span a broad array of sub-disciplines (e.g., geomorphology, hydrology, nutrient cycling, bioenergetics, energy flow through food webs, and population and community ecology). The continuing goal of his research is a synthesis of stream and river complexes and the processes associated with ecosystem integrity and ecological sustainability.
Q&A with Ric Hauer:
1. What led you to the research you are engaged in?
I have always been fascinated by streams. As a small boy I canoed and fished the trout streams of Northern Michigan with my father. I became academically and professionally interested in stream ecology during an Aquatic Entomology course at Michigan State University taught by one of the godfathers of modern stream ecology, Ken Cummins.
2. Which other disciplines have you collaborated with?
I am interested in the broad field of river ecology, as it is currently conceived, as an integrative place for many disciplines; from geomorphology and hydrology to biogeochemical cycling and organismal biology. I have collaborated broadly across these disciplines throughout most of my career.
3. What do you find most rewarding about collaborations?
I have had the privilege of working with outstanding researcher from many sub-disciplines of freshwater ecology. Many of the “ah-ha” moments that I have personally experienced have come at the intellectual interface of these sub-disciplines.
4. What do you think is the greatest scientific challenge for the next 15-20 years?
Great research emerges from great questions. Large scale ecology does not suffer from not having great questions. The biggest challenges we have over the next 15-20 years are two-fold, 1) sufficient financial resources to accomplish critically import research, and 2) communication with broader society to understand the implications of the outcomes of that research.
5. How do you see the IoE making a difference in this or other scientific challenges?
I believe the planet is “under assault” as it has never been before. This is not just my opinion; many of the world’s leading thinkers in global biodiversity believe that many of the world’s ecosystems are in eminent threat of collapse. The IoE is focused on fostering research and education at Montana’s universities and broad understanding across society of the critical threats to, and sustainability of, Montana’s benchmark ecosystems. The IoE is strategically poised to engage the necessary research, government and society with the knowledge to make sound decisions at this critical juncture in history.
Program Director: Ray Callaway
Project Administrator: Todd Kipfer
University of Montana
Missoula, MT 59812
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Helena, MT 59620