From Molecules to Main Street: Montana Consortium for Research on Environmental Water Systems (MT-CREWS)

Wed, Oct 3, 12:00 pm
126 Barnard Hall
Speaker Name: 
Dr. Robert Walker
Montana State University
Chemistry & Biochemistry

Dr. Rob Walker is a Professor in MSU’s Chemistry and Biochemistry Department.  He also serves as the state coordinator for the Montana University System’s cooperative Ph.D. program in Materials Science.  Walker earned a B.A. in Chemistry from Dartmouth College and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.  After postdoctoral work at the University of Oregon, he joined the faculty at the University of Maryland, College Park in 1998.  While at Maryland, Walker also served as the associate chair for that institution’s Chemical Physics Program.  Walker moved to Montana State University in 2009 where his research program continues to use optical spectroscopy to study chemical structure and reactivity at interfaces.  He has published more than 100 scientific papers and has successfully mentored more than 20 Ph.D. students.  His work has been recognized with an NSF CAREER award, a Sloan Foundation fellowship, and, most recently, a visiting faculty fellowship from the Danish Science Foundation. He was named an AAAS Fellow in 2012.  Walker’s research program is currently supported by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the Office of Naval Research.

The newest NSF EPSCoR RII Track 1 program in Montana will tackle timely and pressing challenges facing Montana’s environmental waters.  Specifically, MT-CREWS will expand Montana’s research capacity to address the dynamics of environmental water systems and water quality issues stemming from high-impact, land-resource activities including hard rock mining, intensive agriculture, and energy extraction.  This Rough Cut seminar will describe how MT‑CREWS’ unified research themes address the origin, persistence, and transformation of contaminants in representative Montana rivers, and the impact these contaminants have on ecological and social systems.  For example, research focused on the Judith River watershed will determine how N enrichment alters aquatic ecosystems, and how nutrients act as subsidies and stressors in the context of river productivity, algal blooms, and ecology. These studies will identify how intensive agricultural practices interact with natural hydrologic dynamics to control NO3- and applied organics in soil, riparian, and stream systems.  Molecular and ecological studies will couple with capstone research on stakeholder and community response to contaminants in water systems and the viability of technology-inspired solutions.


MSU IoE Office

Montana State University
605 Leon Johnson Hall
Bozeman, MT 59717
(406) 994-2374
MSU Director: Bruce Maxwell

UM IoE Office

The Universityi of Montana

The University of Montana
Davidson Honors College
Missoula, MT 59812
(406) 243-6058
UM Director: Maury Valett


Montana University System

Montana University System

Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education
2500 Broadway Street
Helena, MT 59620