MT-EPSCoR Focus 2

Airborne LiDAR for Lake Ecosystem Studies

A new airborne Light Detection And Ranging (LIDAR) system will be built to enable future interdisciplinary ecological and environmental research involving optical measurements of fish, plankton, water turbidity, and related quantities in lakes and rivers.

Climate change, prairie potholes, and bird and amphibian habitat

This project goal is to conduct detailed hydrologic studies of depressional prairie potholes, survey bird species and count amphibian egg mass numbers associated with prairie potholes on the Fort Belknap Indian Community.

Community organization and resilience

This project explores processes that structure plant and soil microbial communities and how these process relate to exotic plant invasion. 

Ecological impacts of human activities on microbial community composition and microbial-mediated activities in Hailstone National Wildlife Refuge, an alkaline, hypersaline, and selenate-contaminated site in South-Central Montana

Hailstone National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is a ~ 2,000-acre area located in northern Stillwater County. A combination of natural factors such as saline seeps and selenium-rich bedrock, and anthropogenic causes such as the loss of native grasslands, summer-fallow agricultural practices, and the presence of a dam (now dismantled), have resulted in salt concentrations as high as 88,900 μS/cm (seawater is about 55,000 μS/cm) and selenate concentrations as high as ~3,000 μg/L in places (chronic water standard for selenium is 5 μg/L).

Modelling aquatic-­‐ terrestrial linkages and vegetation climate interactions

This project is developing a multi-scale modeling effort linking climate, hydrology, vegetation, geomorphology, and aquatic habitat.

Multi-scale Assessment of Riverscape Complexity (MARC) Project

The Multi-scale Assessment of Riverscape Complexity (MARC) Project is linking remote sensing of floodplain complexity to niche composition, microbial diversity, and ecosystem functioning across Montana’s riverscapes.

Quantifying the resilience of Rocky Mountain Forests to climate variability

 Our main objective is to explore how landscape structure mediates the spatial patterns of water delivery, storage, and availability, and the resulting tree responses to these spatial and temporal patterns of water availability. 


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