externally Identified information needs
One of the goals of the Montana Water Center is to encourage collaboration between university faculty and graduate students and state and federal agencies, and to connect university research to key information needs of entities across the state with significant focus on water resources. The following topics are research interests identified by some of these entities.
US geological survey
The USGS would welcome collaboration with students and faculty on these or other topics:
Using DNA technology to understand the interaction between microbial communities and the water and substrate where they occur (streams, aquifers, hot springs, etc.)
Using geospatial models and remote-sensed and citizen-provided data to estimate hydrologic characteristics and response to stresses
Using hydroacoustics to estimate metallic contaminants in mine-affected rivers in Montana
Detecting and predicting harmful algal blooms in reservoirs
Collecting or estimating streamflow data for small mountain streams
Harvesting hydrologic information from social media
Crowd-sourcing collection of peak stream stage data using smart phones
Investigating the occurrence and ecologic effects of microplastics in Montana's aquatic environments
For more information, contact John Kilpatrick at the USGS MT-WY Water Science Center, firstname.lastname@example.org; 406-457-5902
MONTANA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION
The MT DNRC has identified the following topics as information needs:
Research on aquifer storage and recharge dynamics, including irrigation and return flow, to improve process understanding and improve accuracy of hydrologic models, particularly for streamflow modeling during extended drought. Contact: Larry Dolan, email@example.com, 406-444-6627
Research into the impact of water policy and law on irrigation management, including operational spills and other losses. Contact: Larry Dolan, firstname.lastname@example.org, 406-444-6627
Applying social-ecological systems perspectives to drought and other water resource issues, including assessing multi-scale drought issues and incorporating Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK). Contact: Michael Downey, email@example.com, 406-444-9748
Research on relevant metrics to define and predict drought in Montana. Contact: Michael Downey, firstname.lastname@example.org, 406-444-9748
Research related to constructing a numerical groundwater model that meets DNRC needs for evaluating permit and change application criteria. Contact: Attila Folnagy, AFolnagy@mt.gov, 406-444-6630
Monitoring and modeling effects of wildfires on streamflow, sediment loads, channel stability, potential for debris flows and landslides, aquatic habitat and fish. Contact: Chuck Dalby, email@example.com, 406-444-6644
Studies that examine effects of conversion from flood irrigation to sprinkler on local and downstream water supplies. Contact: Chuck Dalby, firstname.lastname@example.org, 406-444-6644
Remote-sensing-based studies of ephemeral and intermittent streams in central and eastern Montana. Contact: Dave Amman, email@example.com, 406-444-6648
Montana watershed coordination council
The MWCC and the Clark Fork and Kootenai Rivers Basin Council would welcome partnership with university faculty and graduate students to develop a demonstration project integrating the assessment and management of water quality and water quantity within the Basin. Topics might include but not be limited to: finding common ground between the needs and requirements outlined in the Intergrated Water Quality Report (DEQ) and the Montana State Water Plan (DNRC); outlining shared principles, protocols or guidance; creating an integrated management plan based on these shared principles.
For more information, contact Erin Farris-Olsen at MWCC, firstname.lastname@example.org; 406-475-1420.
The MWC would like to grow this list and build further potential for collaboration. For questions or to contribute content, please contact Whitney Lonsdale, email@example.com; 406-994-4454.