Montana Water News
January 30, 2009

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Montana Water Center 2009 Research and Fellowship Awards
The Montana Water Center recently awarded three faculty research grants and four student fellowships from a very competitive field of applicants representing Montana’s universities throughout the state. Funding for these awards comes to the Water Center from the U.S. Geological Survey and helps us support important basic research that often yields information that gives a better understanding of water resources, aquatic habitat, and ways to help solve environmental issues. The Water Center newsletter will feature the work of some of these awardees throughout the year. Below is a brief recap of the faculty researchers and their projects.

Dr. Wyatt Cross
Dr. Wyatt Cross
Dr. Brian McGlynn
Dr. Brian McGlynn
Dr. Brian McGlynn and Dr. Wyatt Cross from MSU-Bozeman have teamed up to track human-derived nitrogen through stream food webs in the West Fork of the Gallatin River near Big Sky. Although a large number of studies have quantified effects of nutrient enrichment on stream ecosystem, few have explicitly tracked the fate and consequences of human-derived nitrogen and phosphorus. This study will test the efficacy of using N isotopes as a proxy for stream ‘health’ in a watershed subject to intense, but spatially variable, human development. Such an approach may help understand mechanisms that lead to shifts in stream community structure and function as a result of nutrient loading.

Dr. Gary Icopini
Dr. Gary Icopini
Dr. Steve Parker
Dr. Steve Parker
Dr. Gary Icopini and Dr. Steve Parker of Montana Tech at the University of Montana will study organic wastewater chemicals (OWCs) in a shallow aquifer and stream in the Summit Valley. OWCs encompass a wide variety of chemicals and include pharmaceuticals, hormones, fire retardants, industrial chemicals, personal care products, and pesticides. The release of human and agricultural antibiotics to the environment may promote antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Other OWCs, especially estrogenic substances, may also have adverse impacts on aquatic life. The results obtained from this project may provide information on the susceptibility of this ground-water system to OWC contamination from residential development that does not have a central sewer system.

Dr. Elizabeth Meredith
Dr. Elizabeth Meredith
Dr. Elizabeth Meredith at Montana Tech in Billings, will use carbon isotopes to quantify the amount of water contributed to surface watersheds in Montana from coal aquifers targeted for coalbed methane production. Dr. Meredith’s objective is to quantify the amount of ground water contributed by the Knobloch coal aquifer to the Tongue River, Powder River, Rosebud Creek and Otter Creek, in the Powder River Basin of southeastern Montana. Quantification will be accomplished through isotope mixing models based on naturally-occurring, stable isotopes of carbon. Research results may benefit irrigators, recreationists, regulators and aquatic species.

The four 2009 Student Fellowship awards will go to:

Victoria Balfour, a PhD candidate at the University of Montana studying post wildfire hydrology. Vickie is researching the effects of wildfire ash on runoff and erosion following forest fires. Alaina Garcia is a student at MSU-Bozeman who is on pace to receive bachelor’s degrees in mechanical engineering, math and Spanish at the end of the Spring 2010 semester. As a result of her interests in alternative energy, Alaina will build a Tesla turbine to experiment with a more efficient micro hydroelectric generating system. Able Mashamba is a PhD student in Industrial Engineering at MSU-Bozeman. Able is studying the impacts of watershed management on main channel discharge and on surface and ground water pollution using distributed hydrologic modeling. Bryan Swindell is pursuing a master’s degree program at MSU-Bozeman, concentrating on paleoecology. Bryan’s fellowship will help support him as he investigates the response of the Bighorn River to past climate change, with an emphasis on drought occurrence, by reviewing the tree ring record in the basin.

Victoria Balfour
Victoria Balfour
Alaina Garcia
Alaina Garcia
Able Mashamba
Able Mashamba
Bryan Swindell
Bryan Swindell
DEQ Storm Water Conference
Storm Water Solutions
The 2009 Storm Water Conference titled, “Clear Choices: Storm Water Solutions for Montana,” will be held April 7-9, 2009 at the Holiday Inn in Bozeman. The conference will include presentations on best management practices for storm water control and storm water pollution prevention. For additional information, download the flyer at [120 kb PDF], or contact Kristy Zhinin by calling (406) 444-7425 or at
Missouri Basin Workshop
The Missouri Basin Climate Variability Workshop is scheduled for Helena, Montana June 24-25, 2009. The Park Plaza Hotel currently has a block of rooms reserved for the workshop. Contact the hotel directly at if you're interested in booking a room for the workshop. More information about the workshop will be posted as it becomes available.
Bureau of Reclamation to Support River Basin Water Studies
The Bureau of Reclamation requests letters of interest from non-federal entities throughout the seventeen western states to conduct river basin or sub-basin studies where water supply and demand imbalances may exist. If interested, submit a short letter of interest to the Great Plains Reclamation Regional Office in Billings at by February 4, 2009. For more information on the river basin studies project, go to
Grant Writing Class
A three day grant writing workshop will be held March 17-19, 2009 at Yogo Inn in Lewistown, Montana. The course interweaves the grant proposal writing process and strategic planning for successful grant awards. To sign up for the class, contact Mary Jones at (406) 538-8506 or If you have questions contact Diane Nelson at (602) 906-5548 or
Whirling Disease Meeting Update
The Whirling Disease Aquatic Invasive Species meeting will be held Thursday, February 5, 2009 in Denver, Colorado at the Double Tree Hotel, 3203 Quebec Street. Registration will be $100 for the one day event and will include breakfast, lunch, break refreshments and meeting materials. For more information and to register online visit
AWRA Spring and Summer Specialty Conferences
The 2009 American Water Resources Association (AWRA) Spring Specialty Conference, “Managing Water Resources and Development in a Changing Climate,” will be held at the Anchorage Marriott Downtown in Anchorage, AK, May 4-6, 2009.

The AWRA Summer Specialty Conference, “Adaptive Management of Water Resources II,” will be at the Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort in Snowbird, UT, June 29-July 1, 2009.

Visit the AWRA website at for more information about these and other AWRA conferences.

Water Management Position
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory-Battelle (PNNL) is recruiting a senior water resource engineer. This position will provide technical and leadership expertise to a nationally recognized program in the identification, assessment/evaluation, design, and implementation of water conservation/efficiency projects in the federal sector. Applicants are expected to be accepted through February. For more information, please contact Kristi Ross at (509) 372-6317 or, or visit the PNNL website at
Student Funding Opportunities
MSAWWA/Willems Scholarship

The Montana Section of the American Water Works Association (MSAWWA) awards the Donald G. Willems Scholarship each year to an undergraduate or graduate student at an institute of higher learning. The application is due March 31, 2009, and can be downloaded from the organization’s website

MSAWWA/MWEA Student Essay Award

MSAWWA and the Montana Water Environment Association (MWEA) also co-publish a newsletter twice a year. Each issue includes an essay by a Montana student on a water topic of his/her choice, of 1000 words or less. The essay to be published is chosen by the boards of the two organizations, and the writer is awarded $200. The deadline for essay submittal for the Spring 2009 newsletter is January 31, 2009. Send essays to Nancy Bruner at For more information, visit

Society of Wetland Scientists Student Research Grant


The Society of Wetland Scientists Student Research Grants Program has its proposal deadline set for February 15, 2009. Students are eligible if they are conducting undergraduate or graduate-level research in wetland science at an accredited college or university. Applications will be considered for funding periods of no more than one year. For more information visit

CARE Grant


The 2009 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) Request for Proposals is now available online at Deadline for submissions is March 16, 2009. The EPA will conduct three conference calls on February 3, 24 and 27, 2009, for prospective applicants to ask questions about the application process. Additional information about the CARE program, previous cooperative agreement recipients, and application procedures for the 2009 grants is available at .

Water Policy 2009
Water Policy 2009, an international conference to review water policy and integrated water management, will be held at the Czech University of Life Sciences (CULS) in Prague in June 2009. Scholars, researchers and graduate students are invited. For more information or registration, visit the conference website at, or email
Books & Resources
Prior Appropriation Paper
Prior Paper
Gerald Mueller of the Clark Fork River Basin Task has completed a paper discussing challenges to the prior appropriation doctrine. Download the paper, "Managing Montana's Water: Challenges Facing the Prior Appropriation Doctrine in the 21st Century" at
Handbook for Stream Enhancement and Stewardship
Released in 2006, A Handbook for Stream Enhancement and Stewardship was prepared by The Izaak Walton League (IWLA). The handbook is a basic resource for individuals, groups, or communities working to carry out environmentally sound, cost-effective stream corridor assessment, enhancement, and stewardship programs. This book is fully described at
DNRC’s Highground Newsletter
The January Installment of the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation’s newsletter, Highground, is now available. Highlights of this issue include an article explaining a property owner’s options when told by a bank to purchase flood insurance, DNRC proposed legislation for Flood Map Adoption Efficiency, information on available floodplain resources, and clarification on new federal regulations specific to manufactured home installation. To download the newsletter go to

Do you have more news?

The Montana Water Center News welcomes your stories about water and water issues that face Montana. If you have a short story you would like to see published in this newsletter, please send your information to
Meetings of Note

Take special note of upcoming national and local water meetings on the Events Calendar at MONTANA WATER.

Event FLOW Documentary: Bozeman Film Festival, Bozeman, January 28, 2009 [INFO]
Event Resilient Systems in a Changing Climate, Billings, January 29, 2009 [INFO]
Event River Restoration Northwest, Stevenson, WA, February 2-5, 2009 [INFO]

Event 2009 West Regional Technical Seminar: Conduits, Valves, & Gates, Phoenix, AZ, February 3-5, 2009 [INFO]

Event Whirling Disease Symposium, Denver, CO, February 5, 2009 [INFO]
Event Human Health Risk Assessment Workshop, Kirkland, WA, February 12-13, 2009 [INFO]
Event 10th Annual Association of Montana Floodplain Managers Conference, Great Falls, March 2-5, 2009 [INFO]
Event Grant Writing Workshop, Lewistown, March 17-19, 2009 [INFO]
Event ArcGIS 9 for Fisheries and Wildlife Biology Applications, Olympia, WA, March 24-26, 2009 [INFO]

Event MRNRC Conference & BiOp Forum, Billings, March 25-27, 2009 [INFO]

Event Clear Choices: Storm Water Solutions for Montana, Bozeman, April 7-9, 2009 [INFO]

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