Between world class fish streams, there runs a section of river devoid of trout. On Montana’s Clark Fork River, pastoral livelihood and fabled recreation meet the consequences of resource extraction.
Within the nation’s longest stretching Superfund Complex, a 30 mile stretch of river struggles unlike the stretches above and below it. The Valett Stream Ecology Lab at the University of Montana investigates the absence of trout, and what they find is not what you expect. With no straight line to the answer, it is the concept of a spiral that holds the clues.
*This material is based upon work supported in part by the National Science Foundation EPSCoR Cooperative Agreement IIA-1443108 and EPS-1101342
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
Confluir; Marañón River
Documentary film, Spring 2018
Client: Marañón Waterkeeper
Stock Media Client: National Geographic Society
Over twenty hydroelectric dams have been proposed for the principle tributary of the Amazon River. The currently free-flowing Marañón River cuts through the Andes Mountains and helps sustain resident communities as well as the most diverse ecosystem on Earth.
An international team of scientists and river experts investigated the natural, recreational and cultural resources that would be eminently impacted by the dams during a month-long raft trip on the Marañón.
Client: Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) -partnership of NOAA & CU Boulder
Of the three major influences on the atmosphere and climate, wildland fire is the least known.
On October 1, 2016, top chemistry researchers from around the country came to Missoula, Montana, to light stuff on fire. They converged at an old building that looked like a mad scientist’s warehouse. Inside, they helped each other set up millions of dollars worth of instruments. Wind tunnels weaved in and out of the walls, and a rickety elevator ferried researchers to the top of a giant smoke funnel.
These scientists were kicking off a multi-year mission called FIREX—Fire Influence on Regional and Global Environments Experiment, to better understand the air quality and climate effects of fire—in the controlled environment of the Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Station Fire Sciences Laboratory.
Roaring Lion Fire
Newspaper article and photos, Fall 2016
Client: Lee Newspapers
The Roaring Lion Fire in Hamilton, Montana crossed the wild-urban interface, claiming 16 homes. While the event left families combing through the ashes for any surviving personal effects, it also lent to an unique research opportunity. Researchers from the University of Montana tested the application drones in wildland fire management for the first time. View piece HERE.
Land of No Use
Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, a group of skiers and riders set out to visit Montana's Wilderness Areas and explore the issues surrounding the lands where humans are mere visitors, in a state named for its mountains.