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Biological station surpasses fundraising challenge

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News from the Flathead Lake Biological Station 

POLSON – The 2014 summer season starts with a celebration for Flathead Lake. The University of Montana’s Flathead Lake Biological Station has exceeded its $1 million goal to match a lake monitoring challenge grant.

In late 2011, FLBS began a three-year campaign to raise a $1 million endowment to match a pledge for its Flathead Lake Research and Monitoring Program. Hundreds of families, foundations and businesses came through with gifts large and small.

“This incredible generosity will help protect the quality of Flathead Lake’s water for years to come,” said FLBS Director Jack Stanford. “Our team of faculty, staff and students gives a heartfelt thanks to the community and everyone who donated and made this possible.”

FLBS scientists specialize in ecological research and education with an emphasis on freshwater, particularly Flathead Lake and its watershed. FLBS research and monitoring provide a continuous record of lake conditions needed to understand and protect the lake and reveal threats before they become problems.

Actor John Lithgow owns a Flathead Lake home and actively supports the work of FLBS.

“At a time of deep concern for the earth’s fragile environment, the Flathead Lake Biological Station continues to do a magnificent job monitoring the Flathead’s complex water system,” Lithgow said. “All of us who treasure this beautiful lake owe the station a great and ongoing debt of gratitude.”

The research program depends almost entirely upon grants and gifts. Thus, faculty and staff at FLBS are forging ahead on the next set of priorities for community support. Current projects for which they seek funding include:

• LakeNET, the environmental sensor network around Flathead Lake, which provides real-time weather and water data to Flathead Lake residents and recreationists.

• The development and application of an environmental DNA test for aquatic invasive species. The test will allow researchers to rapidly determine from a water sample whether invasive species have reached Flathead Lake and other water bodies in Montana.

• Continued ecological discovery at FLBS’s long-term floodplain research site, the Nyack floodplain on the Middle Fork Flathead River.

A video about FLBS can be viewed at For more information or to make a donation, call Tom Bansak, FLBS research scientist and development coordinator, at (406) 982-3301 ext. 229 or email; call Stanford at (406) 982-3301 ext. 236 or email Donate online at

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