POLSON, Mont. –The University of Montana’s Flathead Lake Biological Station has received a $1 million challenge gift for research and monitoring of Flathead Lake water quality. The gift, made through The University of Montana Foundation, is from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous. It requires a dollar-for-dollar match from other donors.

“We are grateful for this expression of support for one of The University of Montana's premier research programs, the Flathead Lake Biological Station," said President Royce Engstrom. "The gift will make a significant impact on UM's efforts to help preserve our natural resources.”

Researchers with the Flathead Lake Biological Station began lake monitoring through periodic studies in the 1890s. Since 1977, the measurements have been continuous, but focused on a single mid-lake sampling site. Funds from the gift will allow this program to be continued without interruption and cover a larger portion of Flathead Lake, in addition to taking measurements more frequently and at greater depths. 

The long-term data and interpretations compiled by researchers help residents, managers and governments evaluate their actions and conserve the clarity and cleanliness of the lake. The research activities also provide training for the next generation of water quality managers and educators. Matching gifts will go into an endowment fund to ensure that these activities will be sustained for years to come.

“We are thrilled to receive this generous gift,” said Bonnie Ellis, research assistant professor at the Flathead Lake Biological Station. “With community support, we can raise the matching funds to meet the $1 million dollar challenge and double our efforts to help protect the Flathead Lake Ecosystem for years to come.”

Since 1899, students and researchers from around the world have come to the Flathead Lake Biological Station to learn firsthand about ecology and limnology, the study of inland fresh waters. 

“Over the years, gifts, research grants and hard work by the resident staff and faculty have allowed the Flathead Lake Biological Station to become one of the finest field stations in the world,” Ellis said. “Maintaining the detailed record of water quality is key to protection of the Flathead Lake for future generations.”

Find out more about the Flathead Lake Biological Station.

To make a gift today, please complete the form below.