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UM News
April 05, 2012


Two researchers at The University of Montana’s Flathead Lake Biological Station have received one of the state’s highest honors for their work in conservation.

The Montana Environmental Information Center honored research Professor Jack Stanford and research Assistant Professor Bonnie Ellis with its 2012 Conservationist of the Year award at a recent ceremony.

Jim Jensen, MEIC executive director, said the award is the highest recognition of lifetime achievement in environmental conservation in Montana. It was first awarded posthumously to former lawmaker and conservation pioneer Lee Metcalf. Other recipients include K. Ross Toole and Arnold Bolle.

“Jack and Bonnie fit the description as perfectly as any recipient ever has,” Jensen said. “Their world-renowned research has been translated to ordinary citizens to understand the complexities of the Flathead Basin, in ways that are extremely rare in science. … We cannot hope for sound policies to guide our actions without the scientific basis, and it is only possible for policymakers to make informed decisions if they can understand the implications of scientific research, and that is what Jack and Bonnie do best.”

Stanford, who also serves as the station’s director, has studied the ecology of the Crown of the Continent ecosystem for more than 30 years, and has directed research at FLBS since 1973. He has received nearly a dozen state and national awards for his research and contributions to river ecology.

Ellis specializes in limnology, the study of inland waters, and her Flathead Lake research has ranged from the physiological ecology of the lake’s phytoplankton to its food web dynamics.

“We are very pleased and proud to receive this award,” Stanford said. “It underscores the importance of the work at the biological station to the people of Montana.”

More information on the biological station is online at



Western Montana, dailies


Contact: Jack Stanford, UM Flathead Lake Biological Station director, 406-982-3301 ext. 235,; Bonnie Ellis, FLBS research assistant professor, 406-982-3301 ext. 239,