Unified Interior Regions

Montana

Welcome to the Midwest Region! Our region includes 18 Science Centers in 11 States from the Great Lakes to the Dakotas, south to Missouri and Kentucky. Our streamgage network is used to monitor and assess water resources across the region. Other research focuses on fisheries and aquatic ecosystems, midcontinental plant/animal species, invasive species, wildlife disease, and energy and mining.

Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center (NOROCK)

Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center (NOROCK)

Scientists from the Center work in the northern Rocky Mountains and across the U.S. Many work throughout the world on issues as diverse as global climate change, aquatic ecology, wildlife diseases, bison ecology, and large carnivores.

Go to NOROCK

Wyoming-Montana Water Science Center

Wyoming-Montana Water Science Center

The Water Science Center's hydrologists, engineers, geospatial analysts, hydrologic technicians, geologists, and support staff work to provide hydrologic data and interpretive studies.

Go to Center

States L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 198
Date published: April 6, 2016
Status: Active

Alpine Climatology of Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park is a topographically diverse region, making localized effects of elevation, aspect, and cold air drainage several of many important factors that necessitate a diversity of long-term climate monitoring sites. Additionally, many studies have shown more rapid warming at higher elevations across the Intermountain West, but with relatively few high-elevation stations available...

Date published: April 5, 2016
Status: Active

Snow and Avalanche Research

Snow scientists with the USGS are unraveling specific weather, climate, and snowpack factors that contribute to large magnitude avalanches in an effort to understand these events as both a hazard and a landscape–level disturbance. The Snow and Avalanche Project (SNAP) advances our understanding of avalanche-climate interactions and wet snow avalanches, and improves public safety through...

Date published: April 5, 2016
Status: Active

Secondary Glacier Network

The Secondary Glacier Network includes six glaciers (Chaney, Grinnell, Stanton, Agassiz, Swiftcurrent, Jackson-Blackfoot Glaciers) that form a north-south transect of approx. 60 km through the region, with Sperry Glacier just south of center. While these glaciers will be monitored less frequently than the benchmark glacier, Sperry, this network will provide data about the variability of...

Date published: April 5, 2016
Status: Active

Benchmark Glacier: Sperry

Sperry Glacier was chosen as the benchmark glacier for the glacier monitoring studies, due to the combination of its topographic characteristics, historic data, and access. Annual mass balance measurements began in 2005. Sperry Glacier joined the long-established USGS Benchmark Glacier Research program in 2013 where common field and analysis methods enable regional comparison and improved...

Date published: April 5, 2016
Status: Active

Glacier Monitoring Studies

The purpose of the CCME's glacier monitoring studies is to systematically monitor changes in Glacier National Park’s namesake glaciers and to determine the causes of changes, assess their ecological and hydrological effects, and predict future changes and effects.

...

Date published: April 5, 2016
Status: Active

Glacier Research

Climatic warming since the end of the Little Ice Age has resulted in substantial glacier ice loss around the world.  Most glaciers have undergone thinning and many exhibit retreat at their margins. Glacier loss triggers a cascade of hydrological and ecological effects that impact plants, animals and can create human hazard and economic hardship.  USGS scientists are using a variety of methods...

Date published: April 2, 2016
Status: Active

Restoring Montana Pothole Wetlands - Demonstration Sites and Adaptive Management

Geologic processes from the last ice age have generated extensive areas of pothole wetlands in several Montana landscapes. The Laurentide ice sheet, originating in the Northwest Territories, provided the dominant force in eastern Montana. Similar landscapes developed in the broad valleys of western Montana through the actions of the Cordilleran ice sheet, originating in the mountains of...

Contacts: Todd Preston
Date published: March 29, 2016

Realizing the biological potential of weather radar

The modern use of field deployed remote sensors generates large amounts of environmental data on natural systems, and this benefits natural sciences. Today’s automated sensors are fast, run nearly continuously, eliminate the need for “people power”, are cost effective to operate and maintain, and monitor the environment in ways humans cannot. The US network of more than 200 weather radars, the...

Date published: March 18, 2016

Developing a mechanistic understanding between recent climate patterns and Aquatic Vital Signs in the Greater Yellowstone Network

The National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring program was established to provide park managers with a broad understanding of the status of park resources using the best available science. This program acknowledges that NPS managers are confronted with complex challenges associated with the management of dynamic landscapes responding to multiple, interacting drivers of change. To provide...

Date published: March 18, 2016
Status: Active

American bullfrog suppression in the Yellowstone River floodplain

The American bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) has recently invaded backwater and side-channel habitats of the Yellowstone River, near Billings, Montana. In other regions, bullfrog invasions have been linked to numerous amphibian declines (e.g., Adams and Pearl 2007). Immediate management actions may be able to suppress or eradicate localized populations of bullfrogs because they are present at low...

Date published: March 18, 2016
Status: Active

An investigation of aquatic invasive species in pristine sites in the Greater Yellowstone Area

Aquatic invasive species (AIS) are aquatic organisms that move into ecosystems beyond their natural, historic range and cause severe and irreversible damage to the habitats they invade. Most AIS arrive as a direct result of human activity, such as boating and angling. The threat of AIS introduction is especially high in the Greater Yellowstone Area, as humans from all over the world come to...

Date published: March 16, 2016
Status: Active

The ecology, behavior, and conservation of migratory birds

U.S. Geological Survey research contributes to conservation measures and improved management of migratory bird populations and their habitats across the United States. Migratory birds provide ecosystem benefits that include pest control, pollination of plants and serve as food sources for other wildlife. They are also a source of recreation for millions of bird watchers and enthusiasts who...

Filter Total Items: 273
USGS staff dig snowpits to evaluate the snow structure after a wet snow avalanche cycle.
December 31, 2015

USGS staff dig snowpits to evaluate the snow structure.

USGS staff dig snowpits to evaluate the snow structure after a wet snow avalanche cycle. This helps identify weak layers responsible for wet slab avalanches along the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park.

Montana crest-stage gage network sites map
December 31, 2015

Montana crest-stage gage network sites map

Montana crest-stage gage network sites map

Kootenai River downstream of confluence with sediment laden Fisher River
December 9, 2015

Kootenai Riv downstream of confluence with sediment laden Fisher River

The difference in the sediment loads between the Kootenai River and Fisher River is easy to spot shortly downstream of their confluence. The Fisher River had a lot of flow and sediment from the recent rains and added muddy water to the clear Kootenai River. The Kootenai is clear because this site is just downstream of the Libby Dam. 

October 21, 2015

What's the Big Idea? — Creating Cleaner Energy from Coal

Elliott Barnhart, a hydrologist with the USGS Wyoming-Montana Water Science Center, describes his work developing what could be a cleaner way to develop coal.

October 21, 2015

What's the Big Idea?—Using Weather Equip. to Monitor Animal Movement

Robb Diehl, research ecologist at the USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center, explains how he uses remote sensing technology — particularly weather radar — to better understand  how flying animals affect human activities.

Producer: Jacob Massey, USGS
Camera: Paul Laustsen, USGS

 

Old Montana Farmhouse
September 30, 2015

Old Montana Farmhouse

  • Contrary to popular belief, Lorem Ipsum is not simply random text. It has roots in a piece of classical Latin literature from 45 BC, making it over 2000 years old. Richard McClintock, a Latin professor at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, looked up one of the more obscure Latin words, consectetur,
...
Sampling for alpine insects above the stream in Glacier National Park.
September 21, 2015

Sampling for alpine insects above the stream in Glacier National Park.

A scientist is working to collect alpine insects by picking through moss below tiny, cold, alpine streams. This spot was below a small seep on a slope above a tributary to the Dry Fork, North of the Two Medicine area in Glacier National Park. 

Processing a YELL NAWQA sample
September 16, 2015

Processing a YELL NAWQA sample

Processing a YELL NAWQA sample

This is an image taken in 2015 of Sperry Glacier in Glacier National Park.
September 15, 2015

Sperry Glacier, Sept. 25, 2015

This is an image taken in 2015 of Sperry Glacier in Glacier National Park. Accoriding to data released by the USGS, the warming climate has dramatically reduced the size of 39 glaciers in Montana since 1966, some by as much as 85 percent.

February 24, 2015

BRoll: An ADCP's View of Streamgaging

This short clip was made by attaching a GoPro camera to an acoustic Doppler current profiler. The clips shows USGS streamgage station 12304500, Yaak River near Troy, MT, and a hydrographer on the cableway using the ADCP to measure streamflow.

Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center (NOROCK)

Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center (NOROCK)

Scientists from the Center work in the northern Rocky Mountains and across the U.S. Many work throughout the world on issues as diverse as global climate change, aquatic ecology, wildlife diseases, bison ecology, and large carnivores.

Go to NOROCK

Wyoming-Montana Water Science Center

Wyoming-Montana Water Science Center

The Water Science Center's hydrologists, engineers, geospatial analysts, hydrologic technicians, geologists, and support staff work to provide hydrologic data and interpretive studies.

Go to Center