EPSCoR - Montana NSF

UM NSF EPSCoR Director Changes
Ric Hauer text_container

As with all good things, Professor Chuck Thompson, who has worn many hats during his time with the Montana NSF EPSCoR program-- Co-PI, Director and Co-Director--has decided to pass the Montana EPSCoR reins at The University of Montana to his colleague, Professor F. Richard Hauer, better known as Ric.

In the tradition developed by Montana State University at the close of the 2001-2004 award to “pass the torch”, and again at the recently completed 2004-2007 Montana NSF EPSCoR award, Chuck passed on his responsibilities as Co-PI to Ric beginning January 2008, torch and all.

In 1999 Dr. Thompson took up the mantle of MT NSF EPSCoR and began fulfilling the Science Vision Committee’s long list of ambitious goals. If asked, Chuck can unequivocally state that the goals of the grants were successfully carried out during his tenure directing both the 2001-2004 and 2004-2007 EPSCoR programs at UM as well as co-authoring the current 2007-2010 proposal. Under his guidance, he brokered and/or developed the following proposal projects:

  • Center for Environmental Health Sciences
  • Center for Biomolecular Structure & Dynamics
  • $4.5M State of Montana match funding (2002-2007)
  • 39 new faculty hires and/or enhancements
  • 62 graduates and 225 undergraduates awards
  • 45 undergraduate summer diversity research students brought to campus
  • Development of websites and public relations materials
  • Production of 10,000 science department graduate student recruitment DVDs
  • 2 Science is Cool 4-CD sets sent to all MT elementary schools and public libraries
  • Creation of the spectrUM Discovery Area – a hands-on science learning museum on campus
  • State of Montana Department of Commerce SBIR collaboration

With Dr. Thompson stepping down, he is leaving big shoes to fill. Montana NSF EPSCoR and all its staff across the state wish to sincerely thank him, and are indebted to him for his hard work, passion and continued dedication to the many projects under his term.

In the same breath, as a new Science Vision Committee convenes to develop the guidelines for the next eight to ten years for university researchers to follow, we welcome Ric Hauer.

Dr. Hauer has been with The University of Montana since 1986 doing research and teaching at the Flathead Lake Biological Station (FLBS), a state-of-the-art ecological research and education center located in the Rocky Mountains near Glacier National Park. He is a Professor of Limnology and holds the FLBS Endowed Chair in Limnology. See Ric Hauer’s website for complete details of his research.

Anticipating this role change, he has spent a good deal of time with his counter-part, Professor Mark Young, at Montana State University. All involved have been working closely with Dr. Hauer to bring him up to speed on the current award, which began August 2007. He is actively taking up the UM reins under the 2007-2010 initiative, which is building infrastructure in Large River Ecosystems and Hydrogen and the Environment research focus areas. In expectation of taking the lead in the next grant round, Ric is already gathering interested faculty and leading the discussion and development of the 2010-2015 Montana NSF EPSCoR proposal as well as beginning to tackle the Science Vision Committee’s new list of projects.

With this transition complete, thus ending another chapter in Montana NSF EPSCoR, everyone is once again focusing on the current award and Montana’s future.