EPSCoR - Montana NSF

DIRECTORS' STATEMENT
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Dear Colleagues,

The 2007-2011 Montana NSF EPSCoR grant, Infrastructure via Science and Technology Enhanced Partnerships II (INSTEP 2), is being put forth through the combined efforts of Montana State University, The University of Montana, Montana Tech and the seven Montana tribal colleges. It is an exciting time with many opportunities for long-term science and technology development in the State of Montana. The proposal also includes the broadening of initiatives impacting local communities and K-12 education and outreach.

This grant is built around two research areas, both of which are regionally relevant and nationally significant. Hydrogen and the Environment (HE) and Large River Ecosystems (LRE), and both are areas where Montana scientists can work collaboratively, advancing their fields and establishing a presence for Montana nationally and internationally. Through a combination of past EPSCoR investments in key researchers and infrastructure, these areas have expanded this process and are positioned to move to the next level.

Below is our vision for these specific research fields:

Hydrogen and the Environment – EPSCoR is fostering enhanced interaction between individuals at existing Centers of Excellence at MSU and UM to focus on the question of discovering new sources of hydrogen metabolism and applying this knowledge to applications for hydrogen as an alternative fuel source. Investment in people (new faculty hires and students) will provide the bridge between these centers and research efforts to achieve a goal that is beyond the scope of any individual center.

Large River Ecosystems – EPSCoR is facilitating development of a research center around the topic of large river ecosystems involving all of Montana’s higher education institutions through the amalgamation of expertise throughout the Montana University System, infrastructure building in education (new PhD program in water science) and new faculty hires. It is developing strong collaborative ties to the Tribal Colleges strengthening river science education and distance learning opportunities.

Both research areas are investing in people as the principle infrastructure building mechanism to advance the research initiatives. MT EPSCoR is leveraging resources and expertise at all of Montana’s higher education institutions including Tribal Colleges to enhance research and science in the state. Programs to broaden participation in science and communicating science to the public continue to be supported with an emphasis on Montana’s Native American communities and groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM disciplines.

It is exciting to see the growth of past EPSCoR investments and have the opportunity to build on these for the future of Montana. We invite you to look over the website (www.mtnsfepscor.org) and visit our news pages often to learn more about the NSF EPSCoR projects in Montana.

Professor Mark Young
Project Director

Professor Ric Hauer
Project Co-Director