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Bureau of Business and Economic

Center for Riverine Science and Stream Renaturalization

Center Review Recommendation, 3/13/08

(Academic Policy 103.o)

A. Written Report Summary:

1.     Purpose:  Inform the broad community of river scientists, managers and restoration practitioners in innovative and sound methodologies to improve river management and restoration skill. Acts as a nucleus to focus interdisciplinary teaching and research on natural and impacted stream systems and to connect the University of Montana with national research labs and river restoration practitioners.

2.     Objectives:   Focus a wide range of expertise (MUS, State and Federal Agencies, Non-profit Organizations, Businesses and Consultancies) to help solve the myriad problems limiting the success of river management and restoration under rapidly changing local and global conditions from local to global scales.

3.     Anticipated activities:  See attached report for specific examples.

a.     Organizing and hosting an Annual River Center Conference

b.    Promoting and building River Science Research Teams

c.     Interacting with private and public sectors

d.    Regional outreach

e.     Future goals:

                               i.    Secure stable funding for the next three years

                              ii.    Continue to convene a National River Conference

                             iii.    Assist in developing affiliate-River Center joint research projects

                             iv.    Assist in developing interdisciplinary research projects for members

                              v.    Assist in developing a new Ph.D. in Water Science and actively participate in applying for graduate student stipends.

4.     Other organizations involved: National Science Foundation and The Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc., Crown of the Continent (COTC) WATERS Network Testbed, NSF Nyack Microbial Observatory, NSF EPSCoR Large River Ecosystems, Mountain Water Co., Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes, The Teller Refuge, and The Inland Northwest Research Alliance Integrated Water Research Consortium.

5.     Reporting line: The Director reports to the Office of the Vice President for Research and Development.

6.     Relationships with institutional mission and contribution to academic programs: The Center supports river and water research across academic departments, disciplines and colleges, through organizing an annual conference and organizing research teams.

7.     Similar programs: None

8.     Budget:
See attached Budget Narrative        

 

B. Review and Approval Process
 
2. 
The Faculty Senate through its Chair, who in turn shall distribute it to ECOS and other committees, and approve or disapprove the proposal by a vote of the Senate.

Review in terms of Scope as stated in academic policy 100.0
To provide instruction, scholarship, or service to the University, state or world by:  (1) focusing attention on an area of strength and/or addressing a critical issue, or (2) facilitating collaborative, multi-disciplinary endeavors to combine resources from several programs or institutions to address issues of common interest.

Review in terms of the University's mission.

§   Comments: The Center Director has a tenure line in Geosciences. The Director reports to Vice President of Research Dan Dwyer.

§   Does ECOS/Faculty Senate consider this center controversial? No.

§   Is the relationship with academic units beneficial? Yes.  The Center has been effective at brining together research teams from different academic programs and colleges.

§   Is the program revenue neutral or does it consume more resources than it generates? If so, is the use of University resources justified?  The center is making progress toward becoming self-sufficient. The Director position is currently unfunded.  The primary expense is hosting the annual conference and funds for the conference are generated primarily from conference fees and donations.  The Center is attempting to develop a new multi-unit degree program in Integrated Water Resources Science.

§   Is the entity making progress toward objectives? Yes.

Recommendation: Approve the Center for Riverine Science and Stream Renaturalization for a period of three years with the expectation that progress is made towards sustainable funding.
Justification:
The Center is doing excellent work hosting its Annual River Center Conferences. Progress is needed with regard to funding sustainability and integration into the University curriculum.