What We Do

The Center for Integrated Research on the Environment [CIRE] has been specifically designed to work with federal, state and tribal administrations and agencies (e.g., Department of Defense, Department of Justice, state Departments of Environmental Quality, etc.) in natural and cultural resource management to collect, analyze, and apply environmental and cultural resource data, as well as implement land rehabilitation and maintenance for management of public lands within a nationwide capacity.

For example, CIRE specifically assists the DoD to manage military installations and DoD public lands in accordance with environmental laws, including the Sikes Act, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), Clean Water Act (CWA), and Clean Air Act (CAA).

CIRE is a Supporter of the DoD Restoration Mission

CIRE also provides support for specific management targets, for example, DoD Projects conducted in accordance with the Legacy Resource Management Program, the DoD Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan and regional ecosystem management initiatives. CIRE applies best practices for sustainable use of land and water resources, innovative technologies, effective monitoring, education and training.

Services Offered

The project PIs and co-PIs and the faculty and staff from which they draw routinely conduct their research in aquatic and terrestrial field settings and systems.  The CIRE Director, and Natural Resources Division project PIs and co-PIs and staff have extensive experience in natural resource data collection, management and support functions.  We have routinely worked with multiple federal agencies addressing regulatory implications of the Federal CAA, CWA, NEPA, and ESA.  The CIRE Natural Resources Division works directly with regional ecosystem management initiatives, habitat preservation efforts, and has experience with Native American tribes and working with Tribal Colleges.  CIRE Director Callaway and CIRE Project Manager Valett have extensive experience addressing the issues of invasive species control in both terrestrial and aquatic systems.  CIRE's IT/GIS Partnership with Dr. John Kimball, the NASA remote sensing program, and UM's GIS department provides highly viable data for all project applications. CIRE has direct links with one of the premiere Wildlife Biology programs in the nation through Dr. Winsor Lowe's participation.  Many of the peer-review journal articles generated by the Management Team directly address the issues of ecological management of land and water resources.
All CIRE projects are coordinated with the CIRE Cyberinfrastructure and IT Systems Administrator through mandatory protocols for data management and security. Through CIRE IT, data storage and data protection are centralized to simplify data management running behind the University of Montana’s firewall and within the central active directory. CIRE IT uses AWS Identity and Access Management, which enables CIRE to create and manage multiple users under a single AWS account and to set resource-based access policies.  The University of Montana has direct broadband access to the Northern Tier Network putting CIRE directly on the national network backbone. Data are stored and retrieved by individual PIs through an encrypted Data Portal.
The Sustainable Range Program is the Army's overall approach to improving the way in which it designs, manages, and uses its ranges to ensure long-term sustainability.  Integral to this program is environmental sustainability.  Integrated Training Area Management (ITAM) integrates the mission requirements derived from the Range and Training Land Program with environmental requirements and environmental management practices.  ITAM establishes policies and procedures to achieve optimum, sustainable use of training and testing lands by implementing uniform land management programs.  CIRE has extensive experience in addressing environmental assessment and management support for various impact analyses.  CIRE also has a unique approach to sustainability in concept and practice through integrative, interdisciplinary approaches that draw from business innovation and marketing sustainability.
The CIRE Cultural Resources Division project PIs and co-PIs and the faculty and staff from which they draw routinely work with human ecology issues.  We have extensive experience in cultural resource data collection, management, and support functions.  We routinely work across a suite of federal agencies addressing regulatory implications of the Federal NHPA, NEPA, and NAGPRA.  The CIRE Cultural Resources Division works directly with past and present human dimensions of natural resources.  We also have extensive experience in the interactions between environmental pollution, toxins, metal pollution and human health.  We have ongoing experience working with Native American tribal organizations and the legal requirements associated with NAGPRA.  CIRE has the ability to field teams of specialists for specific cultural resource projects, with professional archaeologists, linguists, cultural anthropologists, physical/biological anthropologists, ethnobotanists, technical specialists, preservation specialists, historians, and conservationists ready to serve.  CIRE also has access to specialists in these fields who have military backgrounds.
The CIRE Director and project PIs and co-PIs have considerable experience in assisting federal and state agencies with planning and decision support systems.  CIRE PIs have worked directly with the Bureau of Reclamation on the development and implementation of an Ecologically-Based Systems Management decision support system on the South Fork of the Snake River in Idaho designed to avert NEPA and ESA driven litigation. CIRE Partner Kimball routinely works with NASA in development of earth observing satellite missions including planning and decision support tools.
The CIRE Project Managers and Associated Faculty are “master educators” with extensive classroom and small team educational and training experience.  CIRE Associates have taught short courses to the US Army Corps of Engineers and to other federal and state agency personnel in the natural and cultural resources for over 20 years.
The CIRE Director and project PIs and co-PIs are directly engaged in environmental education in both the natural and cultural resources.  They currently teach upper level undergraduate and graduate courses.  The Director and each many of the CIRE Project PIs are currently directly involved in mentoring graduate students seeking M.S. and Ph.D. degrees.
The CIRE Management Team is highly experienced in addressing the issues of pollution effects and prevention in both the Natural and the Cultural Resources.  In the natural resources, CIRE project PIs and co-PIs have worked extensively with US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Army Corps of Engineers in assessing ecosystem effects of pollution, as well as determining mechanisms for pollution prevention, especially related to the Clean Air Act (CAA), Clean Water Act (CWA) and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), including the evaluation of and setting of  Impaired Waters and Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs).
In addition to the CIRE research and management capacity, we also have direct experience in addressing issues of environmental compliance, including compliance under the National Environmental Policy Act.  The CIRE Director, Project PIs and co-PIs have direct experience working within legal frameworks and superfund sites, including water quality and fisheries, air pollution risks, and human health risk.
The CIRE Director and Project PIs and co-PIs have extensive experience in various aspects of ecological restoration.  For example, CIRE Project PI Nelson is Program Director of the Ecological Restoration academic program at UM. Project PI Valett has far-reaching experience working with federal agencies regarding terrestrial and aquatic invasive species control.  CIRE is able to provide guidance, decision support, and education and training to the DoD regarding both natural and cultural resources.