The University of Montana has received a $45 million cooperative agreement award to help the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study and solve environmental and cultural resource problems across the nation.
The university says UM professors and students also will assist the Corps in implementing land and water ecological restoration, maintenance and training for the best management of public resources.
UM officials say it's the largest research award in the university's history.
Water ecology Professor Ric Hauer will serve as program director and principal investigator while 10 faculty members will help manage the research. School officials plan to include students in several graduate programs.
"When people think (they) want to do something on conservation biology, or ecology, or large landscape ecosystems, the first place that they think of is not going to be one of the ivy league schools, or one of the California schools," said Hauer. "What they're going to think of is the University of Montana."
Hauer has assisted the Corps with projects since 1992, including helping the Corps develop protocols for ecological assessments of rivers and wetlands and teaching classes for agency personnel.