Kate Wilson

Kate Wilson is the Montana Liaison for Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), addressing and monitoring energy-related policies and issues in the state. She previously served as the Executive Director of the Flathead Basin Commission and the Upper Columbia Conservation Commission (2017-2022). She has spent her career thus far working on and building support for water quality and AIS policies & programs in the west. BPA is a nonprofit federal power marketing administration based in the Pacific Northwest that owns 15,000+ miles of transmission lines; markets power from the federal dams in the Columbia River Basin, including Hungry Horse and Libby in Montana; and funds all fish & wildlife mitigation and dam maintenance and upgrades within the federal Columbia River System. Kate is based in Missoula, where she lives with her partner and two pups, a magnificent place to treasure abundant water and public lands.

Greg Hoffman

Greg Hoffman has been a fishery biologist on the Kootenai River since 1996 and has worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Libby Dam since 2002, representing the Corps in all fisheries and water management issues in the Kootenai River and Koocanusa Reservoir in Montana, Idaho, and British Columbia, Canada. Greg represents the agency on several aquatic species and habitat recovery teams, community action committees, regional forums, and interagency task forces. The Corps operates and maintains Libby Dam for multiple purposes, including power production, flood risk management, environmental stewardship, and recreation and is obligated to operate consistently with all law and regulations, including the Endangered Species Act, biological opinions, and any court orders that address Libby Dam operations and maintenance. Greg’s function is to ensure that the Corps’ actions benefit ecosystem function to the extent practicable while also maintaining the authorities and mission of the Libby Dam.

Melissa Schaar

Melissa Schaar is the Groundwater and Water Quality Studies Chief and Acting Branch Chief of Research and Investigations for the USGS Wyoming-Montana Water Science Center located in Helena, Montana. She manages a multi-disciplinary team of microbiologists, ecologists, physical scientists, geologists, and hydrologists. Melissa is the project manager of several scientific investigations that explore the effects of mining on water quality and ecosystems with special experience working in high profile international transboundary watersheds. Melissa has over twenty years of experience working in private industry and government in the fields of hydrology, hydrogeology, geochemistry, engineering, water use, water quality, and policy.

Heidi McMaster

Heidi has worked for the Bureau of Reclamation for over 12 years. She started as a field technician working with endangered species and moved into water quality and limnology with additional experience in quagga mussels and invasive species monitoring, and environmental compliance on hazardous materials. Heidi has a BA in Environmental Studies and an MPH in Environmental and Occupational Health.

Chris Savage

Peter Brumm

Peter Brumm is a hydrologist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency based in Helena, Montana. He works with states, Tribes, and other partners to implement the Clean Water Act in his roles as the USEPA Region 8 Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) coordinator and Columbia River Basin Restoration Program coordinator. Peter graduated from the University of Montana College of Forestry and enjoys recreating on and in Montana’s bountiful water resources when not in the office.

Martin Charlo

Sara Edinberg

Sara Edinberg is an Assistant Research Hydrogeologist with the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology (MBMG), working on statewide aquifer mapping and assessments as part of the MBMG’s Ground Water Assessment Program. Sara has a B.S. in Geology from Colorado State University and an M.S. in Hydrogeology from Montana Tech. Her research interests include groundwater geochemistry as a tracer for aquifer recharge sources, groundwater-surface water interaction, and acid rock drainage chemistry, which was the focus of her master’s thesis. In her spare time, Sara enjoys cooking, hiking, and skiing with her dog, Betsy.

Dr. Jim Elser

James Elser is Bierman Professor of Ecology at the University of Montana and since March 2016 has been Director of UM’s Flathead Lake Biological Station at Yellow Bay. He also holds a part-time research faculty position in the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University where he directs the Sustainable Phosphorus Alliance. Trained as a limnologist, Dr. Elser is best known for his work in developing and testing the theory of ecological stoichiometry, the study of the balance of energy and multiple chemical elements in ecological systems, and for his work on phosphorus sustainability.  Currently, Dr. Elser’s research focuses most intensively on Flathead Lake as well as mountain lakes of western Montana. Specific studies involve observational and experimental studies at various scales, including laboratory cultures, short-term field experiments, and sustained whole-ecosystem manipulations. Previous field sites have included the Experimental Lakes Area in Ontario, Canada; lakes of the Arctic and of Patagonia; lakes, forests, and grasslands of the upper Midwest; and desert springs in Mexico’s Chihuahuan Desert. In recognition of his research accomplishments, Dr. Elser was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2019. He has also been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and a foreign member of the Norwegian Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2012, he received the G.E. Hutchinson Award from the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO), the world’s largest scientific association dedicated to aquatic sciences. During 2014-2016, he served as ASLO’s President. Dr. Elser holds a PhD from the University of California (Davis), an MS degree from the University of Tennessee, and a BS degree from the University of Notre Dame.

Galen Steffens

Galen Steffens returned to the Department of Commerce as the Community MT Division Administrator after serving as the Water Quality Planning Bureau Chief at the Montana Department of Environmental Quality. Prior to her time at DEQ, Galen was the Community Planning Program Manager at the Department of Commerce and previously worked as a city planner for the City of Great Falls. Galen grew up on a farm in Colorado and has lived in Montana for the past 20 years. She is a graduate of the University of Montana and is an avid backpacker and general all-around lover of the outdoors. Galen is passionate about making a difference in the state in which she lives, works, and recreates. Galen lives in Helena with her two children, husband, and dog.