Our Coalition

Technical Advisors

Our Technical Advisors lend their expertise to ensure we use science-based, community-driven methods in all our efforts.

    Chris Brick

    Dr. Chris Brick served as science director for the Clark Fork Coalition for 16 years, after first serving on its board of directors. She’s also worked in academia and in consulting. Her background is hydrology, groundwater, and water chemistry, especially as it applies to the Clark Fork watershed. She is retired and appreciates having more time to spend in the mountains and rivers of Montana.

    Lisa Eby

    Dr. Lisa Eby completed her Bachelor and Master of Science at the University of Wisconsin, her Ph.D. at Duke University in aquatic ecology and a postdoctoral appointment at Arizona State University. She is currently a professor of aquatic ecology in the Wildlife Biology Program and Director of the Ecosystem Science and Restoration Program at the University of Montana. Her research questions focus at the intersection of areas that advance our ecological knowledge and increase our understanding around conservation and management issues in aquatic systems. She was awarded the American Fisheries Society Excellence in Fisheries Education Award in 2017.

    Peter Nielsen

    Peter Nielsen helped start the Clark Fork Coalition in 1985 and was its executive director from 1986-92. He got his Master of Science Degree at the University of Montana in environmental studies. Peter led the Coalition’s initial work to negotiate a landmark settlement with the former Smurfit-Stone paper mill, restricting year-round discharge to the river and imposing the first limits on phosphorous and nitrogen discharge. Peter went on to start the Missoula Valley Water Quality District. He was instrumental in decisions to remove the Milltown and Bonner dams and clean up the PCBs at the Bonner mill. He spent a total of 32 years working to protect water resources in Missoula and the Clark Fork watershed. Recently retired, he has a lot more spare time to enjoy the rivers he worked to protect.

    Rob Thomas

    Dr. Rob Thomas is a Regents Professor of Geology at the University of Montana Western in Dillon, Montana. He earned B.A., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in geology from Humboldt State University, the University of Montana, and the University of Washington. His professional work currently focuses on fluvial sediment transport, impaired stream assessment and restoration, extensional tectonics and sedimentation in southwest Montana, Cambrian trilobite extinctions, and experiential geoscience education. Rob is deeply passionate about experiential education and regularly gets his students working in the field on projects that make a real impact on the environment, including work on the Upper Clark Fork. Rob’s personal passions are family, mountain recreation, and playing guitar around a campfire.

    Vicki Watson

    Born on a Texas prairie farm, Vicki grew up watching her parents struggle to protect their creek from upstream pollution. Her research, teaching, and service focus on watershed CPR (conservation, preservation, restoration). While researching water quality issues for federal, state and local government, Vicki helped develop Montana’s water quality standards and monitoring system and U.S. nutrient criteria. Much of her work focuses on Montana’s Clark Fork River basin which contains wilderness, working lands, and the country’s largest Superfund complex. She monitors the basin for the state, organizes Clark Fork Symposia and helped develop the Clark Fork part of the state water plan. Vicki managed over $3 million in grants over the past 35 years and provides pro bono assistance through the Watershed Clinic. Vicki is currently working on a Watershed Restoration Plan for the Central Clark Fork Basin.