Smurfit Flood 2018

Technical Advisory Committee


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.


Dr. Lisa Eby completed her Bachelor’s and Masters of Science (B.S. and M.S.) 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 are focused at the intersection areas that advance our ecological knowledge and increase our understanding around conservation and management issues in aquatic systems. Currently her research lab addresses questions that span a range of questions from genes to ecosystems primarily focused on understanding the drivers of aquatic populations and communities. Two examples include (1) examining how humans are shifting drivers of population and community dynamics through landscape changes and alteration to disturbance regimes and (2) working to improve our understanding of the ecological and evolutionary tradeoffs in cutthroat hybridization versus isolation management approaches. She is honored to have been awarded the American Fisheries Society Excellence in Fisheries Education Award in 2017.


Joe is a hydrogeologist who retired from Montana Department of Environmental Quality (Superfund Section) in 2015. He was the State’s project manager for Butte Priority Soils, a technical advisor for the Anaconda Smelter Site and the monitoring program manager for the Clark Fork Operable Unit. In a prior life, he was the office manager for Environmental Science and Engineering, Inc., contracted by Atlantic Richfield to study smelter effects on groundwater and the four streams in the Anaconda area and to monitor groundwater levels and water quality for the Berkeley Pit Superfund site. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in geology from the University of Montana. In addition to being an avid skier and mountain trail runner, his passion still lies with the restoration of the upper Clark Fork watershed.


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. He helped establish the Coalition as a regional leader in water. Peter went on to start the Missoula Valley Water Quality District, and was instrumental in decisions to remove the Milltown and Bonner Dams, and clean up the PCBs at the Bonner mill. Peter also served as an expert witness supporting the City of Missoula’s acquisition of Missoula Water. 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 and is thrilled to come full circle and be a part of the Coalition’s Technical Advisory Board.


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.


Born on a Texas prairie farm, Vicki grew up watching her parents struggle to protect their creek from upstream pollution–a battle we still fight today. Her research, teaching and service focus on watershed CPR (conservation, preservation, restoration). While researching water quality issues for federal, state & local government, Vicki helped develop Montana’s water quality standards  and monitoring system and US 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. Her classes emphasized research and community service. Her former students work in government, nonprofits, and environmental consulting. Vicki is currently working on a Watershed Restoration Plan for the Central Clark Fork Basin.