Flathead Lake Biological Station

Established in 1899, Flathead Lake Biological Station (FLBS) is a University of Montana Center of Excellence that conducts ecological research with an emphasis on fresh water, particularly Flathead Lake and its watershed. FLBS is a one of the world’s premier freshwater research facilities and is a mecca for international and national researchers and students to learn or study biology, ecology and limnology (the study of inland waters).

The Bio Station offers summer field ecology courses for students from across the nation, and trains graduate students year-round. FLBS also provides scientific data and interpretation to help resolve environmental challenges and inform public policy.

The Bio Station’s 80-acre campus at Yellow Bay on the east shore of Flathead Lake has roughly 60 buildings including laboratories, classrooms and meeting rooms, commercial kitchen, dining hall and housing for over 100 people. Facilities are available for educational conferences, seminars, courses and professional meetings. The Bio Station regularly hosts public events, including speakers and our Annual Open House which is typically the first week of August.

Points of Pride

  • Flathead Lake Biological Station serves as the “Sentinel of the Lake” and has been rigorously monitoring the water quality of Flathead Lake since the 1970s. FLBS scientists conduct world-class and world-renowned ecological studies, which are regularly published in top scientific journals.
  • The Bio Station educates and teaches biology and freshwater ecology to the next generation of scientific leaders, researchers, teachers and informed citizens.
  • FLBS provides expert information to decision-makers about water quality and ecological issues on a local, national and international level.

The Flathead Lake Biological Station's programs and facilities are reliant on a blend of private, state, federal and University funding. FLBS is constantly seeking ways to develop and increase research and educational capabilities to continue to help solve global environmental issues, and to improve our facilities that support these important activities.

Impact of Giving

  • Flathead Lake Monitoring helps maintain the continuity of the Bio Station’s 100-year legacy of Flathead Lake science and knowledge. Donations will ensure that FLBS continues the fight against threats to Flathead Lake’s water quality and aquatic invasive species, keeping Flathead Lake beautiful, clean, and clear.
  • Private gifts provide a wide range of student support. Donations provide many undergraduate scholarships for our summer field ecology courses. Last year, FLBS was able to award over $50,000 in philanthropically-funded student scholarships.
  • Donors also invest in other educational opportunities, funding K-12 classroom visits and teacher trainings, and an interdisciplinary internship program. FLBS internships now include environmental journalism and environmental law thanks to the generosity of donors.
  • Gifts also support the training of graduate students who play critical roles in FLBS research and contribute to Bio Station accomplishments in a number of ways. Recently, FLBS announced the Jack Stanford Scholarship and Bonnie Ellis Scholarship, two new opportunities specifically dedicated to supporting FLBS graduate students.
  • Flathead Watershed Research provides critical ecological information about local and global ecosystems and their interactions with society. Current priorities include research on Aquatic Invasive Species using environmental DNA and long-term river and floodplain research on the Middle Fork Flathead River.

Thank you for your gift.


Jeff Babik

To find out how to support the Flathead Lake Biological Station, contact Jeff Babik, Director of Development.