Water Committee

The MWCC Water Committee is a group of technical water professionals who work to connect MWCC and the broader Montana watershed community with the best available information on water resource management/monitoring/research and the agencies/organizations working in these areas. The committee acts as a sounding board for the MWCC board and other MWCC committees on technical water topics and consults on MWCC project development and implementation efforts. The committee strives to help keep the MWCC board and recipients of the Watershed News abreast of important technical water resource topics in the state. The committee is home to the Water Activities Work Group (WAWG) and to the Monitoring and Groundwater workgroups that have existed in the past and which may be reformed as needed in the future as ad hoc workgroups.

Committee Activities

  • Monthly Conference Calls
  • Fall Project Tour
  • 319 Project Proposal Review
  • Training and Event Planning Support
  • NRCS National Water Quality Initiative Project Consultation
  • Water Activities Work Group (WAWG) serves as the Water Subcommittee for the NRCS state technical advisory committee (STAC)
  • Current Special Topics:
    • Web resource development
    • Compiling a riparian assessments summary document for stream teams or citizen scientists
    • Providing guidance on allocating MWCC pass-through DEQ 319 funding for BSWC member nonpoint source pollution projects

Water Committee Members:

Adam Sigler
Water Committee Chair
Adam grew up in Logan, Utah and received his BS in watershed science from Utah State University in 2001. Adam moved to Bozeman in 2004 to work for MSU Extension and complete an MS in Land Resources and Environmental Sciences (LRES). He took the job as the Associate Water Quality Specialist leading the MSU Extension Water Quality (MSUEWQ) group in 2009 and began a PhD program in the summer of 2011. Adam and the MSUEWQ team work with local Extension, conservation districts, watershed groups, state agencies, and tribes across Montana to engage the public in water science and management. MSUEWQ administers a statewide private well testing program called Well Educated and Adam teaches a graduate level online water quality course in the LRES department at MSU. When not elbow deep in water science, Adam enjoys paddling his canoe, biking, running or thinking what the next cool water science and outreach project might be because WATER is SOOOOO COOL!
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Katie Makarowski
Water Quality Specialist
Katie grew up in rural upstate New York. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Studies in 2004 at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse. She moved to Missoula in 2007 to attend graduate school at the University of Montana and, in 2009, earned her Master of Science degree in watershed ecology through the Environmental Studies Department. While in graduate school, Katie spent two field seasons monitoring water quality across Montana for the Department of Environmental Quality’s Reference Stream Project. She has worked in Helena for DEQ’s Water Quality Planning Bureau since 2010 monitoring and assessing statewide surface water quality. Katie enjoys spending time with her family and friends, adventuring with her boyfriend (Ryan) and dog (Guthrie), cooking, doing artwork, seeing live music, gardening, rock hunting and exploring Montana. She is pleased to be a part of the Montana Watershed Coordination Council and is inspired by the many Montanans who are passionately protecting and preserving our water resources. Happy monitoring!
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Mark Ockey
Water Activities Work Group Leader
Mark Ockey was raised in western Oregon and Washington, where he spent most of his free time fishing, bird-watching, hiking, and exploring in the Cascade Mountains and Puget Sound. He received a Bachelor of Science in Agronomy from Brigham Young University. Following graduation from college, he met and married the lovely Jennifer Whitfield. She and he now have a beautiful daughter who is quickly becoming Mark’s favorite fishing buddy. Mark’s professional work has included nutrient management planning and outreach and education for conservation districts in Washington State. He also spent several years working in DEQ’s Permitting and Compliance Division, first in the coal mine permitting program, and then as the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation discharge permit coordinator. Currently, Mark enjoys working in DEQ’s nonpoint source pollution prevention program where he has primary responsibility for working with agricultural groups, and with CDs and watershed groups in central and eastern Montana. Mark finds great satisfaction in building relationships with members of the ag’ community to promote voluntary efforts to reduce nonpoint source pollution.
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Amy Seaman
Water Committee Member

Amy works on policy and conservation as the Conservation Program Manager for Montana Audubon. She has been in this role since 2013 and works on the statewide Important Birds Area Program, on citizen science projects, and with nine independent Audubon Chapters across the state. Learning bird songs is a passion, and avian studies have been a focal point for Amy, taking her to locations such as the Madison and Missouri Rivers, Charles M. Russell NWR, Bitterroot Valley, Glacier National Park, the highline, and the Bridger and Big Belt Mountains. These experiences allow Amy to contribute to MWCC through her knowledge of the birds and wildlife that rely on our state’s waterways and are impacted by landscape issues within each of the state’s watersheds. Her statewide role allows her to engage with diverse communities and groups, and she is passionate about being able to build relationships that can move conservation forward.

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Robert Ray
Water Committee Member

Robert Ray is a Water Quality Specialist in the Watershed Protection Section at the Montana Department of Environmental Quality. He managed the Nonpoint Source Program for the State of Montana from 2002 to 2016 and the TMDL program from 2002 to 2006. Prior to working for the state of Montana, he was the Director of Watershed Services at the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments. In that role he updated and implemented the Regional Water Quality Plan (208 Plan) and supported and participated in numerous watershed-scale water quality planning and implementation efforts. Robert has also worked in water quality protection for the city of Arvada, Colorado, the Virginia Water Control Board, and as a Research Associate at the University of Maryland’s Horn Point Environmental Laboratories. He earned a BS in Biology from the University of New Mexico in 1982 and a MS in Marine Science from the College of William and Mary in 1986.

Robert is married and has a grown son and daughter. He loves the out-of- doors and gets great joy from skiing, running, mountaineering, biking, rafting, canoeing, etc.

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