Home » Clark Fork Watershed Education Program announces name change and center designation

Clark Fork Watershed Education Program announces name change and center designation

BUTTE, MT. – The Clark Fork Watershed Education Program (CFWEP) will be renamed Ripple: The Center for Education and Ecosystem Studies, after receiving official designation as a research and education center at a Montana Board of Regents meeting in Havre on May 15-16.

At the Montana Board of Regents Meeting in Havre last week, the Regents approved the Clark Fork Watershed Education Program (CFWEP) at Montana Technological University to officially become a research and education center of the Montana University System.

Rayelynn Brandl, Executive Director, described the change, “CFWEP has created a legacy of excellent teacher professional development programs that have served teachers throughout Montana. We’ve engaged in meaningful science communication, engaging students and the community in the complex story of damage and restoration in the Clark Fork Watershed. We are now ready to expand our offerings of place-based, authentic research and science experiences for teachers and students.”

The CFWEP team chose the name Ripple to represent their work, engaging teachers and students in authentic and meaningful science experiences to create ripple effects long into the future. Ripple: The Center for Education and Ecosystem Studies will continue CFWEP’s legacy which has reached over 80,500 students and provided long-term professional development for 951 teachers in Montana.

Key points of focus for Ripple are to create lasting partnerships in other watersheds that are affected by environmental issues, to work collaboratively with state education leaders to develop robust teacher professional development programming in the hardest-to-reach communities of Montana, and to continue partnerships with research scientists working at Montana Technological University as well as with other MUS campuses and within state agencies to provide authentic research experiences for students at the K-12 and undergraduate levels. As a research center, Ripple will advance science education and ecological knowledge through interdisciplinary partnerships and rigorous study of ecological, social, and educational processes.

Ripple’s Executive Leadership Team, continued from CFWEP, provides guidance and direction for the center throughout this change. The staff team would like to thank their leadership team members:  Brad Archibald, Francene Archibald, Maggie Davis-Welch, Rick Edwards, Dr. Colleen Elliott, Elizabeth Erickson, Jeremy Fleege, Dr. Erick Greene, Joe Griffin, Dr. Steve Gammon, Sidni Markovich, Luke Pokorny, Justin Ringsak, and Matt Vincent.

To learn more about the name change and the vision for Ripple, please visit the website at www.cfwep.org. Montana Technological University will hold a press conference on Thursday, May 30th at 12:30 p.m. on the Montana Tech campus at the Student Success Center.

Contact: Rayelynn Brandl, executive director, rbrandl@mtech.edu, 406-490-5191.

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