“… If you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse...”Paul Hawkin
Uniting diverse professional and academic experiences, Lori Curtis is an Associate Faculty instructor in the MRSC and MSES graduate programs at Prescott College, where she also serves as the Capstone Coordinator for these programs. Originally from Southern California, Lori has lived in large cities such as Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco, and in remote regions like Grand Lake, Colorado – a town with 300 full-time residents. In 2006, she settled in Whitefish, Montana, a northwestern town just south of the Canadian border, and minutes from Glacier National Park, the Flathead and Kootenai National Forests, and the Bob Marshall Wilderness.
Her career includes conservation and wildlife research and education, as well as diverse management roles across a variety of disciplines, including photovoltaic technology, semiconductor equipment, and information security. She is well-versed in all facets of project, organizational, and financial management, marketing and public relations, and has worked in venture-backed start-ups, large established corporations, and nonprofits.
Since graduating from Green Mountain College in 2010 with a MS in Environmental Studies, Lori has served as the Science & Education Director for the Whitefish Lake Institute where she conducts aquatic and watershed research, develops education programs for K-12 students and their teachers, and manages the 28 acre Living Wetlands Interpretive Nature Trail – a wetland preserve near Whitefish Lake. Her job allows her to move from scientific research, to community collaboration, to informing local and statewide policies. Lori served four years as the Montana Governor-appointed Chair of the Upper Columbia Conservation Commission (UC3 ), seven years as Supervisor (two years as Vice-Chair) on the Flathead Conservation District Board, is a technical facilitator for the City of Whitefish, and a member of the Flathead Community of Research Educators (CORE). Her previous service includes Board of Directors for Sinapu (now part of WildEarth Guardians), including two years as Chair. She received the 2011 Outstanding Writer Award from the Montana Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, and the 2010 Partner of the Year award from the Northwest Regional Resource Conservation & Development.
Masters faculty at Green Mountain College since 2011, and at Prescott College since 2019, teaching:
- Bioregional Theory and Practice
- Ecology, Culture & Community
- Field Journaling
- Capstone/Thesis Project
- Capstone Portfolio
- Grant Writing for Researchers
- Course Design:
- Capstone/Thesis Advisor:
MRSC & MSES
M.S. Environmental Studies/Conservation Biology, Green Mountain College
Post graduate studies: Stream Ecology, Flathead Lake Biological Station, University of Montana, Polson, MT
Editor, Voices of Our Lake (2018)
A compendium of scientific information and community thoughts regarding Whitefish Lake
Voices of Our Lake
Author, Flathead Watershed Sourcebook: A Guide to an Extraordinary Place (2010, 2017)
A book that illustrates the natural and cultural histories of the Flathead Watershed detailing biodiversity, water quality, land management, agricultural production, and economics. It identifies conservation and education resources and is used by educators in grade schools, high schools, and colleges throughout Montana. The book and companion website (www.flatheadwatershed.org) served as her MSES 2010 Master’s thesis at GMC. A companion middle school curriculum for use with the Sourcebook was released in 2016.
Flathead Watershed Sourcebook website
Co-coordinator, Montana Lake Book (2017)
An informational guide about the functionality of lakes in Montana
Montana Lake Book 3rd Edition
Co-author, Estimating the Real Estate Price Premium of Two Northwest Montana Lakes - Flathead Lake and Whitefish Lake (2020)
Research to understand the economic benefits of two Montana lakes on property values.
Lake Economic Study
Co-author, Whitefish Water Resources Report: A Status of the Whitefish Lake Watershed (2015)
The first complete water quality status report and a scientifically comprehensive foundation for long-term water quality management of the Whitefish Lake Watershed & Surrounding Area
Water Resources Report
Lead author, Investigation of Septic Leachate to the Shoreline Area of Whitefish Lake (2012)
Research to identify septic leachate on the lake and promote local solutions
Septic Leachate Report
Awards, Grants & Honors
2021 Served four years as the Montana Governor-appointed Chair of the Upper Columbia Conservation Commission (UC3) and seven years as a Supervisor on the Flathead Conservation District Board, two as Vice-Chair
2011 Outstanding Writer Award from the Montana Chapter of the American Fisheries Society
2010 Partner of the Year Award from the Northwest Regional Resource Conservation & Development.
Technical facilitator for the City of Whitefish
Member of the Flathead Community of Research Educators (CORE) Watershed Education Committee.
Coverage in News & Media
03/01/21 The Economic Value of NW Montana Lakes
02/03/21 The Economic Value of Lakes
02/03/21 Economic Study Whitefish Pilot
02/03/21 Economic Study Daily Inter Lake
04/19/19 Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribe (CSKT) Award Char-Koosta News
08/29/18 Voices of Our Lake
04/04/17 Whitefish Lake Institute in Local Guide
04/04/12 Septic Leachate Study Flathead Beacon