Team SPAW (Salish and Pend D’Oreille Aboriginal Watershed) located in northwestern Montana on the Flathead Indian Reservation just south of Glacier National Park will work with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) of the Flathead Reservation. The area is composed of a mosaic of habitats from valley grasslands and wetland to forested mountains and alpine tundra. We develop research projects that benefit the CSKT. Projects typically focus on native species and habitat restoration to enhance biodiversity and support cultural values. Team SPAW interns have the opportunity to develop research projects on a variety of topics that can address these conservation goals. Past projects have included habitat characterizations surrounding the culturally significant plant species Camassia quamash or Blue Camas and Wild Huckleberries. These characterizations often include study of soils, associated plant communities, pollinators, macro-invertebrates, reptiles and amphibians, large and small mammals including birds and bears, water quality, invasive species, disturbance and land use practices, and many other land and water resources.
Our SPAW research team uses both scientific and cultural methodologies. Cultural methodologies explore the traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) maintained in both the literature and oral traditions. While scientific methodologies are examining the ecophysiological characteristics that control each area of research.