Jim Elser, Director of the University of Montana Flathead Lake Biological Station, will be officially inducted into the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) next week in Washington, D.C.

Elser was elected to the NAS in 2019. However, the COVID pandemic prevented him from a personal induction ceremony until now. He was recognized by the Academy for his achievements in scientific research. A University of Montana news release said he is the first person from UM to be inducted into the academy. Elser, along with Cathy Whitlock of Montana State University, are the only two active Montana members of the NAS.

Elser has researched Flathead Lake and other Western Montana lakes. Part of the study is checking snow algae in high elevation ecosystems. He also has expanded the freshwater monitoring program at the biological station and has increased education opportunities to K-12 students.

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The April 29 ceremony will be streamed live on the NAS website at 7 a.m. MDT. He'll also attend the annual NAS meeting. He has been part of NAS virtual meetings since he was named to the Academy in 2019.

Elser has been honored throughout his career

Elser is quoted in the news release, "My election to the NAS will help bring more attention and expertise to Montana, UM and to the Flathead watershed. It brings me into contact with cutting-edge researchers and their work - much of which is highly relevant to the challenges that water resources and ecosystems face in Montana."

He is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of science, a foreign member of the Norwegian Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has received the G.E.Hutchinson Award of the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography. He was that group's president from 2014 to 2016.

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