Flathead Lake Biological Station
5:10 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

Scientific research, water samples, and a bottle of scotch

Flathead Reporter Katrin Frye takes us to the Biological Station at Yellow Bay.

While remodeling the Elrod Building at the Yellow Bay Station workers found a time capsule in the wall behind the cornerstone. The Biological Station was founded in 1899. The Elrod lab was built in 1967 under the tenure of Dr. Richard Solberg as director.

“The first half of the life of the Biological Station focused primarily on teaching; the professors taught, the professors didn’t do research. They did some observations, and wrote a few papers and a book or two and so on, whereas now the primary focus of the station is research,” Solberg said.

Dr. Jack Stanford became director of the Biological Station in 1980. He said their research has spread to rivers and streams in different countries and continents, and the ongoing studies in the Flathead system have relevance and repercussions beyond the state’s borders.

“Biodiversity is very high in the Crown of the Continent, because it’s right square in the water tower of the whole continent, it’s where everything seems to begin. The Triple Divide Peak in Glacier Park is a significant feature because water flows from there to Hudson’s Bay, and the Mississippi, and then to the Columbia,” Stanford said.

The 2013 time capsule is following the tradition of the 1967 time capsule which followed the time capsule placed in the “Old Brick Lab” of 1912. The 1912 Lab came down when the Station built the 1967 Elrod Building. Inside the capsules are reports detailing the workings of the station, scientific reports generated by the scientists, a list of people who came on dedication day, contemporary coinage, and a new twist for the 2013 time capsule; water samples, and a bottle of scotch.