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About River Continuum Concepts, Inc.

River Continuum Concepts, Inc. is the quintessential go-to organization for invertebrate ecology providing two broad types of environmental assessment services: consulting and laboratory. Veteran owned and located in the town of Manhattan, MT.

Mission Statement:

Our goal is to serve society's best interest by providing the most defensible environmental monitoring data to make the best possible management decisions for all stakeholders.

Our History

Brett Marshall established River Continuum Concepts in 2007 because he found a need among local monitoring organizations for an experienced ecologist. Tasked with working toward conservation, these organizations rarely had sufficient experience in-house, and did not have the need or resources to hire a full time benthic ecologist or entomologist. Generally they fill a niche between local, state and federal governments and they must work effectively with all levels. State and federal agencies often have goals that are divergent from local interests, and sometimes it is not always easy to keep everyone happy. River Continuum Concepts, Inc. was created to help balance the scales, ensuring application of the very best science for both local concerns as well as regulatory objectives.

An illustration of the River Continuum Concept

The River Continuum Concept

The River Continuum Concept (Vannote et al. 1980) is a scientific framework for describing the predictable ways in which flowing ecosystems are expected to change spatially. For example, small headwaters are naturally different from large deltas. These differences extend beyond appearance to the very function of food webs and the species comprising aquatic communities. Changes may appear categorical, but actually occur gradually, along a continuum. Not all streams fit the river continuum models, but even so, the River Continuum Concept is the most common framework used to discuss how these streams deviate from expectations. This is an important concept for biological monitoring for many reasons. Among these reasons is the fact that many impairments or disturbances cause streams to behave differently than expected according to the River Continuum Concept (Vannote et al. 1980).

Thus, although River Continuum Concepts, Inc. is a play on words, it is reflective of the underlying biological and physical interactions that make each stream unique- and the importance of understanding this uniqueness. Contact Us.