Date of Award

Spring 2018

Degree Type

Non-Thesis Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Committee Chair

Glen Southergill

First Advisor

Chad Okrusch

Second Advisor

Todd Myse


User-Centered Design (UCD) is an iterative process that allows designers and developers to create useful products. Using a combination of brainstorming, in-person interviews, usability testing, and design evaluation, the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology (MBMG) is building a web portal to deliver Montana’s Surface Water Assessment and Monitoring Program (SWAMP) data in an efficient manner.

Data from the MBMG and the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) are currently being collected and stored. The MBMG has more than 100 surface-water monitoring sites in its Ground Water Information Center (GWIC) database. In addition, the DNRC has stream stage (ft), discharge (cfs), and water temperature (deg C) data for 34 real-time stations and more than 130 seasonally downloaded stations across Montana. Working together with the Water Management Bureau and Information Technology staff at DNRC, the MBMG developed a database to import an automatic data feed from Aquatic Informatics’ AQUARIUS software. The surface-water data are imported into the system every 30 minutes using a combination of the AQUARIUS API, FTP, Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services, and custom software.

The SWAMP database and website are recent additions to the MBMG Data Center at


A meta-document submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Technical Communication