skip to Main Content
1101 11th Ave, Helena, MT 59601 (406) 443-5711 Visit our sister organization, MACD

Photo for TMC copy

Samantha Tappenbeck

Area Resource Specialist, Western Montana

Samantha provides technical support on water-related issues and coordination assistance to conservation districts and local organizations in the Clark Fork and Kootenai River Basins. Her background is in freshwater ecology and aquatic biogeochemistry, and she has conducted research in southeastern Appalachia, the tallgrass prairie of the Midwest, and the northwestern Rocky Mountains. Samantha has lived in the Flathead Valley since 2010 and has previous experience working for the Flathead Lake Biological Station. She lives in the foothills of the Swan Mountains with her husband, Tyler and son, William. When not at work, you can find them camping, floating a river, or hiking with their three dogs. Samantha can be reached at or 406-291-6314.


Kate Arpin

Communication and Outreach

Kate Arpin’s specialty is in technology and communications. She manages the SWCDM and MACD websites, produces our newsletters, The Montana Conservationist and the District Dispatch, and steps in with graphics support whenever programs need a professional product. In addition, she helps districts with website, technology, and graphics needs, producing everything from websites to event posters, to citizen photo monitoring solutions. Growing up in Twin Bridges, Montana, Kate’s mom was a supervisor on the Ruby Valley Conservation District. Kate has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from the University of Puget Sound, and now she and her husband live in Troy, Montana, where they love exploring the verdant Northwest and working on their fixer-upper.

Melissa Downing

Operations Director /Partnerships Manager

As the Operations Director for SWCDM and MACD, Melissa assists the organizations in financial record keeping, office management, and works to improve office systems and policies to ensure the missions of SWCDM and MACD are fulfilled. Melissa also manages SWCDM’s partnership agreements. Melissa holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science from Humboldt State University, with an emphasis in hazardous waste management. She spent several years working as a paralegal at a large law firm in West Virginia, before taking time off to raise her two sons. Melissa  enjoys spending time with her family in the outdoors hiking, camping, and rafting. Melissa’s hours at the office will be 8:00-4:00, Monday through Friday. She can be reached at

Please see individual program pages for Program Staff.
Back To Top