GARNA has organized a visit to the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL), an internationally renowned center for scientific research and education located near Crested Butte. GARNA last visited RMBL in September 2015 and although we had a terrific time exploring and hearing from RMBL director Ian Billick, many of the researchers were gone by that time. This year we timed the visit to take place in the middle of summer when projects are in full swing. The day’s activities will include touring the facility and hearing about the current studies taking place there. We’ll also have the opportunity to explore the historic buildings around the town of Gothic. In addition, the group will get involved by helping with a service project pulling weeds along the road to Gothic. Lunch will be provided. Ecologist, educator, outdoor enthusiast and GARNA program committee member Max Keller will lead the group and help coordinate the day’s events. This trip is limited to 14 people.
Western Colorado College professor, Dr. John Johnson, first visited the abandoned mining town of Gothic, Colorado on July 14, 1919. Recognizing the rich diversity of the local ecosystems, he began bringing students to study amid Gothic’s ruins. Since 1928, when RMBL was officially founded, thousands of students and scientists have followed in Dr. Johnson’s footsteps, making the ecosystems around Gothic some of the most intensively studied in the world and making RMBL an internationally renowned center for scientific research and education.
Home to one of the largest annual migrations of field biologists, RMBL provides logistical support for scientists and students, including access to living quarters, research laboratories, and protected research sites. RMBL focuses on the importance of preserving and providing access to historical data about the local ecosystems. As scientists address ever more sophisticated questions about a dynamic world, RMBL is a vital resource for discovering nature’s fundamental ecological and evolutionary processes.
Gothic is roughly 7 miles from Crested Butte (and about a 2-2.5 hour drive from Salida). GARNA is not arranging for overnight stays so participants may want to explore lodging options (in Crested Butte or Gunnison) or camping options in the surrounding area for either the night before (Wednesday) or Thursday night after the program. For those participants who are going for the day, GARNA will organize a carpool from Poncha Springs and more information will be provided upon registration.
The cost of the trip is $15 for GARNA members; $20 for non members. Additional information will be provided to those who register. Online registration is available at http://garna.org/calendar/rmbl-7-20-17/. Fees support coordination and promotion of GARNA programs.