Some Frequently Asked Questions about RMBL…


What is the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory?
RMBL is a field station located in Gothic, Colorado. Organized as a 501c3 not for profit, we provide scientists access to research sites, housing, laboratory space, and research equipment.

Does RMBL hire scientists?
No, we host scientists. Scientists come from all over the world to use our facilities.

How many scientists does RMBL host?
In 2014 we had approximately 75 scientists and 40 graduate students.

Does RMBL also do education?
We have an undergraduate research program. Approximately 40 students conduct research under the supervision of a scientific mentor. Additionally, we offer short courses such as field ecology and wildlife biology so that students can learn the skills they need to do field work. RMBL also offers a 2 week high school course as well as day programs for children.

What is RMBL’s budget?
RMBL’s general operating budget is approximately $1.4 million. Depending upon other projects that we have going on, such as supporting research, building/renovating cabins, or purchasing land, our total budget is usually $2-5 million.

When was RMBL founded?
1928. This makes us one of the oldest field stations.

Does RMBL own land and buildings?
Yes, RMBL owns most of the historic mining town of Gothic. We have approximately 70 buildings on this property that we use to house scientists, host meetings, facilitate research, and manage the operations.

How much land does RMBL own or manage?
Approximately 1,000 acres.

Do the scientists just work on RMBL property?
They also work on public lands, as well as private lands (with permission of the landowners).

What happens to the research that scientists do?
They publish their results in scientific publications. There are more than 1500 publications about the research done around RMBL. Quite a bit of research shows up in the national press.

When is RMBL active?
The scientists start arriving in mid-April, but things don’t really get started until June. By early August the students and scientists have started to return to their home institutions.


RMBL's director Dr. Ian Billick - Photo by Sarah Boynton
RMBL’s director Dr. Ian Billick – Photo by Sarah Boynton