Undergraduate Program/REU

Research and Instruction for Undergraduates & Beyond

Our summer education program is centered on student research. Students are immersed in an active scientific community, with up to 180 scientists, postdocs, graduate students, undergraduates, staff, and family members living onsite. With this critical mass of ecologists in a single location, the scientific activity is on high speed all summer.

Descriptions of the two Education Tracks:  Full-time Independent Research and Independent Research with Short Course, as well as REU Awards are available here.

A Flier describing our program is posted HERE.


General Information
The RMBL Education Program is an excellent way to decide if a career in field biology is right for you. Independent research offers an intensive mountain field work experience and emphasizes individual research projects. You will interact with a variety of scientists and their research projects at RMBL. This program runs for 10 weeks, June 9- August 14, 2024, plus the equivalent of 2 days of remote programming in May. Some students may be asked to arrive earlier or stay later if necessary for their particular project; start and end dates are flexible. However, students are expected to participate in the education program for 10 weeks, regardless of start date. The assumption is that the majority of students will reside onsite. Students with special circumstances may inquire with the Education Programs Coordinator about the possibility of participating in the program partly or entirely remotely. There are a substantial number of full and partial scholarships, so financial need should not stop students from applying. Students will receive various levels of support, up to and including a stipend, depending upon the strength of the application, financial need, and student motivation. We encourage participation by students who have had limited opportunity to engage in research.

Students should have a sincere interest in a career in field biology research. Fieldwork is difficult and often tedious. We are looking for students with the mental and intellectual maturity to commit to hard work. Accepted students have the option of turning their research into a Senior Thesis at their home institution. Contact the Education Programs Coordinator at RMBL for more information.

Students are encouraged to take advantage of the multitude of scientific activities at RMBL, such as the annual bird count and workshops on plant identification, sampling techniques, and specimen preparation. We have a growing informal education program for visiting children and adults; these theme-based sessions are an opportunity to meet scientists and learn about their research and an opportunity to interact with the local community. Volunteering to help any number of professors, postdocs, graduate students, or peer undergraduates is a great way to observe a variety of field projects.

Program Description
Students conducting independent research will work with a mentor to develop a testable hypothesis, gather field data, analyze it and produce metadata, as well as produce a written and oral report.  More information on the student-mentor relationship can be viewed here.

In addition, students participate in workshops on experimental design and data analysis, data management and archiving, science communication and discussions and panels on equity in STEM, teamwork, ethics and the responsible conduct of research, and career pathways in science.

Field Ecology Students on Avery - photo by Kailen Mooney
Field Ecology Students on Avery – photo by Kailen Mooney

COVID-19 Statement

All students accepted into the RMBL education program will be required to follow the RMBL COVID-19 health and safety plan, which will include proof of vaccination, and may include testing, symptom monitoring, isolation, mask-wearing, hand-washing, personal distancing, and group size limits. Vaccine exemptions will be considered, as required by law.

Other Useful Links

RMBL provides equal opportunities in science and education without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender, or sexual preference.