Program Options & Courses

REU and Independent Research Program

The Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL) will offer the Education Program, including awarding REU’s and scholarships, in 2024The onsite program dates are June 9-August 14, 2024, plus the equivalent of 2 days of remote programming in May. This is a 10 week program. RMBL anticipates accommodating the majority of students and mentors on-site in 2024. Eligible students include current undergraduates, recent graduates, and early-career graduate students. 

Our program has two tracks which differ in the degree of initial independence students experience when learning about and conducting field research. We encourage students of all backgrounds and with varying levels of experience to apply to each of the tracks. We review applications, choose a group of students that comprises a mix of academic background and research experience, and place students in the track that best fits their experience and expectations. Approximately twenty students will be in each independent research track.  Both programs run concurrently during the ten-week session from June 9 -August 14, 2024.  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 or locally off-site, if they have a home in the county. Students with special circumstances may inquire with the Education Programs Coordinator about the possibility of participating in the program partly or entirely remotely. Additionally, students wishing to turn their research into a senior thesis should contact the Education Programs Coordinator to help coordinate with their home institution.

Full-time Independent Research – 10 credits.
This program targets students who wish to conduct a full-time independent research project in field biology. Applicants may be currently enrolled in an undergraduate program, graduates of an undergraduate program, or may be early in their graduate career. Students conduct independent research under the supervision of RMBL scientists. During the summer, students will work with their mentors to develop a testable hypothesis, gather data, analyze the data, and produce a written and oral report by the end of the program. They will work approximately 40 hours a week on their projects, in addition to attending biweekly discussions or workshops and a weekly seminar series.

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

Independent Research and Short Course – 8 credits for independent research and 2 credits for the course.
This program targets students who wish to combine independent research with a short course in either 1) Rocky Mountain Ecosystems or 2) Rocky Mountain Wildlife. This track initially provides more support and structure than full-time research. This could be helpful for students new to field research. In addition, students who are especially interested in one of these subject areas are also encouraged to select this track, regardless of their experience level.  For the first 4 weeks of the program students take the course for two days/week and conduct their independent research project for 3 days/week.  For the last six weeks, they only conduct their independent research.  Students conduct independent research under the supervision of RMBL scientist mentors. During the summer, students will work with their mentors to develop a testable hypothesis, gather data, analyze the data, and produce a written and oral report by the end of the program. They will work approximately 40 hours a week on their courses and projects, in addition to attending biweekly discussions or workshops and a weekly seminar series.

Courses offered during summer 2024:

  1. Rocky Mountain Ecosystems
  2. Rocky Mountain Wildlife

REU Awards
This summer, 10 students will be accepted through the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program, funded by the National Science Foundation.  Students receiving an REU award may participate in either full-time independent research or independent research/course, as described above. The REU awards cover the full cost of the program, including room, board and tuition, pay a $6,000 stipend directly to the student, and provide $400 toward travel costs. REU awards are restricted to students who are not only citizens or permanent residents of the United States, but also have not graduated from college before the end date of the program.  Students with limited access to research opportunities in the biological sciences are strongly encouraged to apply.

Mentors & Projects for students: Descriptions of  potential MENTORS AND PROJECTS IS POSTED HERE

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.