Field and Forest Stations of the Intermountain West

Biological field stations and experimental forests conduct significant long-term ecological research, provide important unbiased scientific research, and evaluate key environmental issues, such as climate change, pollution, and threatened wildlife habitats. They are often affiliated with universities, National Parks and Monuments, and the U.S Forest Service. Stations often vary in size and specific missions. Aquatic and agricultural research that takes scientists out of the classroom and laboratories to conduct hands-on research in biology, botany, ornithology, ichthyology, limnology, and entomology. Experimental forests dedicate their work to evaluating forest management options, forest and vegetation growth and development, as well as characteristics of various wildlife. Stations and forests also often invest in the next generation of scientists by training students from the undergraduate to doctoral level to observe natural processes, develop hypothesis, and learn to critically contemplate environmental concerns. Many also develop and provide educational outreach programs for the public and for K-12 schools in order to engage their communities in the importance of ecological studies.

The Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory

The home of the Rocky Mountain Laboratory lies in the abandoned silver mining town of Gothic in the Elk Mountains of the Colorado Rockies. John C. Johnson, a founding member of the Colorado State Normal School (later known as Western State College)…

Manitou Experimental Forest

Located northwest of Colorado Springs in Manitou, Colorado, the Forest Service established the Manitou Experimental Forest (MEF) in 1936 to study land use and forest management of the ponderosa pines in the Colorado Front Range. Spanning from…

Fort Valley Experimental Forest Station

Fort Valley, in northern Arizona near Flagstaff, is unique in its abundance of native grasses, water from the Leroux Springs, and plethora of ponderosa pines. The demand for timber from logging and railroad companies as well as livestock grazing…

Flathead Lake Biological Station

Flathead Lake Biological Station, established in 1899, is the second oldest active biological field and research station in the United States. Its research centers on the freshwater ecology of the Triple Divide Peak area, now known as Glacier…

Capitol Reef Field Station

The banks of Pleasant Creek, where the Capitol Reef Field Station operates, has a long history as an aquatic sanctuary in the otherwise dry desert climate of south-central Utah. Over millennia, Native American groups used the waters of Pleasant…
Organization of Biological Field Stations. “What are Field Stations?” https://obfst.memberclicks.net/ (accessed April 5, 2019).

United States Department of Agriculture. “Experimental Forests.” https://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/ef/ (accessed April 5, 2019).