Rocky Mountain Biological Lab (RMBL) Possible Campus Mt Crested Butte
I recently got the opportunity to talk with and interview Ian Billick – the Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab (RMBL). Ian shared RMBL’s plans to explore a year-round campus in Mt. Crested Butte. See the video interview with Ian Billick.
The proposed RMBL campus location
The proposed RMBL campus location is adjacent the Snodgrass Trailhead in Mt. Crested Butte and adjacent to the platted future North Village. See the aerial/parcel map below.
Ian Billick: “As a quick overview, we are looking at a campus that will have three main components: research/education (research laboratories/offices, RMBL’s admin offices, K-12 programming space embedded in the research), housing, and public spaces (interpretative spaces, spaces to enhance public access to Snodgrass and Gothic corridor).
I believe the project has enormous potential to be something very special world-wide, and to benefit Mt. Crested Butte and the associated neighborhoods. We’d love any help we can get in realizing a design that will reach the project’s full potential.”
As RMBL analyzes the possibility of campus expansion in Mt. CB, Billick is reaching out to Mt. CB homeowners (I am one). Ian has told me numerous times that he would appreciate a chance to answer any questions homeowners might have, as well as to get feedback on project design.
I appreciate the fact that Ian and RMBL is trying to get out ahead with this proposed project. I also will tell you that this project will be visible and within earshot of my home in Mt. Crested Butte. I would love to see the existing landscape stay like it is forever – but that is not realistic. The North Village that is platted to support over 1,500 residents is adjacent to this proposed project (and may never happen because CBMR has the land for sale).
RMBL Proposed Campus Effect on Mt. Crested Butte Property Values
I believe this will have a positive effect on Mt. Crested Butte Real Estate values.
This will provide an additional amenity in Mt. Crested Butte and will have a welcome center, a restroom facility at the Snodgrass Trailhead, and will certainly justify expanded Free Bus Service by Mountain Express in both the Summer and Winter.
Questions/Input/Feedback? Contact Ian Billick – Executive Director RMBL
If you know of anyone that you think would appreciate this information, please forward the link of this post to them. They should feel to contact Ian directly with questions/Input//feedback.
As a quick overview, we are looking at a campus that will have three main components: research/education (research laboratories/offices, RMBL’s admin offices, K-12 programming space embedded in the research), housing, and public spaces (interpretative spaces, spaces to enhance public access to Snodgrass and Gothic corridor).
Billick added: “I believe the project has enormous potential to be something very special world-wide, and to benefit Mt. Crested Butte and the associated neighborhoods. We’d love any help we can get in realizing a design that will reach the project’s full potential.”
Rocky Mountain Biological Lab (RMBL) Possible Campus Mt Crested Butte Press Release:
Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory www.rmbl.org
February 22, 2018
Crested Butte, Colorado, USA
RMBL explores year-round campus in Mt. Crested Butte
The Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL) is exploring the feasibility of a year-round campus in Mt. Crested Butte. According to Executive Director Dr. Ian Billick, “Understanding the world has never been more important. We are building one of the nation’s leading scientific institutions right here in the Gunnison Valley. Expanding RMBL’s footprint at the Snodgrass Trailhead in Mt. Crested Butte will enable year-round programs, which are currently impossible due to Gothic’s inaccessibility in winter. This expansion will further RMBL’s mission to accelerate discoveries into the ecosystem processes that replenish the world’s air, water and food supplies.”
Billick explained, “The location was chosen for a variety of reasons, including its proximity to public transportation. The campus will support public use of the Gothic Valley, and will maintain and enhance public access to the Snodgrass Trailhead, which is important to the community, the resort and RMBL.”
RMBL has a long-established history in Gothic, the site of one of the largest annual migrations of field biologists in the world. RMBL seeks to establish additional facilities outside of Gothic to meet the increased demand from researchers. Billick added, “RMBL’s unique resources attract scientists from around the world. In the last four years alone, use of these facilities has grown 50%. Some of the world’s top scientists and students are being turned away due to lack of space.”
The Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) has agreed to provide approximately six acres for the campus expansion at the Snodgrass Trailhead in return for RMBL creating at least 17 workforce housing units on the site. The transaction is contingent upon successful completion of the Planned Unit Development (PUD) process with the Town of Mt. Crested Butte and fundraising. The proposed campus will include laboratory space, community workforce housing, a visitor’s center, offices and space for educational programming.
RMBL Board Chair Kurt Giesselman noted: “RMBL’s Board of Trustees has endorsed this visionary project. If successful, it will increase the local inventory of affordable housing while significantly increasing the nation’s capacity to support field research. We are extremely grateful to CBMR for the opportunity to explore the viability of this project.”
“CBMR is honored to help RMBL create year-round facilities to enhance its contribution to field science and education. They provide an incredible asset to our community and the scientific community with the work they do. If there is a way for us to help facilitate that and flourish for generations to come, then we are proud to be a part of it, said Erica Mueller, Vice President of CBMR. “This well thought out project also gives RMBL, CBMR and the town the opportunity to accomplish many goals and address current issues facing the community including seasonal housing, making it a win-win for all.”
The project’s next step is to initiate the PUD process with the Town of Mt. Crested Butte, which will include public hearings. RMBL will be fundraising for the campus.
For more information, contact Dr. Ian Billick, 970 349 6669, firstname.lastname@example.org or Erica Mueller, CBMR, 970-349-2205 email@example.com.
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.
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.
Where is Gothic and Rocky Mountain Biological Lab (RMBL)
On your next visit to Crested Butte – head North past the ski resort base area and continue out Gothic Road to the historical townsite of Gothic Colorado an the home of the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab. There is a general store and a brand new interactive RMBL Visitors Center. The Weldon & Rosalie Weekley Visitor’s Center is a great new addition and educational for adults and kids.
The Rocky Mountain Biological Lab (RMBL) is a unique non-profit here at the North end of our valley. They are located in the historic town site of Gothic and at the base of the majestic Gothic mountain with offices in downtown Crested Butte.
Every summer more than 100 scientists and students travel here from around the world to conduct high altitude research in this pristine mountain setting. I have had the opportunity to get to know Ian Billick – the Executive Director of RMBL, and in addition to coordinating a vast array of scientific projects, personnel, capital projects, land acquisitions, and a new Visitors Center, he is also committed to educational outreach.
I have supported RMBL and his vision which includes providing educational programs for both youth and adults. Every year they work with local biology students at the Crested Butte Community School to study the Slate River where they measure the water quality, collect and analyze the aquatic insects, and take soil samples.
They also provide a long list of summer programs available to youth and adults including their Kid’s Nature Camp, and Adult Science Tours that explore our mountain meadows, forests, and streams. RMBL is a non-profit providing empirical data that will help causes around the world, and contributes to the uniqueness of our valley, one more ingredient that makes Crested Butte a special place.
To see a previous video interview – see link: Video Interview Ian Billick Rocky Mountain Biological Lab (RMBL)
For more information on the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab, call them at (970) 349-7231, and click RMBL
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Author: Chris Kopf