Research Code

RMBL Home Page     Research Info

(modified August 2004)

 A. General Policies

1. The provisions of this code apply to all persons utilizing RMBL facilities whether their work is on RMBL, Forest Service, or private land.

2. The provisions of this code apply to class and group projects as well as to individual investigators.

3. Three copies of each publication resulting from work done at RMBL (that is, utilizing any RMBL facilities) shall be transmitted to the Director as soon as they become available. One copy of each thesis, preferably bound, shall be transmitted to the Director. The use of RMBL facilities shall be acknowledged in each such publication.

4. Failure to comply with any of these requirements may be grounds for rejection of subsequent research applications.

5. In the case of limited space, research will be prioritized using the guidelines laid out in the RMBL By-laws and the Master Plan. 

B. Research Approval

The Process

1. A new research application , a continuing research application , or a renewal research application must be submitted by Feb. 15, or 90 days before initiation of the research, whichever comes first. Researchers may request 'fast-track' approval of projects under special circumstances. Please note, however, that 'fast-track' status will generally not be granted for manipulative studies or studies on non-native species.

2. Any work that is not strictly observational (e.g. manipulating systems, picking of plants) must be explicitly described in the new or renewal research application. Such non-observational work will not under any circumstance be considered 'approved' unless it is explicitly described within an application and that application is approved.

3. All research must be approved by the Director and the Research Committee. If the Director and the Research Committee disagree, the project is referred to the Board of Trustees for final approval.

4. Research proposals for work involving RMBL must be approved by the Director before they are submitted to outside funding agencies. This applies whether or not RMBL is the grantee institution. If approval is not obtained, the Director cannot guarantee that any resulting research applications will be approved or that all requested facilities will be provided. Restrictions on 'fast-track' approval listed above apply to approval for outside agencies.

5. Research projects can be approved for up to five years. Longer-term approval can be granted under special circumstances upon request. Once research has been approved, researchers need only submit a continuing research application.

6. When researchers apply to renew their projects, they must certify that 1) all sites have been appropriately cleaned up, 2) all conditions imposed on the previous project, either by the Director or the Research Committee, have been met, and 3) appropriate metadata have been filed with RMBL (metadata is not required at this point in time). If sites are not cleaned up and conditions of approval for previous research were not followed, depending upon the severity, several things may occur. Renewal or continuing applications may be denied. Alternatively or in addition, individuals may be billed for the administrative costs of clean-up and/or oversight on future projects.

7. Research shall be conducted on private land only with permission of the owner. Research on Forest Service or other public lands shall be done in accordance with the appropriate regulations. Researchers should provide the Director with documentation on permission to work on private land and/or special permits to work on public land.

8. Research with vertebrate animals requires documentation of appropriate permits and submission of a protocol to the Animal Welfare Committee.


Review criteria used to accept research proposals and prioritize space

1. Compliance with federal and state law.

2. Compliance with RMBL research policies.

3. Feasibility, including availability of study organisms and necessary facilities at or near the RMBL.

4. Ongoing research has precedence.

5. Impact on natural systems. Extensive collections, significant habitat alterations, and introductions of species/genes are less likely to be approved.

6. RMBL members have precedence.

7. Research that can be conducted at alternative sites has lower priority.


C. Restrictions on Types of Research

1. Research generally should be of a nondestructive nature. Experimental manipulations or sampling procedures that seem likely to have significant long-term or permanent effects, e.g. changes in species composition, ecosystem processes, or genetic structure, are prohibited unless expressly approved by the Director and the Research Committee.

2. Research that is not grossly intrusive may be carried out within the Gothic Townsite.

3. RMBL is currently in the process of zoning specific areas within the townsite for low, moderate, and high-impact use. Research conflicting with pending or existing zoning may not be approved. Research within the Research Meadow should not affect species composition, ecosystem processes, or genetic structure.

4. RMBL currently conducts control measures on five non-native, invasive plants, Matricaria perforata (Scentless Chamomile), Chrysanthemum (=Leucanthemum) leucanthemum (Oxeye Daisy), Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle), Linaria vulgaris (Butter and eggs), and Bromus (Bromopsis) inermis (Smooth Brome). New projects should not interfere with ongoing control efforts. There are an additional 20 non-native species that may be controlled in the future. Please contact the Director about any potential conflicts between weed control and research projects.

5. Intrusive research on or holding of vertebrate animals will be approved only if RMBL is the appropriate site to conduct the research, and the work itself is scientifically sound. Such research must be approved by the Director and the Animal Welfare Committee. All organisms maintained in captivity must be housed and cared for in a humane fashion and in accordance with current federal and state regulations.

6. The Animal Welfare Committee shall monitor ongoing projects periodically to ensure compliance with state, federal and RMBL requirements. The Animal Welfare Committee and Director may terminate projects at any time that are not in compliance with regulations. In the event of termination of a project, the researcher may appeal to the Board of Trustees.

7. Animal Care logs must be filed with the Director at the end of each field season. A new research season cannot be initiated until logs from the previous season are on file.

8. Until more is known about disease transmission and bee population dynamics, commercial bee colonies will only be allowed under exceptional circumstances. First, the work must occur inside in a double-enclosed environment. Two, there must be a good reason why such work must happen at the Lab (as opposed to a Lab space somewhere else). It may well be that no one can satisfy these two requirements.