Researcher Memo 2007

RMBL Home Page     Research Information

To:  RMBL Researchers

Re:  Research at RMBL in 2007

From:  Ian Billick, Director

Date:  12/6/6


You can obtain all the necessary research applications through the website.



We will be disposing of chemicals in August 2007.  Please coordinate with Mel any chemicals in your Lab that need to be disposed.  If you have any unlabelled chemicals in any of the multiple use cabinets you can expect them to be disposed of.  Additionally, the multiple use chemical cabinets will all be in the multi-user room and we will be separating flammables, acids, bases, and everything else into separate cabinets.



Because of research on fish, we will not be allowing fishing on Lab property.


Old Johnson Lab

Storage in old Johnson Lab has gotten out of control.  Starting in 2007 we will start assigning spaces and charging $25/year.  We will clean the building out on work day and then I will mark off areas that people can have for storage.  Items not properly stored will be disposed of.  If you will be arriving after early June and have items you are concerned about, please let me know.



The Lab has to upgrade its sewer system; it is not optional and it is not something we can avoid if we want to keep operating.  I’m working with an engineer to figure out exactly what needs to be done.  The most likely scenario is that we will upgrade part of the townsite around the new cabin in 2007 and finish upgrading the rest of the townsite in 2008.  The facilities master plan identifies utility corridors and we will put as much of the ground disturbance into roads and paths as we can.  As I get more information about exactly what we’ll be doing I’ll post the information.  Please do not feel bashful, however, in asking me about the status of things and making certain that the impacts on research sites are minimized (though there may be a limit to what we can do).


New Cabin/Maroon and future construction

The new cabin will be open next fall at the earliest.  Until we get the new cabin on an upgraded sewer system that is part of an engineered system for the whole townsite, the county will not allow us to occupy it.


We do not have any additional major construction work planned for next summer.  We’re in the process of planning renovations of Barclay, Richards, and McLeod.  The tentative plan is to renovate Barclay in 2008, Richards in 2009, and McLeod in 2010, though funding has not been secured so that timeframe is still very tentative.  Barclay and Richards are in the most need of work (the foundations are experiencing substantial problems), though McLeod could probably be put off for a few more years if there was a good reason.


Repair work

We have finished the work on Willey Laboratory.  Hopefully the roof work on the north side will mean that we do not have water streaming inside Labs during snowmelt and storms.  Also, the south side of the building had experienced substantial rot; we had to replace much of the wood and remove some of the windows.  I think the work turned out nicely.  If you know of work that needs to be done at the Lab, please let me know.  I try to keep track of needed repairs, but sometimes things fall through the cracks.


Land purchases

The Lab has acquired new land that is available for research.  In addition to the 40 acre Maxfield Meadow acquired several years back (and which scientists are starting to use), we have bough a one acre lot down Kettle Ponds road.  That land may ultimately be traded to Bill Trampe, but for now, we own it and I encourage short-term use.  Once we decide whether we will hold on to it long term I’ll let people know.  We are also in the process (I just have a verbal agreement at this point) to buy the private inholding just south of the administrative parking lot (the meadow north of the bridge coming into the townsite).  The Lab also owns a cabin in Schofield Park that is available for research use.


Physical plant and staffing

We have a new person who will be running the physical plant next summer.  Mel and I interviewed her this fall and she has committed to caretaking and running physical plant for three years.  We think she will be very good, though it will take some time for her to figure out how things work.


We will be hiring a cleaner next summer.  The washhouse and some of the common areas suffered from a lack of a cleaner last summer and we’ll be bringing that position back.  We’ve also upgraded to commercial washers and driers in the washhouse so it should be more convenient to do laundry without having to leave the townsite.



As always, housing will be tight.  I know of several new families that will be joining us and some families, including mine, are getting larger.   I strongly encourage people to make certain housing requests are submitted by April 1.  Once that deadline comes and go, we’ll be offering housing on a first come first served basis.



The Lab will not be providing linens next summer, so please plan on bringing your own.


Bench property

The area around Dan Bench’s cabin was associated with mining and needs to be cleaned up.  I’ve been working with a consultant, the state agency for inactive mines, and Dan Bench.  The tentative plan is to cap the site with an impermeable clay layer and then revegetate on top of that.  If we get everything worked out, there will probably be substantial work going on there during the summer.  Please plan accordingly and let me know if there is something we should know to minimize impact on research.