iNaturalist at RMBL


Join the RMBL Biota project in iNaturalist and help RMBL scientists document the diversity and iNaturalist logodistribution of organisms, especially wildflowers and pollinators, near the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory.

Have you ever been out on the trail and run into a plant, animal, insect, or flower that you couldn’t identify? Ever wished that you had a biologist along with you to answer your questions?

Well folks, there’s an app for that! You bring your smart phone along on your adventures anyway, right? Just download the free iNaturalist app (for iPhone and Android). It’s like having a naturalist in your pocket. You simply upload a picture of the species you’re curious about and an expert will identify it for you. The app can be used anywhere on the planet and it even works when you have no cell signal.

Not only does this app help amateur naturalists, it also is exceptionally helpful to scientists around the world!

Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory

North of Crested Butte, Gothic, Colorado started out as a silver mining town. However, it has been home to the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL) since 1928. Every summer, the world’s largest migration of field biologists brings researchers and students from around the world to Gothic to research the ecosystem. In fact, some of the country’s longest-running ecology studies are based right here.

RMBL and iNaturalist

The Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL) has created a project on iNaturalist entitled The Rocky Mountain Biological Lab Biota. When you upload your photos to this project, your geolocated photos (tagged with latitudes and longitudes) will be displayed on a map. These observations help scientists understand the distribution of species and the degree of biodiversity along with how each may change through time. It can also be used to find out which plants are blooming and where to find them.

Here’s how to Participate:

Sign up, learn, and contribute! Just follow the steps below:

  • Download the iNaturalist app
  • Create a login and password
  • Click on “More…” at the bottom of the screen
  • Click “Projects” and in the “Nearby” search (when you’re here in the Gunnison Valley) look for Rocky Mountain Biological Lab Biota
  • Join the project
  • Upload your photos of plants and animals, identify them if you know what they are, or wait for experts to identify them for you!