ian billick rocky mountain biological laboratory gothic colorado

Ep. 52 Ian Billick | Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory

Blog Podcast

Ian Billick grew up in Kansas, but he was also lucky enough to be exposed to the mountains as well.  While pursuing a degree in math and science, he received some great career advice and that led him to a profession that would help him spend time outside.  And thanks to that, he found Gothic and the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL), where he is now the executive director. When he isn't working, you'll probably find him on his mountain bike or skinning (climbing up) the ski area.

Ian tells a great story about how RMBL started (you'd never guess the KKK was indirectly involved). Another great history lesson involves the Hayden USGS survey (which named most of the peaks in the area), as well as the importance of transportation to the Gunnison valley (Aspen used to use East Maroon pass to transport goods via Crested Butte and Gunnison). And then there's the science in Gothic- from Ants to Hummingbirds to plants, there is a lot of research going on in the East River valley.  Another question I asked is "How does RMBL fit in with competing interests like recreation as Crested Butte grows?"  His answer makes complete sense.  We also talked about the potential involvement that RMBL may have with the "North Parcel", a large plot of land near the Snodgrass trailhead- how it's developed may shape Crested Butte for decades to come.

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