Bringing Research and Business Together for Colorado
Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS)
240 West Prospect
Fort Collins, CO 80526
970.498.1100 (phone)

Rocky Mountain Research Station


The Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS) is one of 7 regional units that make up the U.S. Forest Service Research and Development organization - the most extensive natural resources research organization in the world. RMRS maintains 12 research locations throughout a 12-state territory encompassing the Great Basin, Southwest, Rocky Mountains, and parts of the Great Plains. The Station employs over 400 permanent full-time employees, including roughly 100 research scientists.

Science Programs

The Air, Water and Aquatics Science program is committed to the development of knowledge and science applications related to air and water quality, water availability, as well as the habitat quality, distribution, diversity, and persistence of fish and other aquatic species.

The Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute, utilizes expertise in wilderness law, policy, and management for the understanding and stewardship of designated wilderness and similarly managed wild ecosystems.

The Fire, Fuel and Smoke Science program works to improve the safety and effectiveness of fire management through the creation and dissemination of basic fire science knowledge. The program investigates the impacts of fires on the environment by means of fundamental and applied research for understanding and predicting fire behavior, its effects on ecosystems, and its emissions into the atmosphere.

The Forests and Woodlands Ecosystems Research program acquires, develops, and delivers the scientific knowledge for sustaining and restoring forests and woodlands landscape health, biodiversity, productivity, and ecosystem processes. Forests and woodlands are increasingly being impacted by large scale urbanization and human developments, uncharacteristically large and severe wildfires, insect and disease outbreaks, exotic species invasions, and drought, and interactions of multiple stressors at local, landscape, and regional scales.

The Science Application and Integration program provides leadership for the integration and use of scientific information in natural resource planning and management across the Interior West.

The Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystems program addresses the biology, use, management, and restoration of grass and shrublands disrupted by large-scale clearing for agriculture, water diversions, extensive grazing, changes in the native fauna, the advent of alien weeds, altered fire regimes, and increases in human-caused insect and disease epidemics.

The Inventory, Monitoring and Analysis Science program provides resource data, analysis, and tools needed to effectively identify current status and trends, management options and impacts, and threats and impacts of fire, insects, disease, and other natural processes.

The Human Dimensions program provides social and economic science to human societies as they develop sustainable relationships with their environments. Major issues confronting societies across the globe such as global climate change, energy, fire, water, and ecosystem services all have important social-economic dimensions that are addressed by this program.

The Wildlife and Terrestrial Ecosystems program is engaged in sustaining species and ecosystems of concern through studies of ecological interactions within and between plant, aquatic, and terrestrial animal communities; understanding public use effects through studies elucidating social and economic values associated with consumptive and non-consumptive uses of fish and wildlife; managing terrestrial and aquatic habitats; and evaluating outcomes of land and water uses and natural disturbances.

RMRS also operates two experimental forests in Colorado: Fraser Experimental Forest  - nutrient cycling, snow hydrology, ecosystem carbon storage, climate, streamflow, and water chemistry; and Manitou Experimental Forest  - ponderosa pine ecosystems, fire, insect and bird biology, dwarf mistletoe, and wildland-urban interface issues.