Article ID: CBB001320031

Labs in the Field? Rocky Mountain Biological Stations in the Early Twentieth Century (2012)


Vetter, Jeremy (Author)

Journal of the History of Biology
Volume: 45
Pages: 587--611

Publication Date: 2012
Edition Details: Part of a special issue on 20th-Century Field Biology
Language: English

Biological field stations proliferated in the Rocky Mountains region of the western United States during the early decades of the twentieth century. This essay examines these Rocky Mountain field stations as hybrid lab-field sites from the perspective of the field side of the dichotomy: as field sites with raised walls rather than as laboratories whose walls with the natural world have been lowered. Not only were these field stations transformed to be more like laboratories, but they were also embedded within the particular regional environmental and institutional context of the Rocky Mountains. Using the University of Colorado's Mountain Laboratory at Tolland and other contemporaneous sites as examples, this essay analyzes key features of these sites, including their location within transportation networks, buildings, equipment, personnel, scheduling, recreational and social activities, and other material and social practices on the ground. Considering both the distinctive and shared characteristics of the Rocky Mountain field stations in comparison to other types of field stations provides a more complete picture of the diversity and range of lab-field hybrid sites in the biological sciences in the early twentieth-century United States.

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Article Kohler, Robert E. (2012) Practice and Place in Twentieth-Century Field Biology: A Comment. Journal of the History of Biology (p. 579). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Kohler, Robert E.
Wolfe, Douglas A.
Jiang, Yu-ping
Mitman, Gregg A.
Gieryn, Thomas F.
Rudge, David Wÿss
Journal of the History of Biology
History of Science
Social Studies of Science
Zhongguo Keji Shiliao (China Historical Materials of Science and Technology)
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
University of Chicago Press
George Washington University
Cornell University
University of Minnesota
Field work
Research institutes; research stations
Natural history
Dobzhansky, Theodosius
Stresemann, Erwin
Lack, David Lambert
Shelford, Victor Ernest
Buckley, Oliver E.
Jewett, Frank B.
Time Periods
20th century, early
20th century
20th century, late
19th century
United States
North Carolina (U.S.)
Great Britain
California (U.S.)
Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research (Beaufort, N. C.)
Southeast Fisheries Science Center (Miami, Florida)
University of Chicago
American Museum of Natural History, New York
Hastings Natural History Reservation (Calif.)
United States Navy

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