Ever since the Committee's founders conducted the first ecological study of Mono Lake in 1976, intensive scientific research has provided ecosystem and landscape knowledge that is the foundation of Mono Lake's protection.
The Mono Lake Committee believes science is a critical base for our policy positions, a guide for restoration, and an inspiration for understanding Mono Lake. We know that sound science will be the basis of land and recreation management decisions that will shape the Mono Basin for years to come.
For decades the Committee has worked closely with researchers, hosted a comprehensive research library, and supported well-established projects like the annual California Gull reproductive success study. We've created new programs to connect field science with youth education, and established a clearinghouse of Mono Basin scientific information at www.monobasinresearch.org.
After the 1994 State Water Board decision, we catalyzed the formation of a cross-disciplinary science advisory council to advise us and others on the scientific side of the new policy challenges we knew were coming. One of the questions we faced was simple: how do we ensure the tradition of scientific study at Mono Lake continues?
That led to the creation of the Mono Basin Field Station in 2004. Located at our Annex property in Lee Vining, the Field Station provides lodging, computing, and research support facilities for visiting researchers, office space for established long-term projects, and basic equipment in support of field studies.
We set three goals: first, to enhance the scientific knowledge of Mono Lake, its tributary streams, and the surrounding uplands. Second, to foster collaboration and information exchange among scientists in diverse areas of expertise. And third, to infuse our diverse Mono Basin education programs with opportunities to engage scientists and participate in scientific work.
The facility immediately filled with ornithologists, geologists, limnologists, and many other specialists; in subsequent years we've pressed additional space into service and still find demand for the facility to be overwhelming.
The results are just as we hoped. In its first three years, the Field Station supported 65 researchers working on 55 projects. Topics of study range from neotropical migratory birds, Sage-grouse, swallows, and Willow Flycatchers to geology, paleoclimatology, and geomicrobiology.