MtnClim 2022

Science for Decision-Making in Mountains

September 12 – 16, 2022 in Gothic, Colorado

MtnClim 2018 group

MtnClim Returns in 2022!

The MtnClim research conferences are sponsored by the Consortium for Integrated Climate Research in the Western Mountains (CIRMOUNT) and is dedicated to mountain climate sciences and the effects of climate variability on ecosystems, natural resources, and conservation in western North American mountains.

MtnClim conferences feature invited and contributed talks, poster sessions, field trips, and working-group sessions. Post-conference workshops address topics of interest for further discussion.

Please join us for this year’s MtnClim meeting at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Gothic, Colorado between Monday, September 12 to Friday, September 16, 2022.

Why Mountains?

Mountain areas of the world are attracting increased attention as observations and climate model simulations indicate that these regions will be greatly impacted by global climate change and are early warning indicators of future impacts worldwide. Mountain ecosystems of the western United States are complex and include cold desert biomes, alpine biomes, and tundra ecosystems occurring above timberline. The alpine ecosystem within the cordilleran region that extends into Central America is the only one that exists in all different climatic zones from the equator to the polar region. This environment is among the most sensitive to climatic changes occurring on a global scale, comprising glaciers, snow, permafrost, water, and the uppermost limits of vegetation and other complex life forms. The stratified, elevationally-controlled vegetation belts found on mountain slopes represent an analogue to the different latitudinally-controlled climatic zones, but these condensed vertical gradients are known to support unique hotspots of biodiversity. High relief and high gradients make mountain ecosystems especially vulnerable to slight changes of temperatures and to extreme precipitation events. In effect, mountains have become the proverbial “canary in the coal mine” in terms of their sensitivity to climate and other environmental changes, yet their critical importance and vulnerability are often overlooked.

When mountains change society feels the impact. Mountains are complex social-ecological systems that influence people’s lives through the ecosystem services they provide (e.g., fresh water, hydroelectricity, habitat). Relatively small perturbations in global processes can cascade to large changes in the mountainous regions of western North America, which in turn affect the socioeconomic well-being of this region and the nation at large. A number of academic, agency, and NGO efforts are underway to develop regional-scale integrated climate research efforts and enable the monitoring activities to support them. Such efforts are justified by the importance of mountain environments and ecosystem services to society, the sensitivity of mountain ecosystems to climate change, and the rapid response of these regions to small changes in atmospheric conditions.

The MtnClim Meetings

In 2004 an inaugural conference on mountain climate was held at Lake Tahoe. The meeting was attended by a broad cross-section of scientists, agency representatives, and university researchers from across the US and abroad. The quality and diversity of the science discussed at that meeting convinced participants that a biannual meeting should be established that is dedicated to mountain climate sciences and effects of climate variability on ecosystems, natural resources, and conservation in western North American mountains.

Every even-numbered year since (except 2020!) that initial meeting has seen a MtnClim conference featuring invited and contributed talks, poster sessions, and working-group sessions on various aspects of mountain climate science including hydrology, ecology, and glaciology. Every MtnClim meeting includes sessions or workshops of value to natural-resource managers addressing implications of climate variability and climate change in conservation and resource management. To encourage discussion and interaction, we have capped attendance at 120 participants, and conferees represent an array of agency and academic backgrounds and disciplinary fields. More information on previous conferences is available here:

Key features of the MtnClim Conferences include:

  • Invited oral sessions:
    • Keynote speakers on cutting-edge science themes, policy, and applications
    • Early-career scientists’ session
    • Panel or shorter talk sessions on timely issues
    • Invited speakers on local issues of relevance
  • Contributed oral and poster sessions
  • Ample time for personal networking and self-organized working group discussions
  • Graduate student meet-and-greets
  • Happy hour talks and flash sessions
  • Field trips to research and/or management demonstration sites
MtnClim 2018 Session

Agenda Overview


Optional Early Arrival – Sunday, September 11th

Primary Arrival Day/Field Trips/Conference Commencement- Monday, September 12th

Departure Day/Conference Adjourns- Friday, September 16th

MtnClim 2018 Bonfire

Sunday, September 11th 

1 – 6 pm: Registration for early arrivals

6 – 7 pm: Dinner

Monday, September 12th

7 – 8 am: Breakfast

8 am – 10 pm: Registration in billy barr Community Center

9 – 5 pm: Field Trip near RMBL to research and conservation areas for early arrivals

4:30 – 6 pm: Graduate Student Meet & Greet

6 – 7 pm: Dinner

7:30 – 8:30 pm: Redmond Lecture – Stephanie McAfee

Tuesday, September 13th

7 – 7:50 am: Breakfast

8:15  – 8:25 am: MtnClim Welcome

8:25 – 8:45 am: RMBL Welcome and Logistics

8:50 – 9:55 am: Session – Ground Water in Mountains

9:55 – 10:25: Networking Break

10:25 – 11:50 Session – Ground Water in Mountains (cont’d)

12 – 1:00 pm: Lunch

1:10 – 3:00 pm: Session: Contributed Talks – Ecosystem Sensitivity and Transformations

3:30 – 5:40 pm: Poster Session – 36 x 48” corrugated sheets on easels that can be set up vertically or horizontally will be provided and posters will be attached with binder clips.

6 – 7:00 pm: Dinner

Wednesday, September 14th

7 – 7:50 am: Breakfast

8 – 9:45 am: Theme Session – Science for Decision-Making in Mountain Systems

9:45 – 10:15 am: Networking Break

10:15 – 11:00 am: Interactive Session – Inclusive and Safe Mountain Field Work

11:05 – 11:50 am : Panel – Student & Early Career Mentoring

12 – 1:00 pm: Lunch

1:10 – 1:15 pm: Field Campaign Spotlight – The Surface Atmosphere Integrated Field Laboratory (SAIL)

1:15 – 2:45 pm: Your Choice Tours – sign up at the registration desk

Option 1: SAIL site tour with Dan Feldman

Option 2: Long-term phenology research with David Inouye

Option 3: Gothic Research Center & Natural History Facility Tours with Jennie Reithel

2:45 – 3 pm: Group Photo

3:15 – 5:30 pm: Session – Invited Early Career Scientists

6 – 7:00 pm: Dinner

7:30 – 8:30 pm: Keynote – Journalism and Science

Thursday, September 15th

7 – 7:50 am: Breakfast

8 – 10:00 am: Session – Topographic Heterogeneity, Topoclimate, and Biotic Homogenization

10 – 10:30 am: Networking Break

10:30 – 11:50 pm: Session – Changing Cryosphere in Mountain Environments

12 – 1:00 pm: Lunch

1:10 – 2:40 pm: Session – Contributed Talks – Aquatic Ecosystems and Physical Changes

2:25 – 3:00 PM: Networking Break

3:00 – 3:45 pm: Machida Lecture – Mountain Hydroclimate and a Decarbonizing Energy System, Opportunities and Challenges for Hydropower

3:45 – 4:30: Session: Contributed Talks – Fire and Water

4:45 – 5:45 pm: Flash Talks (2 slides, 3 minutes – sign up at registration)

6 – 7:00 pm: Dinner

7:15 – 8:15 pm: Adventures with the Airborne Snow Observatory

Friday, September 16th

7 – 7:50 am: Breakfast

8 – 11:50 am: Workshops/Breakouts

12 – 1:00 pm: Lunch

1:00 pm MtnClim Adjourns

MtnClim 2018 Session
MtnClim 2018 Poster Session
Gothic Valley


Stay On-Site


The Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory has a number of different lodging options available for conference guests.

Budget: No Heat, No Water, No Insulation (approx 15 beds) = $14/night
Basic: Heat, Very Limited Insulation (approx 20 beds) = $26/night
Mid-rate: Heat and Insulation, No Water (approx 40 beds) = $33/night
High: Comfortable, Heat, No Water (approx 40 beds) = $47/night
Premium: Comfortable, Heat and Water (approx 20 beds) = $79/night

For more information about the cabins at RMBL, please visit this page: Housing for Groups – Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (

Please Note:

  • Most cabins are rustic and do not have indoor plumbing. Outhouses are commonplace.
  • Accommodations are shared and roommates should be expected.
  • Guests will need to bring their own bedding, towels, and toiletries. A recommended packing list can be found Here.
  • Cabins levels are assigned on a first requested basis.
  • Pets are not allowed anywhere on the RMBL campus.

Stay Off-Site


If you choose to stay off-site, Mt. Crested Butte is a 10-minute drive from RMBL and the town of Crested Butte is a 20-minute drive.

Crested Butte Lodging Guide (

Ore House

Meals at RMBL

3 Meals per day, snacks, and coffee breaks will be provided for conference attendees at the billy barr Community Center Dining Hall.

Meals are prepared from scratch by a dedicated culinary team and served buffet-style with meat and vegetarian options.

RMBL is not able to provide regular vegan options. More restrictive diets, including vegan and complicated allergies, cannot be guaranteed; however, an area to prepare your own meals may be arranged if requested in advance.

For all dining hall questions: Please email our Dining Hall Manager Alex Martin at

Travel to Gothic, CO


Sign up to join or create a carpool here:



RMBL physical address: 8000 CR 317 Crested Butte, CO 81224

Car Rentals
Denver – Car Rentals | Denver International Airport (
The Gunnison Airport has three rental companies, HertzAvis, and Budget.


The closest airport is Gunnison, CO (GUC) – 34 miles/50 minutes from Gothic

Shuttles from the Gunnison Airport to Gothic

Alpine Express

Dolly’s Mountain Shuttle

Rocky Rides

Montrose, CO (MTJ) – 70 miles/2 hours*

*Please note that a road project in Little Blue Canyon from April of 2021 – to November 2022 could impact road travel. More information on this project can be found here: Home | US 50 Little Blue Creek Improvements (

Grand Junction, CO – (GJT) – 163 miles/3 hours

Denver, CO – (DIA) – 251 miles/ 4.5 hours

Bus from Denver

By Bus
There is now bus service between Crested Butte and Denver, CO. The service is operated by Bustang, and the cost is about $45.00 one-way. Tickets can be purchased on the Bustang Outrider m-Tix mobile App (Android/iOS) The bus arrives/departs from Union Station (1701 Wynkoop St. Denver, CO) and arrives/departs the Crested Butte 4-Way Stop (North of 6th and Elk Avenue, Crested Butte, CO 81224)

Denver to Crested Butte

      • Depart Denver: 1:50 pm
      • Arrive in Crested Butte: 7:35 pm
      • Travel Time: 5 hr 45 min

Crested Butte to Denver

      • Depart Crested Butte: 5:15 am
      • Arrive in Denver: 10:50 am
      • Travel Time: 5 hr 35 min

Traveling between Denver Union Station and Denver International Airport (DIA)

Every 15 minutes the University of Colorado A-line bus travels between Denver International Airport (DIA) and Denver Union Station. The cost is $9 one way and the trip takes 37 minutes. Go to the Denver RTD for more information. Please plan accordingly.

Andy Bunn

Andy Bunn

Professor, Western Washington University

Andy is an environmental scientist specializing in paleoclimate of the intermountain west. He has been coming to MtnClim since its inception 20 years ago and helping organize for the past several conferences.

Scotty Strachan

Scotty Strachan, Ph.D.

Principal Research Engineer, NevadaNet
Nevada System of Higher Education

Scotty is an environmental scientist and regional technology architect specializing in wide-area science and mountain hydroclimate in the Great Basin region of North America. He has been a MtnClim community member for over 15 years.

Charlie Luce

Research Hydrologist, USDA Forest Service

Charlie studies the hydrology, ecology, climate, and geomorphology, of North American mountains and forests.  He has been engaged with the CIRMOUNT community for 15 years.

Registration is now closed. Please email if you would like to request a late registration.


  • Cost: The 2022 MtnClim conference cost will be $435, which will include all conference events and presentations, 3 meals per day, snacks, and coffee breaks at the RMBL Dining Hall. On-site housing is available and rates depend on the level of housing requested and assigned.
  • Attention Students: MtnClim offers limited scholarships to defray conference costs. Please contact ASAP with a statement of need prior to registering.
  • COVID-19 Policy: RMBL requires participants to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Booster shots are recommended. 2022 RMBL COVID-19 Policy
  • Cancellation Policy: Registration fees of $75/person will not be returned. 50% of the total fee paid will be returned for cancellations made after September 3, 2022. The paid fee will not be returned for cancellations made less than 24 hours before the scheduled arrival. Fees will not be returned for early departures.
  • Conference Code of Conduct: All attendees are expected to adhere to the RMBL Conference Code of Conduct Policy
  • Housing: On-site housing is available and rates depend on the level of housing requested and assigned (see Lodging, Meals, and Travel).”
  • Phones & Wi-Fi: The campus does not have cell reception but does have excellent wi-fi. It is recommended that you set up wi-fi calling on your phone before your visit.
  • Pets: Are not allowed on the RMBL campus.
  • Smoking: RMBL is a smoke-free campus, smoking is allowed on the county road running through Gothic.

Thank you to those that submitted an Abstract or Poster!

For the Poster Session: 36 x 48” corrugated sheets on easels will be provided that can be set up vertically or horizontally and posters will be attached with binder clips.