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Bob and Mary NeherMontana Research Station

The Bob and Mary Neher Montana Research Station is the University of La Verne’s northernmost campus, devoted to the study of Rocky Mountain Ecology and Montana culture and history. The Neher Station includes the Magpie Ranch, Clark Camp, and Baldy Base properties.

Flanked by scenic beauty, including Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, the area around the field station has a long history of forestry, mining, and cattle ranching, and its culture derives from an independent, wild west heritage.  Coming to the field station is an opportunity to experience one of the country’s most majestic natural areas, as well as to explore the Montana culture.

Visiting students learn about wildlife ecology, rangeland ecology, geology, habitat restoration, and Montana history and culture.  Field trips to the Neher Research Station include camping and hiking in multiple National Parks, visits to historical mining and cattle ranching sites, and exposure to a diversity of wildlife, from large mammals and birds to terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates.

Ongoing research projects at the research station include studies of stream health using aquatic macroinvertebrates, cavity nesting bird behavior, moth abundance and physiology, and biogeography of mountain snails.

Mission

  1. To give students a unique learning and problem solving experience, with social, cultural and educational challenges, that make them more sensitive to societal and environmental problems.
  2. Make the facility as environmentally friendly as possible.

Research

Ongoing research projects at the research station include studies of stream health using aquatic macroinvertebrates, cavity nesting bird behavior, moth abundance and physiology, and biogeography of mountain snails.

Research Opportunities abound on the properties and in the areas around the field station. Clark Camp, consists of five acres of riparian zone adjacent to BLM land and the Clark Fork River. Merely a quarter mile from the Magpie Ranch, Clark Camp affords convenient access to the Clark Fork River, nesting bird habitat in riparian willow stands and cottonwood groves, as well as potential research plots on pasture land.

Nine miles away from Magpie is Baldy Base, 160 acres of timberland on the slopes of rugged Baldy Mountain.  A year-round stream originates on the property, supporting a scarce unlogged zone of pine/aspen forest.  Numerous wildlife have been observed in the region, including bears, mountain lions, elk, and bald eagles.  With a mixture of forest, rolling meadows, timbered sections, steep cliffs, and a pristine riparian zone, the Baldy Base presents a wealth of research opportunities and a comparison site to the heavily impacted Clark Fork River site.