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Use Policies



Contents: Research Policy | Use of the Facilities | How to Get There | What to Bring | Fees


Research Policy

Langmuir Laboratory is part of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, a state-owned college. The Laboratory was constructed with Federal funds, mainly from the U.S. National Science Foundation, in the mid 1960s. It is operated under a Special Use Permit issued by the U.S. Forest Service and an annual Operation and Maintenance Plan jointly prepared by the Magdalena District Ranger and Langmuir Laboratory. Public Law 96-550, passed by Congress in 1980, established 31,000 acres within the Cibola National Forest as the Langmuir Research Site in order to encourage scientific research. The main ongoing activity at the Laboratory has been the study of thunderstorms and lightning, for which Restricted Airspace R-5113 can be activated during daylight hours from June to September. Astronomy, biology, and ecology are also studied at the Laboratory.

Since the Laboratory is an agency of the State of New Mexico, it does not sponsor any commercial products, nor does it endorse products or rate them. If any information obtained under the auspices of the Laboratory is considered for commercial use, the Laboratory requires that its name not be used, referenced, or even mentioned in any advertisement or in any commercial promotion in any form.

The results of studies undertaken by the staff of the Laboratory are available upon request after the research is completed. Investigators at the Laboratory retain the right to publish freely the results from all the research they undertake.

Use of the Facilities

Persons interested in using the Laboratory should send a letter of request to the Chairman of the Laboratory explaining the scientific and educational objectives of the project. The request should also provide information on dates, names and titles of participants, what equipment will be brought to the Lab, which Laboratory facilities will be used, whether meals and lodging will be needed, and whether transportation of people or equipment will be needed.

Completion of the MRO 2.4-meter Telescope on the ridge between South Baldy Peak and Langmuir Laboratory’s Main Building requires restrictions on night-time light pollution. Special policies relating to vehicle headlight use, window covering, and other outdoor light emissions may apply.

How to Get to Langmuir Laboratory

Langmuir Laboratory is near South Baldy Peak in the Magdalena Mountains about 30 highway miles southwest of Socorro, NM. To reach the Laboratory from Socorro, take Highway 60 west from Socorro toward the Village of Magdalena. About 17 miles west of Socorro, between mile markers 123 and 124, turn left onto paved Forest Road 235, which is marked with a Forest Service sign identifying Water Canyon Campground. At the campground, which is about 4 miles from Highway 60, a sign points toward the Laboratory. Continue about 10 more miles up the remainder of FR 235. The dirt road is narrow, steep, and rocky; a high-clearance vehicle is recommended.

What to Bring

The Laboratory is equipped with dormitory-style living quarters for residents, including shared bathrooms, a fully-stocked kitchen and dining room. The Lab’s water supply, which is brought by truck from town, is adequate for quick showers and dishwashing, but not for doing laundry; there are laundromats in Socorro. Drinking water is available, and there are freezers and refrigerators, but you must provide and prepare your own meals, as well as clean up afterwards.

At the altitude of 10,600 feet the weather even in midsummer is cool enough to require jackets during the day. Rain gear, sturdy footwear, a hat, and sunscreen are essential. Residents provide their own personal sundries.

Also bring hand tools, research supplies and equipment, personal computers, and uninterruptable power supplies. Local businesses in Socorro can supply some hardware and electronic needs, and express service deliveries to campus can be sent up with the next available Lab-bound vehicle.

Laboratory Use Fee

$125 per person per day is the standard fee for use of the Laboratory. It includes bench space and dormitory-style lodging; you provide your own food and bedding, and reservations must be made in advance. Other services and equipment can be provided with sufficient advance notice. Special rates are available for collaborators.

Billing is prepared and mailed at the end of the summer research season, usually in September or October, when all costs have been itemized.

[Also see Low Water Use Policy]

Address questions to:

Ken Eack, Chairman
Langmuir Laboratory for Atmospheric Research
New Mexico Tech
801 Leroy Place
Socorro, NM 87801
(575) 835-5423 phone
(575) 835-5913 fax