The Northern Rocky Mountain Branch of AALAS was established in 1989. The goal was to create an organization that would serve as a contact between the growing number of laboratory animal technicians and caretakers throughout the spacious regions of Montana, Idaho and Eastern Washington. In the beginning, three institutions located in Montana formed the fledgling branch and they were: Montana State University- Bozeman, University of Montana- Missoula and NIH Rocky Mountain Laboratory located in Hamilton. In the three years that followed, the branch added several institutional members including McLaughlin Research Institute, Washington State University and University of Idaho. 

In 1990, the Branch petitioned the National AALAS office to change the district boundaries to allow the Northern Rocky Mountain Branch to be incorporated into District 8 (rather than District 6). Later that year, the NRMB became the ninth branch to join District 8.

The first annual scientific session and meeting was held in 1989 at the University of Montana’s Yellow Bay Biological Station located on the east shore of Flathead Lake in northwestern Montana. The NRMB still utilizes this facility and has held every annual meeting at Yellow Bay. The rustic beauty and natural surroundings of the station adds to the enjoyment and enhances the learning experience for all who attend.

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