Barcroft Station (BAR)

Open from about June 1 - October 31 (weather and snow permitting), Barcroft Station was constructed in 1951 at an elevation of 3800 m (12,470') in the White Mountains. Barcroft can house up to 20 people in comfortable dorms. It has a full kitchen with excellent meals provided. Three labs are available for visiting research scientists and their students, and the station has wireless internet access. Upstairs in the main building is a classroom/living room area and recreational facilities. The station has been the site of much research in the physiological effects of high elevation, and was also used for a decade by Noble laureate, George Smoot, for research in cosmic background radiation. The Barcroft Station is off-grid and most power is generated from rooftop solar photovoltaic panels.

BAR Station Open House
Barcroft Station during a very busy Open House. Photo: Denise Waterbury
Looking south from Barcroft Station after early fall storm. Photo: Dori Cann
Looking south from Barcroft Station after early fall storm. Photo: Dori Cann
Looking south from Barcroft Station after early fall storm. Photo: Dori Cann
Ridgeline below White Mountain Peak. Photo: Denise Waterbury
BAR Station
A view of the Barcroft facilities from the south. The astronomy dome is clearly visible at the top, and the main Pace Laboratory building is center left. The Barcroft facilities are powered by distributed and renewable energy sources (see WMEP page for details; photo ©Paul Kennedy) The alpine fell fields surrounding the station are home to abundant populations of Marmots, Pikas, White-tailed Jackrabbits, and Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels. The most commonly seen predators are Golden Eagles and Coyotes. Click on photo to enlarge.

The main building at the Barcroft Station is a single 40x100' quonset-style structure. Built in 1951 and named for the first WMRS Director, Nello Pace, this structure houses staff, visitors, laboratory space, dining hall, kitchen, shop and other support functions. Visitors to Barcroft should check in the kitchen or staff office (just to the left after coming in the front entrance). The outbuildings are are all research structures assigned to specific projects or functions, including the animal facilities and the paired astrophysics quonset huts behind. The local area network (LAN) is in turn connected via high-frequency radio to the LAN and T-1 internet connection in Bishop, and there is an additonal backup satellite internet connection. (photo ©Paul Kennedy)

The kitchen is small but well-equipped.
There are three dormitory rooms, each sleeping 7-10.
The center physiology lab contains a sealed oxygen room where atmospheric gasses are controlled.
Upstairs there is a library/pool room. To the rear is a computer connected to a "Starband" satellite modem, providing backup internet access for station users.
In winter the snow builds up near the station, sometimes to the rooftop (center right). Curiously, the winds scour out a passageway around most of the buildings (far right). Winds also reduce snow accumulation on the yard (left). Click on photo to enlarge. 4-29-05
The atmospheric aerosol sampler at Barcroft.
The automated weather station at Barcroft. Several years of data are available online.
Barcroft is powered electrically by a state of the art solar-battery-inverter system. This photo shows the solar panels covering the roof of the Pace lab. Click to enlarge photo.
Barcroft Station has a functional workshop area as well as an equipment storage area and generator room.
The animal compound provides a secure environment for medical research on the effects of altitude on sheep pregnancy. The three meter high perimeter fence prevents contact with wild Bighorn sheep (2007 photo, click to enlarge).
Bighorn sheep are often seen between Barcroft and White Mt. Peak. (photo M Lokken 9-04)

The facilities at Barcroft include the Nello Pace Laboratory, which is the main station building, several nearby outbuildings housing research projects, the observatory dome which is 1/2 mile to the north up on Barcroft Plateau, and the well and pond which provide water for the station. An aerial photo taken in 1999 shows these features. Five miles to the north, on White Mountain Peak, is the summit laboratory. The Barcroft History page has photos showing construction of the station. Other older photos may be seen on the WMRC History page. The lands to the north and east of the observatory, running all the way up to White Mountain Peak, are part of the designated McAfee Meadow Research Natural Area (see pdf file for details). For interactive panoramic views of the Barcroft facilities and the surrounding areas click here.