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Turnbull Laboratory for Ecological Studies


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    Turnbull Laboratory for Ecological Studies (TLES) is an ecological field station located on the 15,500-acre Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge. Located in the heart of Eastern Washington's channeled scablands, TLES is a research and educational facility established in 1976 as a cooperative effort between Eastern Washington University and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    Turnbull        Turnbull Classroom

    For further information, contact Dr. Camille McNeely, 509.359.7049,,Dr. Suzan Schwab, 509.359.4727, or Dr. Krisztian Magori, 509.359.2868,

    For information about Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, contact the refuge office at 509.235.4723

    Directions to Turnbull NWR
    Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge is approximately a 40-minute drive from Spokane, Washington. From Spokane, take I-90 west to the Cheney/Four Lakes Exit (exit 270). This will put you on Highway 904, which continues approximately 5 miles into the city of Cheney, home of the Eastern Washington University.

    When you get to Cheney continue west through 3 traffic lights. After you pass the third light proceed for one half mile to Cheney-Plaza Road. There, on your left you will see a brown and white sign that reads "Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge 4.5 miles." Make the left turn on to Cheney-Plaza Road and drive south for 2.5 miles where you will come to a gated entrance with a sign "Turnbull Laboratory for Ecological Studies, Eastern Washington University." Turn left into the entrance and proceed to the parking area.

    Turnbull Map

    Information on The Channeled Scablands
    The unusual belt of channeled scablands that crosses the Palouse in Southeastern Washington was formed by a series of late Pleistocene floods resulting from the abrupt drainage of Lake Missoula.

    The channeled scablands biome includes numerous wetlands, ephemeral ponds and lakes surrounded by Pinus ponderosa forest and savannah. Lakes and ponds in the region are largely confined to coulees formed during the late Pleistocene floods. Because the bedrock is relatively impermeable, spring flooding occurs regularly, resulting in the formation of temporary bodies of water and recharging of the permanent lakes and ponds.

    Contact Information

    Department of Biology
    258 Science Building
    Cheney, WA 99004

    phone: 509.359.2339

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